Comment: Why working from home is overrated

PUBLISHED: 08:41 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:41 07 May 2020

Working from home hasn't been everyone's cup of tea. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Working from home hasn't been everyone's cup of tea. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Lockdown has left many of us reassessing what we really want from our homes.

And it’s no surprise given the amount of time we’ve been forced to spend there that gardens and space for home working have shot up lots of our ‘must have’ lists.

Indeed, it’s likely that the way the UK works will never be the same as it was back in early March, with companies that were once resistant to home working now being more likely than ever to embrace it (with the benefit of reduced overheads playing no small part in this I’m sure).

For some employees who are usually office-based, working from home has been a revelation: less time spent commuting can make a massive difference to cash flow and stress levels, freeing up more time to rest and keep on top of household chores.

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Having worked from home on and off for two decades, I think you can have too much of this particular good thing.

Until mid-March I worked half the week from home and for me this is the ideal balance. You’re always on top of the washing and can also enjoy the office banter and the luxury of an over-priced toastie in town. The dream!

It’s my belief that too much time alone sends you a bit batty, and Zoom calls are no substitute for real, face-to-face interaction. A change of scenery is stimulating and good for our mental health.

Obviously, this current form of working from home is a rather extreme version – pre-lockdown my home-working was bookended by the school run and chats with friends. The lockdown version offers a form of social interaction I don’t massively welcome – my kids asking me where stuff is or whether they can have a snack or play Minecraft or Roblox pleeeeeeeease.

Home working without them was definitely more productive, but too much silence can be a bad thing.

I may be in the minority, but I can’t wait to get back to the office.


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