The 6 things I miss about working in an office

The list of things I miss about working in an office is long and varied.

1. There’s the clothing, of course.   I miss buttoning up that gorgeous new polka-dot blouse you got on sale at Zara.  Zipping up a pencil skirt.  Slipping  heels onto my feet. Putting on lipstick. BRUSHING MY HAIR.  I miss the need, the requirement, to look fabulous rather than how I often look – like a crazy lady who possibly spent the night sleeping in the bushes outside with da possums.  Interestingly, when your days are spent  negotiating with a 3 year old, nobody cares that you’re wearing ‘on trend’  stockings.  Put it this way,  I dubbed 2012 “The year of the elasticised waistband”.

What else?  2. I miss the dialogue. The office banter. The 5-minute grabs of conversation with co-workers about The Voice or Bob Katter’s hats or how your boss is doing your head in.

3. I miss the gossip. Tim from Accounts is dating Debra from Marketing. GET. OUT! (It felt good just writing that sentence).

4. I miss the commute. Being in a car ALONE.  Reading on the train ALONE. Being in the work bathroom ALONE. I miss typing without the dead weight of a three-year-old on my lap who hits keys at random and blithely announces her bottom is itchy.

2011 03 02 an office party with cake 380x253 The 6 things I miss about working in an office.

Cake. All the time. Cake.

5. I miss the Friday afternoon wind-down where people don’t even pretend to work. The impromptu – who feels like sushi? –  lunch hours with colleagues. Melbourne Cup (sitting at home in my trakky daks eating a ryvita while I watch the race isn’t as thrilling as it sounds.  Weird, I know). Christmas parties. Secret Santa. Pretending to work while you’re trying to Google Michael Buble’s birth date because Tim in Accounts thinks Michael Buble is 45 when he’s so clearly not even over 40.  What a moron. (Tim in Accounts. Not you. You’re awesome. Tim from Accounts is a f*ck-knuckle.)

But what I really, really miss about working in an office?  6. All the cake. So much cake.  For some of us, going to work is really just like hanging out in a bakery for 7 hours.   Red velvet cupcakes for Joanna’s birthday!  Mud cake for Easter! Chocolate brownies because Shaun’s leaving!  Muffins for Abbey’s promotion!

I just gained a kilo typing that paragraph.

Every office has a Martha Stewart who lives to bake and takes delight in watching colleagues take bite after bite of sugary goodness as though they’re a gaggle of geese and a she’s farmer with a fondness for foie gras. Let’s call Martha what she is people:  A FEEDER.  And it’s having an impact on your waistline.

Bella Mackie in The Guardian writes:

A study by the Co-op has found that desk-based workers in British offices put on an average of 4.5kg (10lb) during the first year of employment. The majority of them blame the unhealthy treats provided by co-workers for their inability to keep their weight down. One in seven of those surveyed said they felt peer pressure to join in when food is passed round, and no wonder, when everyone else is enjoying a delicious slice of chocolate cake.

We discussed this at our morning meeting and immediately all eyes swivelled in my direction, for I am the colleague you blame for your expanding waistline. I am a feeder. Almost daily, for the past six years, I have bought an array of cakes, biscuits and sweets to the desk. What started as a rare celebration ritual has become an almost mundane occurrence for the Comment desk workers. At about 3pm, people start looking around furtively, or a plaintive plea for sugar will float across the desks. We are now an office addicted to treats.

I make no apologies for your fear of the scales. I think a cake break is a nice way for colleagues to break any formalities for a few minutes. The sugar perks everyone up for a while, and an office has a nice co-operative feel to it when everyone takes it in turns to buy in the goodies.

So what do you (or would you) miss most about working in an office?  And when the office cake is dished up, are you smacking your lips or hiding in the corner with your vegemite ryvitas?

*This post first appeared on Mamamia


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  1. da-com on January 30, 2024 at 7:50 pm

    Reflecting on the days working in an office, there are six things I genuinely miss. The camaraderie and spontaneous interactions, the shared laughter during coffee breaks, and the vibrant energy of a collaborative workspace are irreplaceable. Da-Com, with its commitment to providing leading office technology solutions and exceptional service in Missouri and Illinois, understands the importance of tailored approaches. Much like the unique aspects of every business, Da-Com aims to offer clients individualized plans aligned with their needs and budget. Building long-term, meaningful relationships with local businesses, Da-Com strives to foster growth and contribute to the prosperity of our community.

  2. JD Young on January 30, 2024 at 8:04 pm

    Reflecting on “THE 6 THINGS I MISS ABOUT WORKING IN AN OFFICE,” it’s hard not to appreciate the communal spirit that once filled those office walls. In the hustle and bustle, there’s a shared energy and camaraderie that remote work can’t fully replicate. The water cooler chats, spontaneous brainstorming sessions, and the simple joy of interacting with colleagues are among the elements sorely missed. As JD Young Technologies celebrates over 75 years of facilitating Oklahoma businesses, it’s evident that the workplace landscape has evolved. Yet, the essence of what’s missed is timeless – the human connection. In an era of competitive business solutions, JD Young’s lasting success speaks volumes, emphasizing the enduring importance of genuine relationships in the ever-changing work landscape.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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