Today I’ve been working at a real office.
It is pretty fun. There are real people, I get a security pass, and there’s a coffee machine and everything. Today I got quite excited about having a macchiato, which made me feel a bit like Bryn in Gavin and Stacey experimenting with the wonders of mint Baileys and the World Wide Web.
I am very much a ‘grass is always greener’ person, so when I’m working a nine to five office job I long to be at home in my pyjamas, but when I get there, I’m looking for an excuse to get dressed and go to work.
Fickle some might call it.
I like to think of it more as a Hunger For New Challenges.
It got me thinking though about the way I work at home, and the extra pressures that come with being self-employed. Some I think are self-inflicted, but others must apply to thousands of people managing their own time. Here are some of the things I miss about being self-employed:
Holidays – this is the obvious one. When you work for someone else, you get time off, where they pay you to lie-in the sunshine. I know that effectively it just means they spread your wages out a bit, so you earn less on a daily basis, but it feels so much nicer doesn’t it? When you’re self-employed, all time spent not working is potential income lost. Even if you budget for holidays, it makes it harder to switch off.
Sickies – now obviously I have never taken a sneaky day off in my whole life, honest, but I imagine that if you did, it would feel very exciting, and give day time television a whole new appeal. Taking a day off when you work for yourself is really no fun at all. You don’t get paid, and it just means you have to do more the next day.
Coffee breaks – I’m sure there aren’t many offices nowadays where people take actual coffee breaks, but there is something really relaxing about being able to go off and make a drink, knowing you’re getting paid for it. Same with going to the toilet – you can have a wee and earn a pound. Bargain. I also like the forced lunch break, as I’m rubbish when I’m working at home at taking proper regular lunch breaks, and I rarely go out for any fresh air.
Other people – funnily enough, there are dozens of other people hanging around in my study at home for a chat and a bit of office banter, and if there were, I’d wonder where they all came from, and probably have to call the police. I love having the voices going on in the background, and it’s much more satisfying than just having the radio on, as people will talk back to you.
Regular income – I thought I might enjoy the excitement of not being sure exactly how much money I’d take home every month, but it turns out that it’s actually quite scary. Who’d have thought it?
(Are you beginning to get the impression that I didn’t really think this self-employment think through?)
All in all though, I can’t complain. Yes you sacrifice paid holidays, sick leave, social contact and job security, but you do get to go to work in your pyjamas. And that’s pretty cool.