The Scream: 1 “Working from home”

When you can’t do anything else you can scream and this my scream.

“Working from home” is something of a fallacy and if we didn’t know that before, we know it now. It is only people who are not in touch with reality who would think that it is actually sustainable.  And before anyone jumps on me, I mean paid work, work that is needed to make a living to provide for you and the ones you love and work that drives the economy and makes it possible for us have buses and trains and roads and homes and sewers and running water and electricity and laws and defence and postal services and care services and social services and health services.

I would probably be classed as someone who “works from home” because that is where my studio and office and base is. It is where I have my drawing board propped up with bricks. But I can’t work from home in the middle of an indeterminate government shut down. The working from home aspect quickly dries up. For me, it did within a week. I can’t visit a building site because they are closed, I can’t inspect or survey a building because that involves a non-essential journey, I can’t get responses from builders who are shut or consultants who are on furlough and I can’t get paid for work that I can’t complete. The reality is that “adjusting to working from home” actually means giving up on actual work.

I am fortunate. I am at the end of my career and possibly facing retirement sooner than I think. I get a government pension, I am not on my own, I am married, our children and grandchildren do not depend on us. We have a house and we don’t have a mortgage. There is even the suggestion that as a self-employed person I could get the relief that the chancellor has promised.

Still I want to scream.

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