Working life

Working from home

With the accommodation and hardware situation not resolved at work, I’ve been working at home most of this week. Haven’t done this since last year when I sprained my ankle. It’s got its bad and good points.


  • Less interaction with my fellow deskless sufferers and others. It’s probable that if I were locked in a room with a computer and no means of real time communication for the rest of my working life, I would go stark raving mad. But there’s always the email and phone.
  • No hot chocolate from the bistro. Okay, it’s a good way to blow $1.20 in a hurry, but to miss out on regular chocolate drinks is wrong.
  • Have to fit in with the surrounding family chaos. Even a door can only block out so much noise.
  • It’s costing me extra in electricity and net connection fees! And a 14.4Kbps modem seems just a tad pathetic compared to your average corporate high-bandwidth something-bloody-impressive-Kbps "our staff can surf at any cost" connection.


  • Can dress any way I want. Hey, if I want to sit at the computer in my underwear, I can. (Not that I do, but I could if I wanted to.)
  • Can work any hours I want. As it happens, I’ve been working reasonably "normal" hours. I haven’t yet got into the habit of waking up late, working until past midnight. I can have long lunches, read the paper, watch some TV…
  • No commuting. Saves me about an hour a day, and it’d save me money too, if I hadn’t just bought that monthly ticket.
  • If you’re facing a deadline and being grilled by your boss over the phone, you can use all those excuses that off-site graphic designers always seem to use (not that I would, of course)…

What they say What they mean
there was a power failure I haven’t done it yet
my hard disk crashed I haven’t done it yet
I’ll email it to you first thing tomorrow morning I’ll email it to you some time tomorrow afternoon
I’ll email it to you before close of business That’s my close of business – around 4am.
I’m working on a number of things right now You’re the lowest priority

  • I can swear as much as I want when I make a mistake.
  • I can safely go into one of my "thinking sessions" without members of senior management walking past and thinking I’m not doing any work.
  • It’s not a ten minute walk to the Coke supply.

Might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Hopefully they’ll have got us all desks and PCs by… well, hopefully sometime this century.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.