Every weekday I get ready for work, kiss my husband goodbye and head into the office. He jokes “enjoy your ride” because that’s how I commute when I need to. But during lockdown, I step into my lounge, which is also my office.
There are many advantages of working from home as many of us have come to discover. It’s been my preference for the last 10 years, and I work from home as often as I can. Advantages generally include not being stuck in traffic, no climate emissions from commuting by car and no time wasted getting to and from work. I operate more efficiently from home – there are no social distractions as there are at the office. I’m always happier at home.
But there’s another value in working from home. For example, the calming views from my window looking out on to the flourishing garden. There are flowers whose names sound as pretty as they look, such as larkspur, harebells and love-in-a-mist. There’s also lamb’s ear, sunflowers, rock rose, fairy rose, society garlic, wallflowers and grannies’ bonnets. There’s the towering honey locust tree I grew from seed, which gives welcome shade at this time of year.
There are baby bunnies resting in the grass, and big adult bunnies chewing the aforementioned flowers. There are blackbird and thrush chicks with their persistent cheeping at their tireless parents for food. There’s a sparrow trying to eat a worm longer than he is.
There’s the lawn that needs mowing if you subscribe to that outdated Victorian lawn culture – I don’t. There’s a constant stream of ducks and ducklings up from the swamp for supplementary feeding. The hens, Speckle and Shy, seem to escalate their abrasive squawks whenever I’m on a Zoom call. There are the neighbour’s cows and a big horse over the fence ripping their pasture and snorting and farting full of life – for now that is; soon the cows will be beef.
There’s the morning light which gives way across the day. When I need to think about a response to a question or call, or a gnarly work issue, I gaze out the window on this beautiful scene. For lunch I can sit on the back deck and look out on my wild veggie gardens and contemplate the weeding I need to do during weekends. I can put on a load of washing at morning tea time, and hang it out during my next break. Duggie my bunny comes in for a smooch at regular intervals and my husband, who also works from home, brings me cups of tea.
Working from home is good for the planet, my employer and for me. I’ll be holidaying at home over Christmas, too, and might even get that weeding done. I hope all the lovely Mahurangi Matters readers have a wonderful, safe break too.