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Working from home sort of crept up on us. One minute, we were going to work as normal, having a wonderful time. The next, businesses cleared out the offices and said that we’d have to work from our home offices. And if we didn’t have them, then either our beds or the kitchen table.
But working from home is also bringing with it surprising habits and teaching us all new things about ourselves. It’s anything but normal at the moment.
The commute is a great disciplinarian. You know that you have to wake up at least 30 minutes before work because you actually have to get there somehow.
But when the only thing you need to do is open your laptop and press the “on” button, the incentives to get up early, brush your teeth and put on some decent clothes vanish. What’s the point?
That’s led to a new trend of people setting their alarms for five minutes before their first meeting. Everyone looks bleary-eyed on Zoom, so your boss is none-the-wiser.
Getting half-dressed was never an option in the past. You either went the whole hog, or you stayed at home.
But the pandemic is changing things. Now you can just put on a shirt and tie in the morning and sit in your comfortable PJs the rest of the day. There’s no need to match things that people can’t see.
Twelve months ago, your home was a retreat. Yes – you sent the odd grudging email to your boss. But that was about it. The rest of the time, you put your feet up or had a soak in your jet bath.
But now the home is once again a place of work – just like it was in the seventeenth century. And that’s leading to all sorts of weirdness.
Let’s face it – you never paid much attention to your home office before the pandemic. But now you’re in it all the time, it has suddenly become an object of fascination. You’re reading every guide to an office chair you can find in the hope that it will provide you with some sort of ergonomic enlightenment. And now you’re even wondering whether your desk is large enough to house a second screen.
When will the madness end?
Before the pandemic, nobody had a clue what anyone else did for a job. What did it actually mean to be a “chief technical officer” or a “sales ninja.” It was all a mystery.
But now that you and your partner are both working from home, you have a much better picture of what it is that they actually do. And it’s shocking. Who would have thought it was possible to explain to people how to cut-and-paste over the phone fifty times per day? Well, it’s true.
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