In an effort to promote a healthier work / life balance (in other words all their competitors are doing it so they can’t be seen to be behind the times) my employer has implemented a ‘working from home’ policy.
I love it. While I am not naïve enough to believe there is any altruistic motive behind this move, I appreciate it all the same.
This morning my alarm clock broke my sleep as per usual, like the devil’s siren. Rather than is being 7.30am however, my alarm clock read 8.30am. I peeled myself from my bed and crawled to the desk in my living room and logged on. The kettle boiling in the background and a bowl of Weetabix by my side my work day began.
I will have to purchase a proper computer screen – at my own expense – as this laptop is too minute. I am currently paying for any work related calls myself as my Stone-Age telephone isn’t equipped to dial toll-free numbers. These are but minor hindrances. I will save the cost of this unexpected expenses within a few months.
Currently it is only one day a week that we are allowed to avail of this opportunity to work in our pyjamas. From August it is being extended to two days a week.
It is an easy way for a company to save money I suppose. It cuts down on facilities and electricity and water costs in the office in the wastelands. For the more dedicated employee they might watch the clock less if toiling from their own living room, and work extra hours. While it is true that I have been vigilant to ensure that I am working a full day, I have been opposed to working overtime for over twenty years. I am making sure that only my regular eight hours are being dedicated to my job. I sell my labour to my company. It pays me for a contracted number of hours. I am fulfilling the terms of my contract. They might expect more, but in this world of fragile employee rights, it is wise to keep an eye out for yourself. If you want to work yourself into a stress related nervous breakdown, your employer won’t stop you. You need to be able to find the ‘off’ switch and learn how to operate it yourself.
With two days a week working from home, I will save myself five hours a week in commuting time. While I love my trips to work on Dublin Bus, I have discovered of late that my relationship with Dublin Bus is semi-abusive, co-dependent and probably unhealthy. This time apart will do us both good and possibly heal our fractured love affair.
Spending only three days a week in the wastelands will also probably make me appreciate its bleak beauty more deeply. Its toxic desolation is best enjoyed in reduced quantities.
I need to make a concerted effort to stop saying ‘I have a day off tomorrow’ when announcing to my colleagues that I will be working from home the next day. It won’t do my image as a hardworking wage-slave to engage in such loose, dangerous chatter.
Anyway, I must get back to the grindstone.
In a minute. From my window I can see a shapely gentleman sunbathing by the canal. You don’t see that in the wastelands.