One drawback of being in an occupation that one can undertake from home (such as problogging and all sorts of other e-businesses), or when you’re telecommuting or in a mobile-working arrangement is that there is a tendency for you to do just that–stay at home all day doing your work there. Yes, you may be more productive this way. Yes, you could be getting things done better than had you been working at an office setting. Yes, there are no office politicking, overbearing bosses, chatty colleagues and all that.
But you don’t get to meet any people. You don’t get to go out and see the world-at-large. And this sometimes sucks.
Being an introvert such as myself, this could be even more troublesome, as one would not get to practice interpersonal skills that are equally important in business as a great idea and good execution. Face it–we may be the best damned programmers, the best effing writers, or the coolest web designers this side of the world, but without the ability to communicate with other people effectively, then we’re just running around in circles. We need to be able to reach out to be able to get where we want to go.
In other words, everyone has to be a salesman–and in our case, we have to sell our ideas, our ideals, our passions, so that other people would also share in what we believe in. And hey, we also get to earn this way.
Well, given that most ideas nowadays can be communicated over textual means–over the Web, email or instant messaging–you might think that actually talking to people is passe. Not really. I’m of the opinion that there’s still no substitute for a handshake. There’s no substitute to the sensual aspects of actually meeting a person face-to-face and seeing, hearing, and feeling (sometimes, perhaps, tasting and smelling even) all aspects of communication.
After all, communication is about 80% body language, 15% execution or tone, and 5% talk. Or something to that effect (I forgot the actual proportions but it’s the same banana).
You can’t transmit body language over the ‘Net. You can try, with webcams, VoIP and all, but this wouldn’t be half as exciting as seeing someone face-to-face.
A Matter of Choice
What’s great with not having to work in a regular workplace environment is you don’t have to deal with people. It’s certainly more comfortable when the pressure to fit in is no longer there. This way, if you get to reach out to people, it’s because you want to, and that you choose to. It’s a matter of personal choice.
In a regular workplace setting, you’d have to deal with bitchy cube-mates, rumour-monger next-door neighbors (if you’re fortunate enough to get an office with actual doors, walls and windows), drive-by-management-freak bosses, airheads of all sorts, and all that. You have no choice. It’s either you live with it or be labelled the outcast.
What’s great with not being tethered to a desk or not being bound time-and-space by your job is that you won’t have to deal with Ms. Biatch, Mr. Airhead, nor the boss from hell. You can get to deal with such people, though, if you so choose. But hey, wouldn’t you rather hook up with the cute girl over at the next table at Starbucks (and more especially, her sexy black MacBook)?
My advice to you: unmount your donkey, leave your abode and have meaningful intercourse with a fellow human (translation: get off your ass, go out and talk to someone). Or at least go somewhere and get to immerse yourself in the goings-on of real people. Eat out. Take a stroll at the mall, park, or anywhere interesting. Go somewhere and watch people live their lives (Go ogle for all I care)!
This is why I go out and work at WiFi-enabled cafes (everyday while waiting for Pia’s preschool class to finish).