S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of self-isolation as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 11 and Ian explores working from home, sharing a home-office, and the daily worker’s ritual of Bargain Hunt.
Thursday 26th March, Day 11 of 89
Working from home, a skiver’s charter?
For those who before now had never experienced the rare joy of WFH (working from home): I am sure many people have visions of rolling out of bed some time after 9, a leisurely lunch in front of Bargain Hunt and a nice early finish.
I started working from home back in November 2018, after 31 years of working in different factories, and I found the adjustment one of the hardest things in my working life.
Let’s start with the start time. Years of leaping up at the crack of dawn don’t change and I still found myself awake early. A quick peek at breakfast TV and it is time for the commute. Four strides later and I am in my home office and it’s 7.22. I am not scheduled to start for another hour or so but emails are waiting.
Then there is lunch. I loved lunch when I worked in factories; and tea break, the latter a delicious bacon roll and a frothy coffee for a couple of quid (God bless subsidised canteens); and lunch a convivial social affair with my work chums.
Before the lockdown, the experience of grabbing your sandwich and a Diet Coke from the fridge, and settling down to catch a bit of Bargain Hunt meant an approximately 12 minute lunch, because the witty banter and repartee of the antiques experts means that spreadsheet really does call you back in.
The difference now is I have the whole family home. This means there is human company to share lunch with: a blessing, but it does also mean I have to wear a shirt, as my newfound office-sharer uses video-conferencing and if I stand up from my desk, I am in shot.
So here’s my advice if you find yourself a new member of the WFH Club:
– Mind your spine, the laptop on the dining or kitchen table will see you as a body double for the Hunchback of Notre Dame if you are not careful
– Take regular breaks, this helps with the above but the power walk to the larder is to be avoided if you are not going to inflate like you’re attached to an air-hose
– Keep in touch with your work chums, and not just a Skype to discuss quarter 1 profits, the price of pork belly futures, or your latest marketing campaign – make some time for a natter like you would have done over that frothy coffee.
‘The only space I could find in your diary was 12.30 to 1.30, so I have popped a meeting in.’
Don’t be that person, you are a creature of dark energy and only your mother can love you. 12.30 to 1.30 is my time with the good people of Bargain Hunt.
Don’t miss Ian’s self-isolation diary in the coming days, keep an eye out for new pieces here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast.