Millions of us are now working from home. If WordPress and Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg is to be believed, this is a great thing: “Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick… This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work”. Yet the experience of many of us is quite the opposite. Working from home can place intolerable burdens on those with caregiving responsibilities. Those living alone face isolation. Many people’s homes are simply not suited to working from home (perhaps due to something as mundane as a poor broadband connection). And “working from home” can become “living in the office”, with consequences for our mental health.
This article from Australia nails it: Flexibility now means “just make this work!”
- The international union federation UNI Global has published this on the “right to disconnect” – the right to maintain a separation between the working day and our own time: https://uniglobalunion.org/sites/default/files/imce/right_to_disconnect_covid19.pdf
- ACAS, the UK’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, provides a useful summary of the rights of home-workers: https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home
- Whilst we’re sceptical of articles containing “productivity hacks” this series does contain useful information on various aspects of working from home: https://workinmind.org/tag/working-from-home/