Since transitioning to my new job, or as others may call – leaving funemployment, I have received a few heckles from my fellow self-employed work from home friends. All in good humor of course. I have only been back working full-time in Downtown Denver for almost two months, so still in the “honeymoon” period, but nonetheless here are the things I enjoy about being back in an office…
- Structured schedule. As much as M-F 8-5 sounds awful, it really isn’t that bad. Luckily the culture of this office is pretty flexible. You can come in or leave early/late (within reason). As long as you get your work done and get your hours in by the end of the week, all is good. Plus I get the 1st and 3rd Fridays off. Having that structure, I know when my free time is. When I was working for myself, my free and busy time were scattered all over the place like dots on a Dalmatian.That was exhausting. Having this structure I still have to plan. Pack my workout clothes the night before, figure out the logistics of commuting…am I taking the train today or am I parking downtown?
- Getting rid of sweets and other things. I now have a place to deposit any unwanted snacks, candy, sweet, treats or things that make their way into my pantry…and guaranteed it will be gone by the end of the day. Office break rooms are great for this reason alone. No one ever sits in them, but if you need a bunch of goats to get rid of the pile of holiday candy that has been sitting in your home for way too long – to the break room it goes! Someone on my floor also started depositing toiletries in the women’s bathroom. The other week I unloaded a bunch of lotions and hand creams that needed a good home. Yay for more purging!
- People. Interacting with people is great. Interacting with different types of people is even better! Keeps things interesting. Especially when you have engineers in the mix (no offense). What is really awesome about working in an office – no one is asking me about what races I’m doing this year. I get to behave like a normal human being and talk about other things. I get to see pictures of other people’s kids – which then I don’t have to go too far to order Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn…and then leave them in the break room for everyone else to enjoy! I have always embraced the diversity in people, and no offense to my triathlete friends, it’s nice from time to time being around people who aren’t talking about what race they are signing up for next, how high their FTP is, or their PR from last weekend’s race.
- Diversity. As previously mentioned, I enjoy the diversity. It is easy to settle into surroundings that can be very homogeneous, which is why I’ll probably never live in suburbia unless it is against my own will. Diversity was a big reason why I left Kansas. Working downtown you will definitely get your fair share of diverse people, ideas, and situations. As annoying as the homeless guy on the corner can be as he is begging for money, he has a story – just like the rest of us. He is a part of our society even if society has forgotten him.Years ago there was a particular homeless man who I saw every single morning on my walk to work. He had strawberry blonde hair, his face was extremely weathered, and usually kept to himself. One day I saw him getting taken into an ambulance because of public intoxication. Weeks would go by and I would see him sleeping in his usual spot, until this one week. A few days passed and an article came out in the paper about him. He passed away in his sleep at his spot on the 16th Street Mall. His family had been searching for him, unable to find him after so many years. They didn’t go into detail of how he became homeless, but I’m sure that story was worth telling.
I digress with my last point, but for very good reason. As much as working in an office can look like an “anchor” to most, it is all about perspective. Try to find the good in your situation and I’m sure there are little hidden gems that are just waiting to be uncovered and acknowledged.