Occasionally I am reminded about my place in the world, and why I choose to occupy it. I am sitting here watching The Zutons playing at Glastonbury on BBC 3, and I know that much as I love them I would not like to be there. I am definitely not a festival person. Last year my friends and I gave up on a camping trip to Wales after two nights of storms. I would never have been able to take the weather this morning at Glastonbury. But I am happy to enjoy it through the mediums of television, radio and the Internet.
Luckily I have had the perfect opportunity to do just that as I had to work from home today. The underground stopped dead this morning, well at least the line that I should have been using did. Of course I am most glad that I was not one of the unlucky people stuck in a tunnel in soaring temperatures. So back to the flat I came, fired up the laptop and here I've been for most of the day. I ventured out briefly to the local pub for lunch, first time in three years that I have done that. It was full of old men, who ignored each other until they left. At which point the goodbyes were so involved and heartfelt you would think that they had been debating life, the universe and everything for the last hour instead of sitting in silence reading papers and eating soggy ham sandwiches.
This has been a glimpse into the world of people who work from home, and it scares me. For so long I have really wanted to be in a position to do this some day, but now I realise that you need to gear up to it. You need your lifelines, so that you don't go a little nuts. Today my lifeline was MSN Messenger to people in the office, most of whom had not even noticed I wasn't there. You also need to structure your day and ensure that you leave the flat at some point. I didn't have any problem knuckling down and doing the work, it was making myself take breaks that was the problem. In the office I can go to the kitchen to get a coffee, and that can turn into a 15 minute break, what with putting a new pot on and talking to a colleague who is also waiting for something to boil, steam or ping. Lunch today was about 30 minutes, because I went out, ate and came back. Heading out with the team from the office is rarely less than a full hour.
I don't know many people who work from home, but I think I am going to seek them out and find out the true secrets. I still like the idea, but it's 6:30pm and I need to get out for bit because those pesky walls are sneaking in on me again...