Keeping the Good Parts of Office Life

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?

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