At one point in my early career, I got bored of working remotely. I’d never worked in an office, so I was willing to try it out. I’m glad I did – but I will say I’m also glad I took up remote working again. After working two years in a standard office job, I started to sorely miss the benefits of working from home.
I seriously appreciate the benefits of working remotely now. It’s not something I’ll take lightly again… However, my two-year experience in an office was invaluable. It taught me a lot about different working styles, dealing with different people and how I can improve my general productivity.
After all, I thought the experience of working in a brick-and-mortar company was invaluable. Back then, I thought my CV was lacking because I had only been “freelancing” for a couple of years (years later, a job coach specifically told me not to play down my experience as a freelancer).
“Besides,” I thought, “I’ll obviously get paid more, get better benefits and be taken more seriously…” All for showing up at a specific time, sitting at a specific desk and keeping up appearances.
So I gave up freelancing and went straight into my first 9-to-5 job. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad: stable money, health benefits, even subsidized transport. It was great!
The first thing to go… Enthusiasm
I never liked school. Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy learning. In digital marketing, you have to keep updating your knowledge. But I didn’t actually enjoy going to school and being in the same place every, single, day. My new office was the same: I sat at the same desk for two solid years.
This type of routine works well for a lot of people. It gives them a sense of structure. Unfortunately, it made me feel trapped. All of my days blended into one. I lost track of time: life became a series of getting up, coffee, sitting, typing, lunch and going home…
The work was interesting, to a point. But that paled in comparison. I began to dream of days when I’d use my remote working benefits to sit in a new café down the street… Or take my laptop and work from a hotel room in Portugal.
“Forget it,” I told myself, “you’ve a proper job now. And more money than you’ve ever had. This is what “grown up” work is like. Deal with it.”
I realized how independent working remotely had made me
Remote work had turned me into a self-starter. As a freelancer, I had to be organized and make sure I knew where my work was coming from. I had to hit people up and do a bit of marketing. There was no one on my back to get me to do things. I had to be my own boss.
Working in that office had turned me into something else. I became content to wait for tasks. If there wasn’t much to do, we’d sit around and chat. I lost my proactivity… And only waited for directions from my manager.
Basically… I turned into an office drone.
Two years after started, I asked to switch to a remote working set up (Germans like to call it “home office”). It worked out well… Then I found a new job and thankfully, I can be as remote as I like.
I will never take remote working for granted again!