Working From Home or WFH’ing (Woofing) as my family likes to call it, is something I did occasionally and my husband did most of the time.
In fact, when the UK went into full Lockdown I’m not sure he noticed the difference! For me though it was a massive change – going from running about London, on and off the tube, in back to back meetings, attending dinners and events or in the car for an hours journey to the Moneyhub office in Bristol to being sat at my desk in the corner of the family room from morning noon until night.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy Woofing. In the past, it has been a great way to rattle through a lot of work with minimal interruption. Now it is quite an intense and rather solitary mode of operation. Video call after video call that requires military level timing.
Waiting even 30 seconds for someone to turn up seems like eternity. I’m normally a little late to everything I attend so having to be bang on time, all the time is quite stressful!
It also became quite uncomfortable. A few weeks into Lockdown I noticed that my shoulders were sore and incredibly “set”. I realised my posture was appalling. Using a kitchen chair at my desk with my laptop meant I was spending hours in an unforgiving position.
My husband (as the experienced Woofer) pointed out that it wasn’t sustainable and that I had to sort it out, not just for me but for everyone at Moneyhub, before we all ended up cronked! A decent adjustable chair, keyboard, mouse and proper screen made such a difference it was untrue. I was quite cross that it took me so long to spot it. A true Bart Simpson moment – D’OH.
The upside to Woofing is being able to ride my horse every morning before work and eat my breakfast sitting at a table accompanied by a cup of tea that is not in a travel mug. Absolutely wonderful. Love it.
So what I have learnt in Lockdown?
Work/Life balance is especially important. As the Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 bc) said, ‘observe due measure; moderation is best in all things’ and the Roman comic dramatist Plautus (c. 250–184 bc) also said, ‘moderation in all things is the best policy’.
Balance really is the key!
I do enjoy Woofing. It takes the pace of life down a notch and yet allows me to get even more done which is a true win-win outcome as far as I am concerned. But, there is always a but, I really miss seeing people.
The natural ebb and flow that is only possible face to face just isn’t attainable on video calls day in day out. Be it in a meeting, sharing lunch or dinner around a table or simply whilst working in an office together with colleagues, I’m afraid I do miss it.
Utopia is a mixture of the two for me. A couple of days a week out and about or in the office and the rest of the week Woofing. I wonder what your Utopia is?