One myth has been debunked about working from home. Us remote workers don’t lounge around watching daytime TV in our jimjams after all.
Ok, I lie about the pyjamas, but now that everyone is working from the kitchen table or bed, they may have established it is no walk in the park, especially if children need to be homeschooled.
I’m well versed in relentless snacking, not going for early-morning runs, staying up too late, not getting dressed before lunch and the ceaseless interruptions from a child.
My daughter’s area of expertise is appearing in various Zoom photography classes I’ve been on, even shouting ‘Daddy’ repeatedly at a picture of Justin Bieber my teacher had taken.
During another class, I could hear the pitter-patter of tiny mouse feet across the room, followed by a loud snap (a trap had been laid in anticipation), a brief struggle, some frantic scratching, perhaps a last nibble of anticipatory chocolate and finally silence. RIP mouse.
I tried to maintain composure throughout this brutal event, but then my daughter piped in with some hellos for us. I thought of Spanish TV host Alfonso Merlos, who had a naked female house-guest sauntering around behind him. His girlfriend wasn’t too impressed. Ouch.
Don’t worry Alfonso, we’ve all been there. Well less rock ‘n’ roll. Perhaps a bad hair day, no pants, but shirt and tie. A little Sauvignon Blanc disguised as green tea.
You can’t blame us, we’re new to this – well, most people are. But before coronavirus, working from home wasn’t the norm. Home was a sanctuary, where we didn’t have to tolerate incursions.
Now, we’re doing two jobs simultaneously and diminishing the boundaries between work, family and home.
But it’s not going to change. Once we emerge from this current blight, up to 61pc of people may work from home more frequently, according to a survey by Eir Business and Tech Central.
The survey also found 82pc of respondents agree that working from home can improve work-life balance. On the other hand, a survey from IrishJobs.ie found 44pc of people working from home work longer hours.
Others aren’t so convinced: “I loathe it. There’s nothing worse than not getting dressed and working from bed.” (Au contraire.) “I need to physically go to work. Too many distractions.”
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Irish Independent financial support and tax breaks will be examined to help keep workers at home after lockdown. The assistance will be available once there is more clarity about the future.
Wall Street, the City of London, Frankfurt’s banking empires, San Francisco’s tech giants, government agencies, billion- dollar businesses and media channels are running the world from home, smoothly. It’s a telecommunications revolution.
Even musicians are performing from their balconies. I’m enjoying Sandy Sax, a saxophonist, performing from his balcony in Lyon, lamenting when he finally stops.
This is the thing about working from home. It has its glorious benefits. As I write this my daughter wants to make a monster out of toast, condensed milk and capers. I’m about to play with her in the garden. Then go for a walk. All that can happen without a second spent in rush hour traffic.
I’m on the last stage of remote working- acceptance. There are seven stages, starting with G&Ts, then moving into a realisation you don’t have to wear uncomfortable shoes or makeup and, bonus, you can work in the garden.
The trend for remote working will suit some companies as they redesign their office spaces to cater to social-distancing guidelines.
Coffee shops, commercial property owners and corporate travellers won’t be too happy, but your kids will.