Having been a freelancer, or using the sexier term a “gig economy worker”, for roughly 10 years now and, having worked very happily from home for a great deal of that time, I now find I’m not so happy.
Prior to 23 March, I would start work quite early and on numerous occasions when ‘in the flow’ would find myself still in my dressing gown at lunchtime. (I will confess here that on dark grey winter days, I sometimes stayed in it all day). Which was fine until one of my lovely neighbours would knock on the door to say “hello”, typically seeking a cup of tea and a chat. (I live on my own in a very small village in South Somerset, where the majority of inhabitants are retired). Their thinking being that if her car is there then so is she, not realising that, as a rule, I’d probably be working. As an aside this, however, has been solved by hanging a notice on my door explaining that, if there is no answer, it’s because I’m probably on a call and working.
During particularly busy times a constant frustration was not being able to get out in the garden.
By 23 March, most of my work commitments had already been postponed or cancelled, so things had already started to quieten down. Which, coupled with some sunny weather, meant I could spend more time in the garden. Fantastic news as I was also due to open my garden under the NGS ‘Yellow Book Scheme’ the first weekend in June.
So, what has changed? Not being busy means I am finding I don’t have the motivation to do anything. Getting out of bed is now a struggle and trying to finish the one last piece of invoiceable work I have until July of this year is a real challenge. Indeed, it’s what I should be doing right now instead of writing this.
Good advice from people during these times:
Especially for line managers, best practice when managing teams remotely is to check in regularly and ask how people are feeling. However, in being asked this same question by my great iOpener colleagues, just two days ago, I burst into tears. In fact, tears are often close to the surface these days.
In trying to work out why this is, my conclusion is that work – or rather helping people grow – which is what I do as a Leadership Development Consultant, is my purpose in life. Without it I’m finding things tough.
I can’t offer tips on how to get through this and to be honest I’m not sure I want tips from others. All I can say is thank God for the garden. And what a shame the open gardens scheme has been cancelled for this year. It’s never going to look so good again.