Did you think it was going to be all well-prepared salads and slow-cooking? Think again
When first confronted with the prospect of working from home, you’ll picture yourself as an irresistible combination of Carrie Bradshaw and Mary Berry, merrily tapping away at your keyboard while a sourdough loaf proves in your newly installed proving drawer, ready to be made into a fillet steak and rocket sandwich come lunchtime.
Fast forward three weeks and you’ll be taking a stale cracker from the cupboard and smothering it with baked beans because you can’t be bothered to get dressed and actually venture out to the shops. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
But fear not because there's no one who's worked from home for any length of time who's not fallen from the same lofty heights. Take that baking cookbook out of your Amazon basket and park any ideas of making a starter dough: you could be using that time and money to order pizza. If you’re new to the working-from-home game, here’s what to expect over the coming months.
1. The avocado stage
This stage is imbued with optimism. No longer will your daytime vegetable consumption consist of whatever Itsu puts inside a salmon roll, but of the contents of your fridge – a ripe avocado, a ripening avocado, unprecedented amounts of kale and something you can’t remember the name of that Deliciously Ella Instagrammed last week. You'll be almost intolerably smug.
2. The getting-to-know-your-cupboards-intimately stage
Unfortunately owing to a stressful few work days, your avocado ripening system has now fallen apart and the kale is limp and vast. On the plus side, you have just found some dried apricots at the back of the cupboard and stale oatcakes do have a certain sort of cracker-like charm and – ooh! – tinned peaches.
3. The desperation/inventive stage
The thing with the desperate stage is that for a while, you may call it the ‘inventive’ stage. No longer does the cupboard serve up canned fruity nuggets of joy, and yet still you stick your head into its barren wasteland, hoping for inspiration to strike.
4. The meal dessert stage
The thing with working from home is that without Laura from accounts telling you about her painful break-up and having four meetings booked in before midday, time can go pretty slowly (even factoring in that little mid-morning break to watch Holly and Phil). Your lunchtime will inevitably move from 1pm to somewhere around 11.51am. But who actually established that 11.51am is too early for lunch? And who died and made them king of lunch?
5. The baking stage
In which you'll bake an entire cheesecake – even though only two of you live in your flat and you’re going away tomorrow – because it’s 3pm and you found some cream cheese in the fridge.
6. The slow-cooking stage
This is the stage in which you will never make a meal that doesn’t take at least two hours' preparation time because you work from home and you can. These recipes frequently include oven-baked jacket potatoes – you work from home, you laugh in the face of a microwave – and meat. A lot of meat.
7. The run of grossness stage
Working from home means you'll look terrible pretty much all of the time. When it comes to The Daily Task Of Going Outside For A Dairy Milk, you’ll decide that changing out of your leggings/putting on mascara is a complete waste of time. This means you'll have to perfectly time your 'run of grossness' as you sprint to the shops, moving stealthily and avoiding the after-work shopper crowd with their on-trend cropped culottes and – ugh – freshly washed hair.
8. The two-lunch Tuesday stage
Ah. Two-lunch Tuesday. The phenomenon that all home-workers will experience, when they crack one day and decide that the gap between the 11.51am lunch and the 7pm dinner is simply too long and they must have another lunch. It will probably be toast. Two rounds of toast.
9. The TV-temptation stage
The problem with 5/6pm is that 5/6pm loves a food-based TV programme. Dinner Date, Come Dine With Me, Come Dine With Me Australia: all of these are just meant to tempt you with their chocolate sundaes and their scallops wrapped in bacon. You are only a human. Do not judge yourself for what comes next.
10. The illegal solo-eating stage
Breaking the news to a boyfriend/girlfriend/flatmate that you will, from now on, be working from home will elicit the following response: “Awesome, you can make dinner!”
And that is true. You will make dinner. Unfortunately, you will then eat that dinner straight away because you’re looking for an excuse to stop working/you ate lunch about a million years ago, and by the time they come in, you’ll have tomato sauce on your chin and their rice will be on the food poisoning side of warm.
It’s not your fault, whatever they say – it’s simply a unfortunate side affect of working from home.
Like this? Then try these:
- Great British Bake Off is the best thing to happen to TV
- 12 things we did in the summer that our kids do too
- Things you only know if you've taken kids abroad
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