I like working from home

I hear what the gal says whose not a working from working homer but I love it!. ( take a look: https://www.workinwords.net/myworkmywords-1/I-am-not-a-working-from-home-kinda-gal.- ) Normally I have a 90 minute drive to get to the office and the same to get home. If I leave late I can get back in a bit less, but the route is so tortuous that I can’t shave much of it. I’m often wound up when I get to work in the morning and sure, the drive home can be a place to unwind but I can think of better places – like my garden with a glass of wine.

Don’t get me wrong I am working hard, and I get my work done. The on-line systems we have a good and all the things I need can be accessed from home (well almost all) It’s different for sure and something things have to be done differently but life’s a lot less stressful. I still get up at the same time but can have breakfast, see the kids, even take them to school and pick them up. It’s great. I walk upstairs, open the laptop and off I go. A computer and phone are all I need. Zoom’s been good for one to one’s and for team meetings. I come down for lunch. At the end of the day I close the laptop, walk down the stairs and bingo there I am – home. We both work so we can split things easier. I can help more.

Ok, there are some issues that would need to be worked out if this was to become permanent. I’m squatting in the spare room. Bed’s pushed over the to wall and I’m working on the camping table and a kitchen chair. Been getting back ache. Wonder of the civil service would pay for a proper desk and chair. Also, it would be hard to work if parents, in-laws or friends came to stay. I’d have find another spot and we don’t have too many. Course that’s not been a problem in lockdown as no one’s visiting us. It would be a long-term thing I have to confess. Worth sorting though to get the up side.

Once the holidays start there might be a few things to sort out, with the kids being at home all the time. People have become much more relaxed about ‘noises off’ when you’re on Zoom but there are limits and continued interruptions can be a problem. Been getting a taster of it from 3.30 onwards when they get home. Worth sorting though to get the up side.

We’ve had a couple of people start since we were all told to work from home. Only ever talked to them on the phone or seen them on a Zoom. They sound OK. Not quite the same a having a bit of banter getting to know them. Must be tough for them thinking about it. I’m lucky I’ve been there a while so know everyone – well except the two new ones. If home working is to become a longer term thing we’d have to do something to keep a team spirit going, office camaraderie kind of thing.

To be honest it’s the drive that I hate and the wasted time getting there and back. I suppose the thing is I can see that there would be an advantage of going in there once, maybe twice a week. I could manage that and stay relaxed, best of both worlds sort of thing but the service will eventually conclude that there’s no point in keeping an office that people are only going 20% - 40% of the time that they were doing: better to sell some off and stop the rental on others.

Home working, hmm, great for a lockdown. Trickier for long term I'm now thinking. Worth sorting though to get the up side.

Jonathan

Civil Servant

UK

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