On March 16, 2020, my boss lightly tapped on my open cubicle. When I turned around, she was staring at me with a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. With her slightly high-pitched voice, she said, “Pack up as much as your stuff as you can. We are going home to work.”
This command was music to my ears as I often longed for the days I could wake up one hour before starting my workday, join a meeting in my favorite leggings and avoid the treacherous Atlanta traffic.
So, off I went to my townhome. But I did not stop there. I got on a plane to Texas the following day to spend my days and afternoons with my long-distance boyfriend. This move later turned into my permanent home with my husband. WIN-WIN.
My desk was one end of a sectional couch and the beginning of a beautiful realization.
For the past 633 days, I have had the privilege of working from home. Here are 5 reasons I am never going back to an office for work:
1. No more traffic. I learned how to drive at the age of 15 and have not been a fan since. I know it is a necessary skill of life for which I am grateful. However, the busyness of Atlanta and Dallas traffic brings much-unwanted anxiety.
2. Less annual fuel usage. I drive a paid-off 2012 Toyota Camry named Blanca. My average cost per week for gas is $120. This averages about $6,240 a year. Since I am no longer commuting, this amount goes back into my spending plan.
3. Decrease in Wardrobe Investment. Most corporate settings require business casual attire in the workplace. I have spent my share of time and funds in Ann Taylor LOFT stores, ensuring I put my best face forward. With fast fashion in the United States, Value Budget estimates average monthly clothing expenses are about $134 (that’s $1,604 per year).
4. More Flexibility. Working in an office requires a consistent daily routine to be on time and leave work to meet other engagements. I enjoy going from one meeting to the next with the click of a button. If I have a doctor’s appointment, I can check in on a discussion without physically being in the boardroom. I find more joy in cooking immediately after closing my Macbook than sitting in traffic for an hour first.
5. Opportunity to build new technical skills. Let’s face it, we are way beyond only knowing how to create a Mircosoft Office PowerPoint. Putting in hours from home allows you to add more technical experience by using tools to get your job done. Just this year alone, I have learned how to navigate:
Can someone say resume booster?
The pandemic brought challenges, and it also brought its’ opportunities. How you will choose to work in 2022?