Colm O'Regan: Don't reveal your remote work dossing when all of this is over

Your motivation for working from home mightn’t be very high right now. Perhaps you’ve had a tough weekend. Maybe you were struck from a wedding guest list so the couple could ‘bring it under the 100’, writes Colm O’Regan

Working from home isn't for everyone. Here, Colm O'Regan shares some of his remote-work life lessons
Working from home isn't for everyone. Here, Colm O'Regan shares some of his remote-work life lessons

But if you are ‘WFHing’, as someone who has done it inefficiently, but still hung in there for the last ten years, I have some thoughts.

It should be said, there will be dark laughs from a host of workplaces at the very notion of working from home. “I’d like to see you lay kerbs through Skype” says the imaginary builder. But aside from dosing calves and collecting bins and lots of other you-had-to-be-there jobs, there will be an extra few hundred thousand of you sitting in your jocks amongst the breakfast crumbs, attempting to seriously discuss the ‘IT replatforming project update’ while your significant other is fighting an in-law for the last loo-roll in Aldi.

First of all, when should you start work? Given that you have no commute, in theory you should be able to start earlier. I would take a different tack. Assume the worst-case traffic. That there were alpaca on the M50, the Jack Lynch Tunnel was closed due to ennui and Lough Atalia in Galway was just… itself. So at half ten you should burst in the door and tell the empty room how it was just MENTAL out there.

Pyjamas warning

They have an expiry hour. People throw around the phrase ‘sitting around all day in your pyjamas’ like it’s a good thing but after a couple of hours, your lack of underwear causes depressants to seep into you. Consider upgrading to ‘the tracksuit bottom for painting’ before midday at the latest.

Making tea is not procrastinating

Use it as an opportunity to interact with other colleagues to ensure the cross pollination of ideas and synergies. Except without talking to anyone else. It will not be any less effective than the tea you drink in the office.

Bite the biscuits

You will hoover biscuits. I can’t even begin to tell you how many biscuits you will eat. And you won’t nibble them. You’ll eat them like cattle being let into the beet. There will be bites taken out of them and you sitting there with an empty packet with no memory of having gone near it. Acknowledge this and manage it. Consider having Mariettas around the place. Eat them with butter to remind you of the 1980s which was the last time no one went anywhere.

Conference calls

By definition these are awful things. The attenuation by technology of our voices and removing all nuance from them so you all get the wrong end of the stick. Someone further away from the phone muttering a joke that the others laugh at and you think it might be about you. People seemingly unable to state their own name clearly when logging on so no one knows who’s actually there. A bit like a giant group confession in a cluster of the old style boxes. You must fight back. Eat biscuits during the call. Unwrap sucky sweets. Make the meeting unusable so no one will suggest one again.

Finally, when all of this is over, don’t reveal your dossing: when you go back to the office, don’t begin conversations with your boss with: “I saw this thing on Loose Women.” Mind yourselves. And others.

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