Work from home? 15 signs you need to get out more

by Leo Wiles
12 January 2018

Being able to hang out in your own home a lot is one of the perks of working for yourself. Alongside, of course, the zero commute, easy access to the kettle and no boss breathing down your neck. But then you realise the last time you had a face-to-face conversation was with your dog. You have set a hard and fast rule that you don’t go out when it’s raining. You can’t remember the last time you set foot in a supermarket – why bother, with online shopping? Oh, and brushing your hair has become optional.

Sure, you may kid yourself that staying holed up in the house to work never hurt Emily Dickinson, JD Salinger, Cormac McCarthy, Elena Ferrante. But if that thought has even crossed your mind, we’re here to burst your cosy little reclusive bubble with a reality check: it’s time to get out more.

Take our quick quiz to determine whether you’re in danger of never being seen again. Give yourself one point per bad habit.

  1. You have more tracksuits than work suits.
  2. You’re fine with interviews, but have completely lost the power of small talk in a social setting.
  3. The local pub has changed names three times since you last drank there.
  4. You order Menulog so often you’ve factored the free bonus meals into your weekly dinner plan.
  5. Nutritionists may disagree, but you’re sure pot noodles are a legitimate food group.
  6. You could do with more work (and are actually borderline broke) but drumming up new projects by networking or meeting clients just doesn’t fit into your reclusive game plan.
  7. You’ve attempted to play Scrabble alone.
  8. You can’t remember the last time you took something to your local dry cleaner.
  9. Ditto using the iron.
  10. Your mum has started sending you text messages asking if you’re still alive.
  11. You no longer own a workbag / briefcase.
  12. Your only meaningful conversations are in 140 characters.
  13. When people on Facebook ask for a good TV series to binge-watch you’re smug / shocked to realise you’ve SEEN ALL OF THE SUGGESTIONS in the thread.
  14. You’ve learnt how to choke down black coffee rather than head to the supermarket for milk.
  15. If by some miracle you do make plans and they fall through, you’re secretly overjoyed you can stay home.

If you answered yes to three or more, perhaps 2018 should be the year you claw your way back to civilisation? Baby steps. You might want to leave the house to work elsewhere. Like a cafe. A library. Co-working space. Or a friend’s couch (even better if your friend also works from home).

What’s your tell-tale sign that you need to get out more?

Leo Wiles

Leo Wiles has worked as an editor, journalist and PR for over 20 years before recently retraining as a photographer. These days, she spends her time behind a lens, juggling her own clients with her work at Rachel's List, and her three gorgeous but lively kids.
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