Would You Like to Go Out With Me?

by Dave Michels

I’m not looking for a date, just a reason to go out. I don’t get out much anymore – at least when I’m not traveling. Going out was something that once seemed normal. Now it’s kind of odd, and sometimes I need to make an excuse to do it.

I work at home. There’s a few weekly errands like groceries, but that’s about it.

I used to go to work. That was just silly. Work is so much better effectively done at home. There’s plenty of posts that talk about reclaiming commuting time, but the killer feature of telework is free-time. Every employer implements tools and processes to make people more efficient, but the workday never gets shorter. The advantage of working at home is that if I can get something done quickly – I reap the rewards. It’s a huge yet understated benefit.

I used to go to the movies, but I prefer movies at home. I have a nice home theater. The local theaters improved, but they still lack the ultimate feature – pause control.

I used to go to coffee shops. I love a good cup of coffee.That’s why I bought a great machine at home. I prefer my coffee.

I used to go shopping at places like malls and electronics stores. Hard to imagine that any more, that was just crazy. Bookstores are still kind of fun, but when I look at a book I always get curious about if someone read it what else they liked. Sometimes it’s hard to buy things online – I solved that by buying a selection and returning the unwanted items.

There was a brief period in my life when I went to a gym. That was dumb. I am perfectly capable of ignoring my home gym for a lot less per month. Plus I prefer my own shower.

Going out less creates a vicious cycle. For example, because I don’t go out much, there is a reduced need to go to certain places – such as the cleaners or to get my oil changed. I only wear shoes a few hours a day. I still get my teeth cleaned every six months, but buy tires a lot less frequently.  

Working at home changes relationships too. I never knew my UPS guy when I worked at an office. I have a better relationship with my pets too.

Not everyone can work at home. Obviously some job roles are incompatible, I get that. What I don’t get is the people that can work at home and choose otherwise. “All that productivity is not for me, I like to gossip at the water cooler.”  

I don’t miss much from the office. There was a period where I missed the AC, so I ended up buying one for home. I don’t miss signing greeting cards or eating crappy Birthday cake. I don’t miss brushing snow off the windshield. I don’t miss feigning interest in office gossip. I don’t miss the cheap coffee.