Flexibility is one of the greatest benefits associated with working from home. Not everyone sees a working from home role as a proper job, however, and your flexibility can quickly become swallowed up by everyone else’s expectations.
When I work from home, it’s more difficult to motivate myself than when working from the office—which isn’t helped when my youngest wants picking up from college, when my husband wants me to ‘nip to the chemist’, and when bored relatives decide to come round for a cuppa because they know I’ll be home. None of these things would occur if I was working from my employers’ workplaces, because they would all sort themselves out.
If I’m working from home, I end up taking in deliveries for all and sundry on my street. I’m the one who shops for my parents when they run out of anything (despite the fact I have siblings who live nearby, too, who also work from home). I can spend 20 minutes of my working day preparing dinner in the slow cooker, “which will be nice, because I’m home…”
Last week, we had an engineer visit booked. Our Sky box had lost some channels and the picture was freezing intermittently. He was booked for a specific day that coincided with when my husband had his day off, so that he could see to the engineer whilst I worked from home.
We have a very, very yappy dog, who barks whenever…actually, he doesn’t need a reason, he barks even without provocation. We tried to keep the dog out of the way of the engineer, so we shut him in the kitchen with me (the dog, not the engineer; I work from my dining table most of the time).
I thought it would be a quick visit, but the engineer (a patient guy who was very kind about the situation) had to spend some time fixing the issue. In all my days, I’ve never felt like harming an animal, but I could have strangled the dog then and there. He constantly whined, he barked, he ran up and down the room…I couldn’t hear myself think, and this went on for more than an hour. This was on top of the engineer or my husband wandering in and out of the kitchen, as they saw to the main Sky box, the various mini boxes in the house, and outside to the satellite dish.
It was like a blummin’ carnival.
The more I tried to shut out the noise and the disruption, the more frustrated I became. I couldn’t even escape to a coffee shop because the national lockdown was still in place. Just thinking about it now I can feel my hackles rising again!
There’s many a time I’ve had to stress to my family that I’m working. Yes, I’m sat at home, on my laptop, which I may also do when I’m enjoying some downtime…but this time it’s different, guys—I need to get some actual work done!
No, I can’t break off to find where your favourite pyjamas are on the washing-to-put-away pile. No, I don’t want to hear what your lecturer said (not at this precise moment, anyway, it will wait). No, I won’t nip out for milk when there’s another adult in the house with a car, and when your legs will carry you to the shop if you tried hard enough.
Just leave me be!
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