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Summary:

Every time someone asks teleworkers the things we love about online work, our faces light up and we instantly talk about the mobility, freedom, and independence. Despite these perks to teleworking, there are some things we miss about showing up at the office daily, even if […]

Every time someone asks teleworkers the things we love about online work, our faces light up and we instantly talk about the mobility, freedom, and independence. Despite these perks to teleworking, there are some things we miss about showing up at the office daily, even if we don’t necessarily want to go back to that.

The good news is, there are alternatives to the things that weren’t so bad about going to the office.

The commute. Since we no longer commute as often to go to the office, we miss out on some of the good things about commuting. After all, the commute allows us to prep ourselves for the day ahead, go around the neighborhood, and do some idle thinking. In my previous post, WWD reader Michael said that he liked the commute home, because it gave him the chance to unwind.

Of course, commuting can also be seen as a negative if you commute in a noisy, overcrowded, and polluted metropolis. But what can you do if you actually liked the commute?

Taking a walk or a bike ride before you start your workday can give you the same chance to prepare yourself for the day ahead, and go around the neighborhood as well. Or, if you absolutely love a long commute, drive a few hours, then check in and work in a different city for a couple of days.

The social interaction. If you miss the face-to-face interaction that office work provides, one of the (more obvious) alternatives you can try is co-working. That way, you’ll be able to interact with others during the day without sacrificing your professional independence.

You can also make a special effort to meet up with or talk to your friends. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – an afternoon snacking together will do. If what you especially miss about work is the chance to meet new people, you can do other activities that will allow you to expand your social circle, such as joining a book club, special interest group, or volunteering. To make sure you don’t lose sight of your social life, schedule these activities like you would a client meeting.

Your visibility in the office. For teleworking employees, being visible in the office has its perks – you get to be part of impromptu collaborations or remind colleagues and supervisors of your contributions. You may not be in the office 8 hours each day, but you have several opportunities to be physically present. If you’re used to joining meetings via a conference call, try to go to the office more more often for these meetings. Also, don’t forget to attend or even organize company parties and get-togethers.

While you may miss some things about your life in the office, just remember that there are alternatives. Being a web worker doesn’t mean that you won’t experience these things anymore – you just have to find new ways to do so.

What things do you miss about office life? How do you try to experience them as a teleworker?

  1. [...] web worker daily posted a great article a few days ago about how independent workers can keep the good parts of office life, including the [...]

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  2. Hi,

    Another negative about commuting is the price of gas. It’s amazing how much we have to pay these days.

    I only live about 9km way from work, but I still end up spending quite a bit each week.

    Thanks,

    Richard Rinyai
    http://www.theprofessionalassistant.net

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  3. I’ve never understood missing the social interaction at work. That’s not just because I’m an introvert! It may be because I do very different kinds of work from the people I most enjoy socializing with.

    Friends that get made anywhere aside, I have always felt alienated by the social scene in the office. I’m a writer and abstract thinking sort who tends to hang out with manual and visual people. I’d probably be quite happy sitting with a laptop in the middle of a hair salon. Sitting in an office with rooms full of people who actually like to sit always felt like being dead.

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  4. [...] Keeping the good parts of office life [...]

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  5. [...] Keeping the good parts of office life [...]

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  6. I don’t know if you ever saw shawshank redemption? Well, people in prisone sometimes get so used to being in prison they don’t want to leave. It’s called institutionalization.

    There is a whole world full of people out there, all we have to do is make our own relationships, as opposed to those artificial one created for us in offices. It’s the beginning of a whole new world, in which life revolves around you, not your company.

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