Up until Friday 20th March, I was getting up for work, washing, dressing, gulping down some breakfast, you know the drill...
But that morning my normal world was different - where were the noisy individuals on the DLR and why could I have a choice of seats on the Jubilee Line at Canning Town, when normally I have to be vertically challenged until Canary Wharf, when the happy “wharfers” get off, normally sporting rather smart business attire to get down and dirty with finance.
Then onto the District Line at Westminster - this was a sight so unusual in rush hour it was crazy...there were more empty seats than passengers. Where had all the people gone, was it Sunday I thought?
Then arriving at work, decoating and washing my hands for the strictly observed 20 seconds and grabbing a machine-made cuppa, I switched on my faithful desktop to be told by a group email that in "the interests of personal safety" only those who lived local to SW6 should come into work.
Obviously, my fellow commuters had received this memo earlier than me, but at least COVID-19 had not penetrated the office. Yet. That was a relief.
I work as an Administrative Officer in the Public Sector. So, I embarked on a mad day trying to order some Personal Protective Equipment for our field workers (therefore doing my bit for the fight against COVID-19), but man, that was a challenge. I'm talking gloves, masks, hand sanitisers, the trusted wipes...As to whether they actually got delivered...that's another story.
I then tied up some loose ends and packed my required laptop and essential papers for home working and said goodbye to colleagues. I thought- when will we meet again? And that question has yet to be answered as I work on my small laptop from 10am - 6pm.
I would not say home working is the absolute ideal for me, but it avoids mixing with others (that I don't always want to mix with) and eliminates travel stress.
Plus, the icing on the cake…it is saving me a large amount of cash with no travel costs to fund (£39/week) or lunches to buy (minimum £15/week). I can put that towards my holiday in Poland in July, assuming I can fly there and back then without being stranded at Katowice airport!
The downside to home working is being glued to the screen most of the day, a sense of isolation and not being able to communicate with team colleagues easily at time of need (like when management want me to balance a £3.2M account to the pound).
But I have to say I am more productive at home than in the office. And as I said, tea and biscuits are never too far away and... I can have my breakfast whilst working!! And my tea is nicer than vended tea and I can send a WhatsApp message or three!!! Without being caught.