Andy Richardson: The challenges of working from home

By Andy Richardson | Opinions | Published:

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.

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.

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