This week, I've been mostly thinking about the pros and cons of working from home, which I'd like to share.
I'll begin with the bad news:
1. Working from home can mean extensive periods of isolation, leading to a catastrophic degeneration of social skills. In extreme circumstances, this can mean going to ridiculous lengths to avoid human contact, such as using the sewer network to get to the post office, or leaping from branch to branch in the overhead tree canopy to avoid footpaths.
2. Conversely, working from home can mean that you crave human contact, so that when the postman delivers a parcel you are so overcome with excitement, you end up speaking in the jumbled, rapid manner of a psychotic:
ME: Oh, hi, sorry I took ages ... I was upstairs in the bathroom ... Ha ha ha! Ooh! I'm so out of breath though ... can't believe how unfit I am ... still, what's it like OUT THERE? Haven't been OUT today! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Least it's not raining though! Do you want to step into the hallway?
POSTMAN: (looking alarmed and holding handset with attached pen-thing at considerable distance from body) "This just needs signing for".
3. People who work from home typically end up reporting hostile feeling towards their house. One woman told me that she fantasised about drawing a giant spurting cock on to the living room wall, even though it had JUST been painted in Farrow and Ball heritage colours!! Another had a recurring dream about digging a tunnel under the hallway floorboards. Personally, I don't have this problem. No siree, bob! (Admittedly, there is a funny smell, and ok, yes, I did spend last Friday on all fours, sniffing the skirting boards, trying to locate it), but for the most part, I love being in the house all day every day with hardly a break.
Image by Modern Toss
But then, there are the PROS! Yay!
1. Working from home offers healthier snacking opportunities. Like eating an entire packet of cherry tomatoes. In one sitting. By 10 am. And although this did trigger a fair amount of gastro-intestinal disturbance at the time (at one point I had to cross-reference my symptoms with those of Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, especially the bloating), nevertheless, it's not the kind of snacking choice you could make in an office, without getting looks.
2. Working from home offers ample opportunities for reflection. Just the other week, I spent an extremely constructive twenty-two minutes staring at a tree outside the window. To the untrained observer, it may have looked like I was catatonic (what with the horrible glazed expression, the drool dribbling down my chin, and the pajamas), but then, the same thing could easily be said of the untrained observer, by which I actually mean our Peeping Tom of a fucking window cleaner, what with the horrible, predatory expression, the drool dribbling down his chin like a perv, and the unsettling pinky ring.
3. But most importantly, there are far fewer interruptions at home. Because the hardest thing about working in an office is trying to do ANY actual motherfucking work:
COLLEAGUE: See Paul Hollywood on the Jonathon Ross show? I'd so DO him. Like, totally. Remember Terri, she used to do that train the trainers course with Helen Pickering, she went to the roadshow he did at St David's Hall couple of weeks ago. Loads of people went up on stage and ...
ME: Yeah, right, thing is I've got to finish this newsletter by midday, so ...
COLLEAGUE: My mum's gonna get us tickets for the Bath show in a couple of weeks. We'll probably end up making a weekend of it and ... blah blah blah blah ad infinitum, until blood is gushing out of your ears, the newsletter is beyond fucked, and all you can see, dancing in front of your eyes, is Paul Hollywood, waving his big, yeasty-smelling breadstick about the place. Like a twat.
Which is, I should add, easily the best reason EVER to work from home.