April 06, 2020

Covid-coworking - Solo working V's office working *The response*

Small business blog

Things I have learnt from Cohabit-working- A Response

When the worlds of the small business addict and an office lifer  collide!

Me, an office aficionado, more than happy to discuss office politics using a variety of acronyms that I don't really know the meaning of, thats just my BAU, all day long until EOP unless theres any AOB. Her, well I don't know - I think it involves drawing... and instagram stories.

It’s been just over a week since Laura wrote her version of events regarding our current working situation, so I thought it was high time I let you know what it is really like, and some of the things I've learnt.

The Canteen

Apparently bacon sandwiches every day is not a healthy diet, I’ve heard Laura tell numerous people she has had a bacon sandwich for breakfast mid week like it’s the craziest thing she’s ever done, I have omitted telling her it’s a usual occurrence for myself. Also the work canteen's offering of chips with every possible meal option has not been replicated at home. The fact I have to make my lunch not just queue for it is most disappointing.

Laura doesn't just browse facebook all day

I literally have no idea how she has so much dedication....... for years I have joked that Laura cannot focus on a single conversation, 2 weeks in I have learnt that is a survival mechanism for working for yourself.

Health and safety

The hours and hours we get lectured at in the office about a safe and comfortable working position (seat height, laptop stands etc) do not translate to Laura’s workshop. Within about 10 minutes of sitting in her desk chair it was abundantly clear why she has a bad back. Her chair is BROKEN! She's been sitting on that for the last couple of years, I sat on it for a bout 15 minutes before finding the problem and ordering a new chair for next day delivery......

If it doesn't look good on insta it's not coming in!

In fact the office/workshop layout prioritises form over function. Every. Single. Time. The suggestion I brought in a second screen was met with a disgusted look as it would apparently be offensively large and ugly........ as a side note I have also been told my typing is too fast and too loud and comes across as obnoxious, she hasn’t even read the email but I am being told to be nicer to whoever I am talking to.

The silence is deafening

Laura can go a whole day without saying 2 words, she doesn't respond to my inane office chit chat with anything more than a pity smirk. After the first couple of days I was just about starting to get the hint, but on about day 3 for the avoidance of doubt Laura asked me quite pointedly - "why are you always talking"


A couple of observations about working from home

1. I seem to be the pivotal age at which point anyone older than me cannot operate conference call facilities, whilst anyone younger than me can fully use the functionality and incorporate the latest snapchat filter into the call too.

2. My daughter on a call is very distracting for my work colleagues, her emphatic agreeing "YEAH YEAH YEAH" with what people are saying on the call doesn't get the positive response or ahhh I feel she deserves.

3. All in all it has been eye opening, I'm not sure I could work from home forever, I'm struggling with the separation of work and home. The temptation is to blend the two, take a break when you need to, put some laundry on and keep working while watching the TV in the evening - you end up doing neither work or rest to 100%.

So over the next couple of weeks I'm going to focus on dividing work and leisure, but I do want to say that Laura has my upmost respect, she manages to structure her day, commit to working when there are a million possible distractions and motivating herself to get stuff done whatever else is going on around her. Louy - if us office workers can learn to have your level of focus and drive we would be unstoppable!

- Mike