I’ve had to do a lot of working from home these past two weeks, as our Athena SWAN submission reaches its final denouement.
(Let’s pause to appreciate the image of “Athena SWAN” as a reassuringly corpulent opera singer with Viking horns, inhaling gustily for one final, glass-ceiling-shattering bellow…)
I love working from home. For starters, there’s the dining room table, which I can plaster with papers, scribbles and tea mugs without ever running out of space, being about ten times the surface area of my cramped office desk.
Then there’s the conservatory with its tropical plants and trickling water feature, which gets sun-warmed even on these late autumn afternoons. It’s an excellent place to pace for a few minutes to restore circulation to limbs tense from keyboard work.
There’s my back garden, too, a turn around which which never fails to refresh me. If it’s sunny, I’ll hang the laundry out, which gives me a satisfying feeling of multi-tasking: keeping the mucky boy in clean smalls while staving off deep-vein thrombosis. Bonus points for grazing on grapes and apples as I pass up and down the paths.
And of course, there’s the hot-air popcorn maker, which needs no justification.
Mostly I just enjoy the ability to get stuff done without constant interruption. I love academic life, but it isn’t half full of collegial distraction. Which is, of course, most of the fun of being an academic in the first place.
I do look back to my work life getting back to ‘normal’ – whatever that means. In the meantime, it’s time for another cup of tea.