Well, I survived week one of being back in an office. After two and a half years of working from home, I was really excited to have people to talk to, one brand to work on, and pants to, um, put on (don't even get me started on the stationary cupboard). It took me a long time – at least six months – to start to feel comfortable with freelancing; the solitary confinement of my desk, the hustling for work, the inconsistency of being paid. But once I found my rhythm, I loved it. Honestly, working from home meant I was able to churn through stories so quickly – partly because I had to, and partly because I didn’t have office life to distract me. But I missed that office life. I missed talking to people about their lives, and making myself look presentable, and getting involved in meetings – seeing how the sausage is made. When you’re just writing stories and filing invoices it’s easy to feel detached. (Which, when it comes to office politics and meetings you’d rather skip, can be a good thing).
So, here I am, back in an office, back on a brand. And a great one (go, Women’s Health!). It feels good to be flexing a different brain muscle here, to be reminded what a grid looks like and how to handle myself in meetings with advertisers (and yes, to wear pants). But by the weekend, I felt drained, like I needed to shut myself in my room and stay there for a few hours staring at the wall. I hadn’t realized it, but I’d become so used to being by myself that the unexpected side effect of being in the office is that I miss my me time (even if that just involves tootling on the internet or cooking or sorting out my sock drawer). Fortunately, everyone is lovely, and they’re big believers in work-life balance, which means leaving at 5pm and wearing stretchy pants to the office at the end of the week (#FitnessFridays). I feel good about shaking things up. And as long as I can squeeze some staring-at-walls into the weekends, I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine.