Today was my first day working from home in such a long time. For some serendipitous reason, my company needs the space I used to work in for another purpose, so I was asked if I’d like to work from home. Would I? What a question!
I very happily packed up all my stuff, including my exercise ball which helped to stave off back pain and made the hours in front of my computer that much more fun, and left, telling everyone I’d see them ‘anon’.
There’s a strange balance of freedom and pressure that comes with working from home. You can easily work all day in your pyjamas and you certainly save money on grooming products, suitable work outfits and fuel. You can water your garden, make cupcakes, paint your toenails, play your music really loud, have visitors and eat whatever is in the fridge with impunity.
But the computer screen is there, ‘watching’ you. My company uses Skype to communicate – we’re all on it all day long. So my computer beeps often with quick questions on grammar or the status of a particular editorial piece. I found myself lugging my laptop to the kitchen with me when I went to make a cup of coffee, or rushing to the loo and back, just in case somebody messaged me and thought I was skiving off. So, even though I already have a fierce work ethic, my productivity was higher than it usually is.
I woke up this morning 15 minutes before I had to start work. Needless to say, I spent the whole day looking overwhelmingly slovenly, but hey, that’s okay – nobody was actually watching. There really is something joyous about writing authoritative articles or interviewing scientists barefoot and with your hair standing on end.
Some of my best work has been done while I’m sitting in bed with my faithful laptop propped on top of my knees. The really great thing, too, is that I can go for a long walk straight after work, without having to battle traffic to get home. I seem to have so much more time to spare, but also have a sense of achievement – of having truly worked the whole day (no chatting to colleagues in the kitchen about inane company politics).
Mondays are about to take on a whole new look for me.