Here there and everywhere

One of the fabulous things about being virtual is that I can work from pretty much anywhere. With a laptop and Wi-Fi (or these days, I bring my own courtesy of my oh-my-god-the-bloody-broadband-has-gone-again-MiFi contraption) there’s not a lot I can’t do on the move. I can and have worked in many places.

Of course, whether or not that’s a good environment to work in is a totally different question.

In the house is pretty good. I have my desk, where I mainly work and that is set up to perfection. I’ve pondered a stand/sit desk since having back issues but they all seem to be quite expensive and I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t ever be very disciplined about using it. Moving down the list I then have “on the sofa”. It’s not bad but probably wouldn’t win any posture awards. But for doing my own stuff with something brainless on TV it’s good. Clearly doesn’t work for anything with even the smallest amount of plot.

Then, for several months I worked from my bed. I know it sounds like total heaven but even with my special contraption it wasn’t brilliant. Talking on the phone you sound a bit weird lying down and (especially on lots of painkillers, which I was for my back at the time – horizontal being the only position I could function in at all) nodding off to sleep was quite a risk. Plus spending 23 hours a day in the one place is not good for the sanity.

The one place I’d love to work but haven’t been able to manage is the garden. When it’s a gorgeous day, I’d like nothing more than to work outside. But it really doesn’t seem to work for me. I can’t see a laptop screen properly in the sun (or even the shade). Until a magic screen is invented I have come to accept that despite all attempts, garden working is not for me. I really thought self-employment would come with a better tan…

In the big wide world obviously, trains. You just can beat a bit of multi-tasking so travelling and working, hurrah. Of course, it’s not always ideal, for me or fellow travellers. At rush hour, working on a laptop is an exercise in first getting a seat and then working with your elbows pinned to your sides at all times or risking a sigh or a tut from the man next to you. Even though he probably has a Metro out at full width AND his legs so wide it’s like he thinks his testicles are the size of melons. Why do some men do this? I am pretty sure that biology does allow men to sit with their legs closed. Even if there is the odd freak of nature with melon-sized balls I am confident enough in my statistics to guess you don’t get them on every train. Is it a caveman territory thing aimed at other men “Me big man. Me take up much space”? Or a prehistoric mating thing for women “Me man. Look see here woman. Mate me”? It’s very irritating either way. So, busy trains, not so good. Quiet trains though are fab! Before now I’ve had flip charts spread out over seats in a train getting them typed up on my way home.

And on client sites I have worked in homes (living rooms, dining rooms, studies) and offices. I have certainly felt like I spent a lot of time in a cupboard at one stage dealing with sensitive HR data meaning I had to keep the blinds down for hours at a stretch. Then shared offices, boardrooms and more.

Then there are, of course, coffee shops. I really want to hang out more in coffee shops. I know if you have to do it a lot it loses a lot of appeal but I haven’t been out yet this week so the idea feels like a good one.

Where’s the most unusual place you’ve ever worked?