In the future, thanks to advances in personal computing and Internet connectivity, more and more people will be working at home.
While there are some obvious benefits to this arrangement, such as gasoline cost savings and the ability to devote more of the workweek to bidding on Battlestar Gallactica memorabilia, there is a dark side as well: working at home greatly reduces the opportunities for office romance.
Gone are the liquor-fueled holiday parties and the team-building retreats that have traditionally served as the tinderboxes for employee-on-employee passion.
Gone, too, are the monthly budget meetings, where passed notes and stolen glances often lead to more — so much more.
Lonely and isolated, the home-based employee will start looking for love in all the wrong places. And therein lies the ugly truth of working at home: when you’re your own boss, you have no one to sexually harass but yourself.
Consider my story a cautionary tale. When I got the opportunity to start working at home a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance, envisioning the huge spike in productivity that would naturally result from not having to shave or put on pants.
In those early, innocent days, I was putting in robust eight-hour workdays, interrupted only by lunch and semi-hourly visits to YouTube.
But then, after three days of this happy routine, everything changed in an instant.
After using the bathroom one morning, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and, almost without thinking, I uttered these two fateful words: “Looking good.”
Trapped in a hell of my own creation, I had no choice but to downsize myself and outsource my job to India.
As draconian as that solution might sound, it felt then, and still feels today, like the only way out.
At this very moment, I am probably sexually harassing myself in an industrial park in Bangalore, but at least I don’t have to know about it.
Photo by MSDesigns.