Thousands of local government staff are working from home, but can you achieve the same results in splendid isolation? Neil Merrick, a freelance writer and LGIU associate, takes a light-hearted look at making the home your office.
The best thing about working from home is that you don’t have to go to work. No more putting on smart(ish) clothes or sitting in a car or train for an hour. You just get out of bed, have breakfast, and walk to your study or office space.
For some people, working from home during the coronavirus crisis will come as a shock. Many of us have been doing it for years.
It is easy, and to some extent getting easier due to lack of distractions such as live sport on TV. Yes, there may be other family members around, but there is no reason why they need be any more annoying than office colleagues who keep asking if you had a good weekend.
Miss the water cooler? The good news is that you don’t have to go out and buy one. Social media is just as good, and just as much of a waste of time. And it’s far easier to walk away and, if needs dictate, do some actual work.
Will you miss meetings? Will you heck! Nothing has ever been decided during a 60-minute meeting that could not have been sorted out in 60 seconds beforehand.
But if you must hold remote team meetings and have young children, best to ensure your study door is firmly closed before reaching any important business. Google ‘Children crash live TV interview’ if you don’t believe me.
Working from home is simple. A 360-degree appraisal can be carried out in seconds by walking around the room. Will you miss the boss? I’ll move straight on…….
There can be a temptation to eat and drink more (always assuming the fridge is stocked). But it will be cheaper! No more takeaway snacks and coffees. Which also means you’re helping the environment.
Your pets, of course, will be delighted you decided to work from home and keen to point out that it’s possible for them to eat 24 hours per day. That’s when they are not acting as a paperweight on your desk.
Use those hours you once spent commuting reading a book or playing with the kids (or the cat). Look out of the window occasionally during rush-hour and offer your respect to anyone still travelling to work.
And be prepared to tell people in years to come how you helped to keep the country running in 2020 wearing a dressing gown and slippers.
Keep up to date with all of our Covid-19 resources for local government including our daily Global-Local bulletin. Almost all of them more serious than this.