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Working From Home: 25 Things You Don't Miss About Going to the Office

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Colleague of One

Those who are able to work from home these days are coming to some surprising realizations. In addition to being grateful for continued employment, many are seeing that going to an office was about more than just the paycheck — it provided structure. But with that routine disrupted, it's also providing some time to reflect on working in an office environment — and thinking there are plenty of things not being missed. Read on to see why working from home just might not be so bad. (If you are working from home, you'll want to check out these Essential Remote-Work Tools.)

Related: 30 Adorable Photos of Pets 'Working From Home'

public bathroom
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Lack of Privacy

There's nothing worse than popping into the office restroom and seeing your blabbermouth colleague at the sink. She smiles widely and starts into one of her marathon chats. Despite your obvious lack of enthusiasm, she keeps talking as you head into the stall, do your business AND emerge to wash your own hands. At least your bathroom at home respects your privacy.

looking in fridge
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Food Theft

You buy the premium half-and-half and label (or hide it) in the office fridge, but every time you pour it, the carton seems lighter. Sound familiar? Well, working from home really cuts down on that "petty larceny" — it's your own fridge and if the half and half (or lunch or snack) is gone, you have only your family or roommates to blame.

crowded parking lot
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Difficult Parking

Get to the office at 9:01, and you'll be parking in the accessory lot, slogging through the rain to the front door. Leave at 5:01 and sit in a line waiting to exit the office lot … oh, we really don't miss that.

smelly business man
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Pungent Colleagues

Your new co-worker arrived with much fanfare — and a decidedly strong aroma, one that even prompted human resources to put out a memo about personal hygiene. It's nice to not have to think about someone's lack of deodorant — or the tuna they obviously had for lunch. For a while, at least.

business woman with client
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The 'Up-Down'

You know her, that colleague who never (ever) fails to give you the once-over, every single day. "Is that a new top?" "Wow, you must have some salary to afford those shoes." Or the veiled comment about your weight – "Are you still going to the gym?" Yep, bet you don't miss those unwelcome comments at all.

business man with headphones
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Music Restrictions

If you have your own office at work, then perhaps you can play your own music. But for those in cubicles, it's often just headphones, if you're even allowed to play music at work. Not at home. Nope, you can rock out, jazz it up — or savor any genre you love — as often (and as loud) as you want.

businessman walking in the snow
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Weather Wear

Running back inside for the umbrella or bundling up in a hat, gloves and scarf … these days, it doesn't matter what the weather is outside. You are not headed out to the office so you don't have to dress for the weather outside — or the office temperature, either. You control your home thermostat.

work from home in sweats
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Dress Code

Speaking of what to wear, everyone these days is kind of living the "no pants" life (admit it). Since videoconferencing is waist-up, pants have often been removed from your attire. Just make sure to be aware of the camera angle. Remember to savor this time of yoga pants and sweats, as once you're back to the office, this ultra-casual mode will no longer fly.

Related: Pajamas, Sweats, and Leisure Wear Perfect for Working at Home

work from home lunch
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Clock Watching

Working from home requires plenty of discipline — and honesty. After all, no one's watching you every single minute … but also keep in mind, no one's watching you every single minute. Loosen up as you get your work done at your pace, not worrying if colleagues notice your 10 extra minutes on the lunch break.

Related: Our Team Has Worked From Home for Years: Here's How We Do It

office socializing
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Best Behavior

In the office, you have to smile and say hello to so many people during the day. After all, no one wants a reputation as the office grump. But these days, you can take a step back, realizing these are tough times and you don't have to put on a fake smile throughout.

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Commute

How long's your commute? These days, it's from the kitchen to the home office — there is no sitting in traffic, getting annoyed by aggressive drivers trying to cut ahead of you. You are also likely saving gas, wear and tear on the car or, alternately, the cost of public transportation.

Related: How to Maintain Your Car While You're Not Driving It

take out coffee
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Spending Money

The morning latte or deli stop for a bagel. Snacks from the office kiosk, café or vending machines. The group ordering in every Friday … spending money on food during the workday is pretty hard to resist, even if you try to limit yourself. At least at home, you don't have to spend money every day.

boss looking over shoulder
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Boss Over Your Shoulder

Sure, you know your boss is still out there, a click, text or phone call away — but it's a different feeling than having everyone in the office know when he or she is in, ever ready to "sneak up" on you to check in. These days, at least you have a bit of warning.

open plan office
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Constant Checking

Most people working from home stay plugged in, since you certainly don't want to be accused of slacking off. But let's admit it, now you don't have to scramble to switch screens away from whatever non-work site you were looking at so much.

working at desk
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Being Chained to Desk

In the office, you didn't want to be wandering around, being the one always seen talking to colleagues and not doing his or her job. But at home, you can take a short break, walk in the backyard, collect your thoughts — and no one's watching.

girl scout cookie
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Pressure to Buy

It's kind of nice not to have to worry about being asked to buy … you name it. Girl Scout cookies to wrapping paper, chocolates to magazine subscriptions — the guilt of saying no usually made you say yes. Now, there's no question.

office birthday party
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Forced Celebrations

The subject of sitcom jokes for ages, the forced office celebrations of birthdays and other milestones for now, at least, are on hold. There's something so awkward about people being forced to sing for someone they don't know — or really care about. And there's really no sliver of cake worth those uncomfortable moments (especially when you're the center of attention).

eating salad at desk
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Meal Rules

In some offices, you're not allowed to eat at your desk. Now, it's your home, your rules. Just don't spill.

modern work space
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Work Space Decor

If you try to maintain a wholly professional image at the office, perhaps you limit yourself to a single family photo or a generic piece of art (who doesn't love an ocean scene?). Now, you're surrounded by things you, presumably, love — or have created a new personalized office space. It might even make you more productive.

Related: How to Create a Home Office From Ikea Under $200

office gossip
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Office Gossip

If you're not one for office gossip, you will likely revel in the solitude of working from home. No more malicious chatter. You're also spared the daily updates from colleagues who feel they just have to share the latest story on their kid, pet, craft, etc.

frustrated on phone
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Dealing With the Support Desk

Nothing worse than calling the IT department and being spoken down to — "Did you try to restart your computer?" At home, you're using your own laptop — and you're in charge (and you can Google for most issues).

work on porch
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Permanent Office Space

We got to an office and sat at our desk. But at home, that space can change by the day — or hour. Move your laptop outside if it's sunny. Start your day in the kitchen and end in the den. Enjoy the freedom.

happy talking on phone at desk
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Cell Phone Rules

If your office frowns on personal cell phone use during the workday, now you can do what you need to do. Of course, you're still working, but catching up with friends and family as needed can be okay (and add to your sense of security).

napping on couch
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Nap-Free Environment

Offices are nap-free environments, right? Well, that has changed and you can now squeeze in a little shuteye. We're not talking a four-hour snooze — but a refreshing little catnap can fuel the rest of the day.

watching movie at night
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Having an Early Bedtime

You're actually gaining time by not having to commute, which for many is translating into later bedtimes or sleeping in a bit. Stay up and watch a movie — or simply get more sleep. It's a bonus.