Steve N Allen Column: Working from home isn’t my way of doing things - but that doesn't mean it's wrong

When we were asked to work from home, it was a challenge.We did our best to adapt, because the Government told us it would save lives.

By Steve N Allen
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:00 pm

Some of us found working from home suited us. Now we have started to enjoy it, the Government is trying to make it stop.

This issue came to a head when social media showed us the messages Jacob Rees-Mogg left for civil servants. The notes read: “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”

He made it sound like he was trying to deliver a parcel. Has the cost-of-living crisis hit so hard even millionaires like Jacob have to take a second job working for Amazon?

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Steve N Allen, Notts-raised comedian and writer.

Working from home has become another topic that split people into their tribes. If you know someone’s views on the European Union and who gets to use which toilets, you stand a good chance on guessing their position on working from home.

In some ways, I find Mr Rees-Mogg’s stunt self-defeating. It is very rare to leave hard-copy memos in an office now, although being fully caught up with modernity isn’t something many would think of when you mention Mr Rees-Mogg.

It is far easier – and better for the environment – to email instead of using paper. Saving the planet is now a tribal issue too, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

If he had emailed this note instead, he could have seen replies landing in his inbox right away.

“If I ever had an office job I think I’d prefer the working from home model. That way, if you work for some old fashioned snob who likes to leave passive-aggressive notes around the office you can avoid him for weeks,” writes Steve N Allen.

The internet makes working from home possible. As a stand-up comedian, I don’t get to work from home. Trying to do so would involve inviting large groups of people around to my house on a weekend night, including some stag and hen parties.

Just because working from home isn’t my way of doing things, doesn’t mean I think it’s wrong. Why should we stick to the old ways of working? If we kept that mentality there would never be any progress.

As long as the targets are being hit, why should we care where people are working?

Yes, we all presume people have Netflix on at home. Maybe they do, but it probably isn’t any more distracting than trying to work as the people nearby spend hours on small-talk.

If I ever had an office job, I think I’d prefer the working-from-home model. That way, if you work for some old-fashioned snob who likes to leave passive-aggressive notes around the office, you can avoid him for weeks.

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