THE FIRST STEP TO MAINTAINING PRODUCTIVITY, IS MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS

I don’t know about you, but my new premises look very much like my suburban home and my office looks very much like my spare bedroom. Strangely, my wife thinks it looks like her office too. As do my daughter and her bare-chested boyfriend.

In short, my business is bedlam.

So I turned to a few of those “working from home articles” and discovered they’re rubbish. How, for example, are you supposed to set boundaries if a toddler decides your new office looks like the world’s greatest playground?

And how are you expected to avoid distractions when you’re living in a family home that’s actually filled with a family. And four mobile phones, three TV’s, a stereo system with apparently no volume control, a Nintendo and arguably the world’s yet yappiest dog.

I don’t know about you, but with my lot, I’d find it hard avoiding distractions even if my office were in the most western of west wings of Downton Abbey.

So I considered reading my family the riot act. After all, my activities were clearly far more important than theirs. But then, just before I sent out the All-Family email suggesting a meeting at 11am in the boardroom (which looks very much like my loungeroom), something dawned on me. What if they all thought that their activities were just as important as mine? What if they merely laughed at my misguided boss-like behaviour or worse, were so offended by it I made living conditions unlivable for the next three months

Hmm? I reconsidered. What if I accepted that we literally were all in this together and I was no longer the boss – just Dad. What if I didn’t scream my lungs out if Mac my dog took a liking to my stapler and buried it in the backyard? Or I didn’t cut short my potential son-in-law when he starts bemoaning the loss of his beloved Rugby League while I’m trying to work out the difference between Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams?

After due consideration, I came to this conclusion: During these unprecedented times I will try and be world’s nicest person first, and most productive second. I will try to be as understanding as I expect those around me to be, and those still working for me. And by ensuring I get along well with my fellow prisoners, I reckon everything will work a whole lot better, and not just for me.

Who knows, I might just end up being even more productive.

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