Working from home is a joy. If I sit up till midnight forward planning, I can spend the next morning watching old police procedurals. On off-days when everything keeps changing, I stop. Then I wake with the birds to get the pieces in place before anyone has noticed. Organised properly, solitary working is a winner. Until Covid19.
Last Friday, my daughter’s office closed. Staff were told to work from home. This week, every morning has started with her locking all the doors and shusshing me while she takes a one hour conference call. The day is punctuated with scheduled catch-ups that trigger the same routine. Tiptoeing around my own space like a thief, I am reminded of my mother’s words when I once told her off for flattening the pile on my new carpet: “Do you want me to put my feet in my pockets before I start walking?”
The super-busy 20-something questions my approach to things: why am I on Twitter, is it vital to listen to the news while working, when things are quiet why not go to the gym? I am distracted by her voice, the continuous pinging of Slack, the ritual tea-making. My days used to fly by. Both yesterday and today (Friday), I woke thinking it was the weekend. How slowly time passes with a co-worker in the space!
As working from home becomes a version of hot-desking in a shared facility, how are others handling the change from being solitary to being one of the team? Hopefully they are kinder about it than me. I have turned into the genteel version of Father Jack.
One concern is that, with two of us in the kitchen, lunch is now a social ritual rather than a plate of crackers at my desk. As the impositions on daytime travel have rapidly extended to impositions on social spaces, events, performances, and interactions, I am now eating dinner with someone I rarely saw because our evenings were so busy.
Our normal food delivery, which was ordered for last weekend before the supermarket chaos, normally lasts 10-14 days. Today, Day 5 of shared solitary working, the whole lot is gone. My daughter went out at 7am to get basics from the local food store.
Covid19 is stealing our peace of mind while adding to our piece of body. We fight over noise and space and privacy while worrying what it’s doing to our figures. In my case, it will be further waste-dispersal. In hers, unexpected waist-disposal. That’s why this video, from a culture that is way ahead of us on this particular curve, made us both laugh out loud and lifted the mood…