Tired of hearing others describe working from home as a 'privilege', a local essential worker has shared why the experience is not always ideal, and the burden of having "no excuse for being unavailable".
"Working from home is a luxury, they said… Time to relax and spend time with the family, they said…
Oh yeah? Well, I’ve had a very different experience, so I asked about and chatted with various friends and relatives in similar circumstances, and these are the conclusions I came to…
Not so much when you’re a critical worker, but you’re ‘extremely vulnerable’ and can’t leave the house.
Not so much when the guilt of leaving colleagues to face the music without you is so crippling you can barely sleep at night.
Pictured: "Most days you find you’re having to work longer hours than you’re contracted for."
Not so much when the anxiety and depression, you’d fought for so long to keep under control, takes hold because you feel like you’re not doing enough; the paranoia and guilt doubles, and the feeling of failure makes you wonder why you bother.
Not so much (paradoxically) when flexi-leave has been cancelled, and most days you find you’re having to work longer hours than you’re contracted for, the kids are bored and driving you up the wall, and then you feel guilty for not spending enough time with them.
Not so much when your internet provider is rubbish, charging a fortune for so-called ‘unlimited’ internet and your partner is also having to work online from home.
Not so much when you’relearning a new job and the only training you receive is online and at a time when your internet isn’t up to scratch, and when some of the tasks assigned to you, you’ve never before encountered, and you’re expected to know what, when, why and how to do it.
Pictured: "It’s hard to escape work when not only have you brought it home, but you’ve somehow (and you can’t quite remember when) invited it to sit at the dinner table."
Working from home isn’t a luxury for everyone, despite what some may think. It can be stressful, lonely and frustrating.
It’s hard to escape work when not only have you brought it home, but you’ve somehow (and you can’t quite remember when) invited it to sit at the dinner table and share your bed.
It’s especially difficult to escape because at home you’re always at the other end of a phoneline or email, hence there is ‘no excuse for being unavailable’, as one fellow ‘home-worker’ was told.
There’s no place to run to when under total lockdown. Not even the garden is safe because you’re constantly dashing inside to check and see if you’ve missed an important call or email.
Pictured: "You can’t take a shower or bath without worrying that someone’s trying to contact you."
So, what do you do? Eureka! You take your phone into the garden, but that defeats the object entirely, getting stressed out with poor connection issues and being chased by the local stinging and biting wildlife. Or you just get rained on.
You feel guilty for going to the toilet and have to physically stop yourself from taking your phone with you on the basis that people won’t want to hear any of THAT.
You have your laptop in the kitchen when preparing meals, getting caught up in the headset wire, almost slicing your fingers off and trying not to bleed all over the carrots.
You can’t take a shower or bath without worrying that someone’s trying to contact you.
And you thought you left homework behind when you left school? Dream on!
Pictured: "The absolute worst part is that working from home has eaten into your internet so much that its ruining video chats with friends and family."
On top of it all, the absolute worst part is that working from home has eaten into your internet so much that its ruining video chats with friends and family, the one thing that’s keeping you going.
Basically, your home is no longer your home. It’s now an office and call centre, you’re paying all the overheads for it, and you’re scared stiff of your next electricity bill… when you were already on a tight budget before the lockdown.
So please, before you tell someone that it is a luxury to work from home, think again about the damage that statement might cause."