I’d never experienced home working before the lockdown. For much of the last decade I have worked in education, being based within college and university campuses. Their own communities, these bubbles of campus life have become a working norm to me.
After spending 2019 at home with my baby, I had just begun to feel familiar with work and campus when in mid-March the campus effectively closed down to most students and staff, much like many works and public spaces. Our office has since learnt to work together, whilst sat separately in our homes. My experience wouldn’t be a true indication of what home working is like, for example, my daughter is currently piling Duplo and books on my lap. This is a moment in time where many people around the country – and world – are juggling home working with their home life. Everyone is experiencing it differently. Mine’s a messy, noisy, but happy, blend of work and toddler.
Post-lockdown, at some point our office will open again on campus. In what capacity, and in what “new normal” arrangements, time will tell. It won’t be the same though, for a long time I imagine. Beyond my bubble on campus, the way in which we work will be interesting beyond this lockdown world. Before Covid-19, ONS statistics showed in 2019 just 5% of UK workers considered the home as their main place of work.
However Covid-19 has pushed much of the world into a working from home experiment. Many are finding that home working can be effective. Twitter for example have announced that staff can work from home “forever” if they want to. Of course, some jobs will never practically allow for full-time home working, but it may at least provide a positive shift in flexible working. This could have a wide impact – less time on lengthy commuting, less demand for workers to have to relocate for their work. There will be many, many changes from Covid-19, but also I imagine, many ways of life may flood back in once people feel the freedom to do so. The importance of flexible working in traditional office setups, however, may be very different.
About the author
Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.
I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.