Why Going “Virtual” For Your Job Isn’t As Cool As It Sounds

June 23, 2011 at 9:00 am 2 comments

 

These are not my toes...I swear. Photo credit: Flickr-niseag03

Close your eyes and imagine talking to clients, putting together reports and writing creative briefs while lounging on the couch, feet up, munching on pretzels and M&M’s in your pajamas and rocking out to your favorite Pandora station. (Disclosure: Mine is Regina Spektor)

Sounds like the ideal situation, right?

Well, it’s really..not. You can open now.

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working from home because my company is switching offices. We can’t move into the new office for a few weeks, so we’re going “virtual” for the time being. Insert “oooo’s and ahhhh’s” here.

Working from home at first is so great. You’re not locked up in an office at a stuffy desk and you get to be home, working your way.

But, after a few days of bliss the excitement wears off quickly. The word “virtual” loses its luster. Trust me.

For me, working from home is an isolating feeling. There’s no companionship, no back and fourth exchanging of ideas, no one to bounce questions off of or even just have small talk with. You’re solo. Face to face interaction is gone out the door and it’s just you and the kitchen fridge saying “come eat me..I know you’re hungry…”

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a collaborative work environment and thrives being around a team of people, virtual won’t work for you in the long run.

I know a million people work from home and love it. I’m sure they’d be happy to disagree with me. But here’s the thing. I think if you’re older and don’t want to have to go into an office job everyday like you have for the past 20 years, it totally makes sense to work from home. You’re done with the wake up, dress up and suck up mentality. But, as a newbie in the real world, I want that office experience. I want to pick the brains of the people that have been in it forever and learn, learn and learn more.

It’s so incredible easy to get drunk off the idea of getting to go virtual for your job and being in the comfort of your own home each and everyday. But, you WILL get a hangover. An I-feel-alone-and-sad hangover. After work, you can’t go home and relax. You’re already there. Now home just feels like work. (Or is it just me?)

I’m not saying working in a corporate office is the greatest thing either. But, when you’re at home all day by yourself (as a young 20-something without a family around) it’s just not that cool.

Thankfully for me, it’s only for a short period of time. To be my best at work I need people to feed off of, creative energy to get my juices flowing and likeminded colleagues in shouting distance that inspire me.

What are you? An independent worker or a team guy or gal?

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RK  |  June 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    It’s a tough one. I really like the social aspect of working in an office, but I also need my individual space to actually get any work done (otherwise I’ll be chatting away all day long). My partner works at home and he would rather not, though, so I totally understand your dilemma.

    Reply
    • 2. ilovelovee  |  June 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      I totally see your point about not being able to get work done. I just think there’s something about being in an office that brings you into that “work” mode. It can be such a productive environment where creativity and great ideas blossom, while at the same time, it allows you to have that option for a social exchange of ideas or even just chatting (I’m a chatter, too!) I think it’s just not having that flexibility to go chit chat, ask questions and feed off other people’s energy when you’re at home that makes it so tough! 🙂

      Reply

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A marketing gal's journey through life as a young professional. The storyline includes heart flutters, hiccups and happiness along the way...with one big spoonful of creativity in each chapter. I'm also the founder of Young Women in Digital, a Boston-based group for digital marketers to mix and mingle at pressure-free, fun events around the city!

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