A place to work

The beauty of this laptop age is that, in theory, we can work anywhere.

Of course, it’s not true. Not for everyone. I met a woman recently who runs a business making personalised towels. Her sewing machine, iron and pile of stock are somewhat less portable than my digital documents and paper notebook. And for anyone who works in training, coaching or anything else involving personal contact, there’s a need for a private space.

And for those of us who can work anywhere, some places are easier to work in than others. I know a lot of people work on trains, but I find the stuffiness and the cramped seats and the busyness (and the short duration of most of my train journeys) mean I get very little done and usually end up sleeping or staring out of the window instead. Or eating junk. Sometimes all three.  Cafes can be good, depending on the noise level, but then there’s the eating thing again.

Mostly, I stay home. Until the recent house move, I was lucky enough to have the fabled Room of One’s Own, and it’s only since we moved and I don’t even have a desk that I’ve realised what a luxury that is.  To be able to leave things on the desk and have them still be there in the morning, instead of having to pack everything away so we can use the kitchen table for its intended purpose. (Yes, that would be eating. Again.) To have a phone that’s mine instead of having to hunt down one of the wandering handsets elsewhere in the house. To know where the stapler belongs.

Mostly, though, it’s an emotional thing rather than a practical thing. I find myself yearning for a little space that’s mine. Am I greedy?


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