Andy Richardson: The challenges of working from home
Every day, right around 11am, the cats go crazy.
Having woken us from our slumbers before eating and sleeping off breakfast, they scream around the room like over-charged cars on a Scalextric track. The living room is turned into a cat running track as they let off steam before embarking on a five-hour sleep.
Given that knowledge, it might have been sensible to avoid scheduling a video conference call at 11am. Or, at the very least, it might have been sensible to take the call in a different room or banish Usain and Bolt elsewhere. But forward-thinking is tough when your working practices are evolving quicker than a pandemic. And so I tried to keep my eyes fixed on the screen while talking to colleagues as one-year-old cats darted nimbly across sofas, tables and rugs in a feline episode of Game of Thrones.
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I tend to think I got away with it lightly. Elsewhere, there have been reports of workers video conferencing while in the bath – and dropping the phone into the water; workers taking calls while their naked partner walks behind them and of white collar types viewing X-Rated material while making a video call – only to realise they’ve made their screen visible to others.
About five million adults are home schooling their youngsters. While they battle with such questions as 12t – 10 = 14t + 2 – I know, is that a question or a spelling mistake? – their conscience suddenly kicks in and says this: “Is ironing really in the school curriculum?”
The need to wash our hands continues to encourage cleanliness. People are becoming increasingly creative about their 20-second song, however. While BoJo sang Happy Birthday twice, others have adapted Rage Against The Machine’s Washing In The Name Of… A new Wash Your Lyrics app has been developed for people who want to funk up their anti-Covid-19 routine. Some have taken things to the extreme: washing hands while quoting Ian Smith’s words from the climax of last summer’s Cricket World Cup final or even quoting Neil Kinnock’s 1985 anti-Militant speech.
Comedians have been trying to stay gig-fit by performing to new audiences. One performed an impromptu April Fool gig to a seagull. And city workers advised to maintain their daily routines have taken to standing in their over-crowded wardrobes while holding onto the clothes rail to mimic standing on a tube train.
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