diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I worked from home yesterday.

No really. I didn't "work from home", I worked from home. There was actually stuff to do, and I actually did it. More fool me?

I didn't work from home all day. I had some work to do in the local area in the morning, which was nice, and meant I could sleep in a little bit later than usual. That's always one of the perks of working from home, the removal of commute, and the subsequent increase in me-time.

I logged in and checked my work email over breakfast. I never normally do that, I just munch my Shreddies and check the internet. But because I was working from home I thought I'd better check in first before I went off and was unavailable elsewhere. It never used to be like this. Time was when you could only read email at work, within certain carefully delimited times. Now there's the capability, even the expectation, that employees can check their email and respond at any time. Got a Blackberry from work, mate? More fool you.

I spent the morning working in the field with stakeholders. I didn't call them that, obviously, I try not to use the jargon. And I didn't break off at any time to check my work email using my phone. I could have done, there were breaks in the workflow and potentially urgent emails queueing up. But I like to live in the old world, where the people I come to see get my full attention, and everyone back in the office can jolly well wait.

On the way back home at lunchtime I stopped off at the supermarket. Normally I get lunch in the canteen at work, which is dead convenient, but only uses up half an hour of my day. I often wonder if workplace food outlets are simply a cunning way of tying employees to their desks for longer, reducing the number of visits needed to "the outside world" and increasing productivity. Yesterday, what with buying my food and cooking it and eating it I think I actually had a proper lunch hour. Working from home can have proper advantages.

When I logged back in to check my email, I discovered that the world hadn't fallen in. This was a relief, because it could have done, but wasn't entirely a surprise. I got on and dealt with low level administrative tasks, firing off replies and documents like I'd normally do at work, except I was at home. I smiled because here I was sat on my sofa in a t-shirt, rather than being stuck at my office desk in a tie. Same outcome, less dressing up, for the win.

At home I could have the radio on, or play some music, without the entire office turning round in disapproval and going ssssssh. At home I could leave the washing machine running, twice, without having to wait until the evening. At home I could nip off and make a cup of tea without fear that someone would have nicked the last of the milk out of the fridge. And at home I could sit with the window open and enjoy a summer's afternoon, rather than be stuck in some air-conditioned hermetically-sealed bunker. This latter advantage only works because it's not winter, obviously, else it's rather nice to have work paying for eight hours heating.

And then the fizzing grenade email arrived. A request from somebody very important, miles away, who'd just discovered my boss was on leave so handed their bombshell down to me. I swore, which is a useful by-product of being at home, then turned to discuss the issue with colleagues, except they weren't there. The virtual "connected office" sounds like a great idea, but in truth it means people trying to organise complex stuff at distance via email, rather than having a quick chat and sorting things out fast.

I batted back an email, waited, made a cup of tea, batted back the reply, and eventually discovered what the nub of the issue was. A request from on high to meet a suddenly urgent deadline with documentation I didn't have and couldn't easily access. Yeah, cheers. I faffed around with some virtual network tool our IT department are proud of, digging twice as slowly through the files as I could have done in the office, and eventually cobbled together something convincing-looking and adequate. That shut them up, thankfully.

I kept my email connection open longer than I normally would. Normally I log off, shut down my laptop and walk out of the office as a pointed statement that I'm stopping work for the day. At home that mass farewell's not possible, short of sending a creepy email to everyone, so nobody knows if you're still there or not. I should have switched off at the time I usually leave, but I left my computer on in case something else arrived later, to show willing. Nothing arrived that couldn't have waited until tomorrow morning. I am such a mug sometimes.

I'm not working from home today. I have to iron a shirt, and shave properly, and cram into a metal tube along with hundreds of other commuters, and sit at an ergonomically-designed desk for eight hours, and keep my shoes on, and get given extra things to do because I'm there in person, and stay on task, and not check Twitter occasionally, and spend extra cash on lunch, and eat a proper meal, and talk to friends, and engage in banter, and work together on something, and actually it may not be that bad after all. But see you back here next week.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream