I’ve never invited a group of colleagues over to my apartment before, but I always thought it would be fun to invite colleagues over to bridge the work vs. personal life line. It’s also nice to see a glimpse of what your colleagues are like outside of the office, as a person’s home gives a lot of insight into who they are as a person. Is the person anally neat and tidy, or sloppy and disorganized? What kind of books would be on her shelves? How would she decorate the place — with a lot of personal touches or more anonymous things, like candles and plants?
It was funny to have them come with their partners and spouses today because I wasn’t really expecting their commentary on my living space. I originally was expecting a total of 11 people, but because one of my colleagues had to drop out for a family emergency last minute, that deducted two adults plus three kids from the mix, so we ended up being a much smaller group of six. So given I had 11 people in my mind as guests, I told them our space would be “cozy.” When they arrived, they marveled over how spacious our living room was and my colleague’s husband insisted I set them up to believe the worst when in fact, it was the total opposite! All of them obsessed over how clean and neat the apartment was (“is it always this neat here, or did you clean up for us?”), and one of them even said, “You know you’re in a fancy person’s apartment when even the dish and hand soap are organic.”
Creating strict lines between work and personal life was never something I really believed in. In theory, I get it. In practice, it’s too exhausting. And the worst thing is to be called fake or inauthentic. I feel like it’s easier to just be open and more consistently oneself all the time. It was a fun time today, and I definitely want to do it again. For the first time, I actually work in a place where I’d be happy to bring my colleagues to my home for a meal. I’m going to relish this as long as possible.