Being back in the office isn’t all bad …

Perhaps you’re still enjoying time off somewhere fabulous … like a gorgeous beach, soaking up some brilliant sunshine and enjoying the sand between your toes … or maybe like me, you’ve been struggling to overcome those ‘back to work blues’.

So here we are, almost at the end of January. In my world the alarm has been sounding early in the morning, the roads are starting to get more crowded, and the chairs in the office have slowly been filling as everyone returns from their summer holidays …

It always takes me some time to get back into the swing of a new working year. At first I feel caught in some kind of strange limbo – missing the holiday that has just ended, and still not quite ready to face the busy year ahead. But I figure it’s probably a situation familiar to most people. To help me on my way towards full productivity, I thought I’d reflect on some of the great things about being back at work … (trust me, there ARE some).

Leaving aside the obvious and pretty major benefit of earning some more money, I’ve come up with five other pretty great things about being in the office:

  1. Air-conditioning: While I don’t like sleeping with the air-conditioning on at night (it’s all fresh air for me thanks), there’s nothing quite like the icy pleasure of daytime air-conditioning. Given that my office air-con is so freezing cold, I have the added benefit of being able to wear cardigans all year round.
  2. No online shopping: I do grumble about this when I’m living it, but when I think about it objectively it’s actually a great thing that I can’t access online shopping at work … right now my poor budget is still trying to fully recover from my Christmas spending.
  3. Real coffee: Plunger coffee is lovely at home, but there are some days when I need the ‘real’ espresso experience. It’s so luxurious to be back in the CBD, where real coffee can be found pretty much everywhere … as for ‘good’ coffee, well that’s a little harder to come by.
  4. Cake time: Spontaneous morning and afternoon teas are to be encouraged, and there’s nothing like a random grouping of people in an office to ensure cake is consumed as often as possible. Birthdays, welcoming new staff, farewelling old staff, end of year celebrations … you name the occasion, there’s a pretty good chance it will involve the goodness of cake!
  5. Drinking water: When I’m at work I have no trouble remembering to drink lots of water – refilling my glass is a good excuse to stretch my legs or just take a bit of a break. At home I tend to forget about re-hydrating throughout the day, and that’s never a good thing … so YAY for office access to cold filtered water.

Haha, I notice that three of my return-to-work benefits relate directly to food and drink … that says so much really! How about you? Do you have any trade secrets you’d be willing to share? … I’d love to add to my own list.


  1. Kylie

    I can relate to each and every one of these! Although, I have been known to indulge in the odd spot of online shopping. 😉

    I’m working from home again this week until Thursday. This lack of routine business is getting tiresome…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kylie – Well if I was able to access online shopping at work, I’d probably be doing just the same! Although now that I think about it, I’ve been known to do some shopping from my iphone while at work … haha, oops! 😉

      While working from home has some charm, I know how frustrating it must be not to be back in the routine and convenience of office life. I hope you get back to work in the CBD very soon! 🙂

  2. Erika Lee Sears

    I think there is something to be said in having a “productive” work schedule. When its holiday or weekend time.. you spend loads more $$$$ and eat unhealthy. It’s almost the fact work puts you on the track for healthiness. 🙂

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – Yes I agree, having a productive work schedule has it’s bonuses. While I like to work pretty free-form most days and move between different tasks, sometimes a bit of structure helps both with getting things done and keeping the unhealthy (or expensive) distractions to a minimum).

      On a healthy side-note, I hope you’ve been able to get back to a good routine with your yoga.

  3. Gabrielle

    It’s good to get back into the swing of things, especially at the beginning of the year when you still feel refreshed. I used to love working in the Brisbane CBD and really missed it when I left. I love the shops 🙂 and getting dressed up for work. I actually spent much more money working in the city then I do now – on going out to lunch and for coffee and buying clothes etc.,

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – I agree, it’s good to hit that rhythm in a new year. Everything feels possible and achievable if you just apply yourself.

      I know a few colleagues of mine who took extended leave and really missed being in the city and all the social interactions that come with working in an office.

      But I know what you mean about spending more money working in the city – all those incidentals really add up. I’m trying my best to keep them to a minimum and just buy what I need, not what I want.

  4. Makeminemid-century

    I am going to have to go back to work in about six months.

    I hope where ever I get a job they have one of those industrial shredders … I find it so cathartic shredding paper. I was reminded of that joy seeing your little shredder above.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Makeminemid-century – So, you’re going back to work in six months? I hope you’re feeling positive about it and find somewhere fantastic to call your own workspace.

      Oh yes, you’re so right about the pleasures of those industrial shredders. It feels wonderful to shred paper – all those words getting chopped up and disappearing forever more … the sound is rather strangely soothing too.

  5. jan

    I mostly work from home now, but I remember how entertaining office gossip was. You can’t get any of that at home.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – Oh working from home is one of my goals … I’m pretty well over the commute and a lot of other office ‘blah’ experiences. That’s very true about office gossip, it’s one of the things I don’t realise how much I’d miss until it was gone.

  6. kellie

    I love how you have found the positives in this! And I’m uh-uhing with each and everyone {except coffee, working at night I stay away from that and we have a machine at home to take care of my mornings!}

    It *almost* sounds like a good place to be!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kellie – I think when I wrote this post I was having one of ‘those days’ where I really needed to find the positives. It really helped me find a better work-related attitude.

      Oh, fair enough – given that you work nights I can imagine that you wouldn’t want to charge yourself up on caffeine. How lovely that you have a machine at home for the morning coffee – we have a plunger set up at the moment, but I’ve been wondering whether we should get something better …

  7. fairchildstreet

    I am back in the office Thursday. I so love being a free spirit!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Charmaine – Being a free spirit is certainly a wonderful thing … sometimes I wonder whether I’m too much of a dreamer for ‘modern’ life and commitments! 😉

  8. Mel

    Been back for weeks lol! Our long break is in July/August 🙂 I get better coffee at home….. Not so much cake, though!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mel – I forget your break is a while away … perhaps you can refer back to this list then? 😉
      Cake should be everywhere, shouldn’t it? (especially if someone else makes it for us) … 😉

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