Thursday, 2 December 2010

'Working from home' ?

The past couple of days I have chickened out  of riding my bike in the snow and have resigned myself to taking the tube to work. Today, looking at the surprisingly empty carriages, and now that I am in work at the half empty studio - I seem to be one of the few who hasn't succumbed to the bullshit of 'working from home'.

The concept of 'working from home' is a telling indicator of our times.

Firstly it shows quite  how far we have become ruled by the corporate culture of work and 'presentee-ism'. The snow is a freak occurrence for fuck's sake - many people can't get into work without ridiculous efforts - others are effectively cut off. But it is still not acceptable to say I'm staying in bed / watching daytime TV or DVDs of old black  and white movies / having a snowball fight / going sledging with the kids / drinking whisky hugging a radiator.  Instead there is the pretense of 'working from home'.

Which leads to the second point - the vast majority of  people with a 'proper job' simply can't work from home. If you actually make something or  provide some practical service you need a workplace to do it in - and usually other people to do it with. In the old days when most jobs were like this working from home would have been  unthinkable.

However if your job consists of gazing blankly into Excel spread sheets, preparing Powerpoint slides for meetings or writing a report of a meeting  you've been to - then working from home will suit you fine. And fucking good riddance too.

No comments: