Research shows increases in people working from home, presumably because they’ve got more time on their hands to complete questionnaires. Despite lack of audience, working from home is actually an art form, often practiced by artistic types honing the art of home working at the cost of doing any actual creativity.
You can be present for deliveries that your housemates/partner will never know you’re buying (apart from the burgeoning book and vinyl collection). You know what time local residents leave for work, and can count in minutes for how long you’ve been out of your pyjamas when they return home. The closest you get to the rush hour is watching it on BBC London, while most of the day is spent moving between rooms forgetting the reason why. There’s infrequent water-cooler moments, unless stubbing your toe on the kitchen bin counts, and to the untrained eye, or indeed the highly trained specialised eye, you appear to be doing little beyond blurring the distinction between wondering and wandering
It’s solitary, but you chat to street cleaners and know your postman, both of whom nod politely at your desperate friendliness, while mumbling something about having some actual work to do. You can spend afternoons adding correct English spelling to the American MSWord spelling and grammar, but there’s nothing more important to home working than the afternoon nap. The entire day swings upon its fulcrum; it’s something worth staying up for, and certainly waking for.
Of course the siesta remains popular with court room judges, and remains practised in Mediterranean countries, which is probably why they lost their empires; after all it’s hard to maintain law and order while its proponents snooze off their lunch. But where it truly prevails is in the day of a freelancer.
For home workers it’s important not to look the nap directly in the eye. You can’t slope upstairs to sleep; you’re working from home for goodness sake. But you can lie on the bed to do some paper work. Any will do, The Guardian, The Telegraph, even a monthly magazine. You take it with you, lie down beside it and close your eyes for a moment, with the FULL intention of resting them momentarily, although not before you set your alarm for 40 minutes later. And as your blood thickens like treacle and bird tweets meld with the traffic hum and children playing and babies crying next door, comes the magical obliteration of drifting to sleep. Upon waking 40 minutes later, it’s important to act surprised, and disappointed that you so carelessly allowed yourself to doze off. To compensate, it’s advisable to leap up, make a cup of tea, and look for some cake. Generally speaking smoothing out your body’s imprint from the bed and re-positioning pointless scatter pillows (from photographic evidence of original formations) is best left for when you’re reminded to do so by the sound of a key in the front door.
Home working has other benefits; it’s impossible to leave the sandwich you made for lunch at home, you can survive entirely upon flapjacks without hiding them behind your work station, and no one asks why you’re not picking up that damn phone. But nothing beats the planned accidental post lunch nap.