Lucy Kellaway speaks about the joys of fresh stationary, gossip and lattees in her FT.com management podcast dated 7.10.07. I thought it was funny because in listing the small but important pleasures of office life, she mentions many of the things I consciously try to recreate here in my home office – to varying degrees of success. Sure, the coffee’s better here at home, but the thrill of playing a bit part in a mini soap-opera is just not the same when the only other actors are Pat the Postman, Ed the Electricity Meter Reader and Chu the local Shop Keeper.
Lucy’s full list includes:
* enjoying lattees with lids and eating danish pastries at your desk
* doing email in the morning before anyone gets into the office
* a really comfortable chair at just the right angle and height
* a new packet of paper for the printer
* a fully stocked stationary cupboard, with just the kind of pens and battery sizes you need
* playing a bit part in your very own office soap-opera
* air conditioning in summer
* IT helpdesks
* doing the supermarket shop during work (much more satisfying than on the computer at home)
* ego boosters from colleagues, including generally being noticed by other people
I think it’s a great idea to make a list of the little things that bring pleasure to your working day. Mainly because it’s good to know what you like in life, generally. But also because these small pleasures are often transferrable, so can be re-created or maintained should you ever face of period of transition. After all, why throw the baby out with the bathwater, or indeed waste your energy re-inventing the wheel?
But if you find your morning routine includes getting fully suited and booted before kissing your partner and/or cat goodbye, only to take a walk around the block and return to work at your home office or kitchen table, I’d suggest you re-consider whether homeworking is really the thing for you.