Remote working. Yay or nay?

It’s become a fact of working life in recent months and more and more people are doing it. But do you like Remote Working, or is it a chore in your life?

Like all my other blog posts, I can only ever speak for myself. And for me it’s a Yay, a very big Yay in fact. Most of my work involves hosting workshops for children as young as 5, right up to late teens. As a very social person, I really love my work and all it involves. I travel a lot in my local area with work, and some weeks my wee car can clock up nearly 400 miles. That’s all work miles too. My average mileage would probably have been 150+ per week. Every one of those miles I loved travelling, and every venue I work from, I love. The people I meet and get to know is a very important part of my life. Being based at home at my kitchen table would never work for me. Or would it?

In March this year, like many people worldwide, I found myself out of work. Initially I panicked, but on realisation that it wasn’t only me, I made peace with myself and decided that it would all work out. As a very positive person I really did, and still do, believe this. Yes, I’ve had bad days like every other person, but I always try and see the positive in all. So as the weeks turned into months, it was going to be life-changing decisions I would have to make.

Myself reading a poem (from that kitchen table)

Early on in lockdown, I began posting online tasks on my facebook and Instagram page for children. Kids who I work with long term were writing; kids I’d never met were writing; kids from all over were writing. I began to realise that I was reaching a much wider audience and that there was a real interest in what I had to offer. With so much school work and home schooling taking place it wasn’t the right time to begin classes online. I’ve begun to read stories online and endless numbers of children are listening to them. Suddenly I saw a whole new opening for my work. The very work I love, and suddenly there was hope of my being able to carry on with it in a different way.

I’ve been trialling this way of working in recent weeks and I really do think it will work for me. When it is safe for me to return to my face-to-face workshops, I most definitely will. It’s the interaction with children that makes my work so rewarding. Online doesn’t give that. This return will be very welcomed when it arrives.

But for now, I love being able to sit at my kitchen table and work. I love sitting down and reading a poem for kids; reading a story; preparing a lesson plan to deliver from this very seat. The kitchen table has never proved so useful!

Having young children would make my work impossible from home. I’m in a very fortunate position that my family are grown, and therefore I have this choice. But even with that, I would never have chosen the kitchen table as my workspace. But as I was last to become the ‘remote worker’ in my house, I was left with no other available space. With two sons moved home owing to lockdown, and my husband working from home, the available desk spaces were all taken. I was left with the kitchen. But it has grown on me, and it’s now a comfortable space from which to work. It’s my space, and I’m comfortable there. So as I plan and prep to become more settled at that very kitchen table, it’s with a smile on my face that I do so. I know I’m going to enjoy this experience and I plan to embrace it fully. Never in my wildest dreams did I envisage that I could do so much from my wee kitchen table.


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