Love it or loathe it, the ability to work from home has become one of the most profound social changes of our lifetimes.
For some, it means the freedom to sleep in late, put the washing on during breaks between tasks and play with the dog while pretending to be absorbed in a Zoom meeting discussion. For some, it’s the capacity to skip the commute and work solidly without as many interruptions.
And for others, WFH entails loneliness, boredom, a lack of motivation and the absence of corporate culture, mentorships, career growth and job satisfaction.
But for everyone, it’s involved spending a lot more time at home and noticing what it might lack in terms of private spaces to work, outdoor areas for a breath of fresh air and an environment that’s conducive to creativity and calm.
“When you sit at home every day, you start to notice that the paint’s peeling and the jobs that really need to be done around the house,” says John Woodward, who went from working one day a week at home pre-COVID-19, to one or two a week in the office post-lockdowns. “I now have a long list of things I need to do with house maintenance.
“We’re very lucky, though, in that we have a lot of different places where we can work at home – on the kitchen bench, in the attic, in an undercover outdoor area or in a couple of spare bedrooms – so that really helps a lot.”