Working from home - Mike Harrison

March 24, 2020 - 12:00pm

Working from home - Mike Harrison

In a perverse way I am finding the Government advice to self isolate/ home working slightly bemusing. Since escaping from my mainstream office environment 18 years ago I have been working from home, well not quite. I occupy part of a stable block, modern construction, converted to an office and sited across the road from my house. This was a conscious decision as I foresaw working from a former bedroom as too convenient for skiving off during working hours or conversely just checking e-mails when someone was watching Game of Thrones box set etc. The latter could quite easily see you past midnight as we all know one thing leads to another.

So, I still commute to work, my office is 55 metres from home across a rural road but nevertheless a through route for commuters dashing to/from Lancaster. A gentle walk for me but nowhere near the recommended number of daily steps to keep me active.

When asked where I live/work I reluctantly say Tatham Fells, for most a place to visit at weekends for walks in stunningly beautiful countryside yet only 13 miles from Lancaster. And your self employed, so able to enjoy days off during spells of good weather. Sadly no, all my clients expect a personal service believing they are my only client and evening/weekend calls are the norm. Fact, when I am not here working there is no back up and mobile phones are able to find and expose you to interrogation as to how well a project is progressing wherever you are. But you are your own boss, well yes, I try to keep regular hours but somehow I am unable to start before 10am but rarely finish until 7pm so no difference to mainstream there.

I rarely have visitors most are by appoint and often I resort to waving to passers by as I stand outside, in all weathers, to achieve a decent mobile phone signal. So what are the positives, I am tuned in to the countryside and experience the seasons to the full be it weather, generally incessant rain, or at this time of year the arrival of lambs and return of curlews which together confirm spring is here.

Have I become a recluse, well not really fibre optic broadband into my office, courtesy of B4RN, has given me connectivity with the wider world at 298Mb fast enough at my age. I sense a sea change will occur once the current crisis is over and more people who have been forced to experience home working will seek it as a norm, welcome to my world!