Stories & Articles

Self isolation? Working from home? Some of us have flourished for years doing it

Vanessa de Largie | The Spectator | March 17, 2020

For many years now, the world has been slowly moving towards working remotely.   

Recent studies conducted by the International Workplace Group revealed that nearly 70 per cent of Aussies work remotely each week and a half of all office employees globally spend 2.5 days each week working away from their base. 

Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that a remote working lifestyle is a luxury and a privilege to those with occupations that support it. 

As a freelance writer, I’ve been in self-isolation for nearly a decade.  I’m rarely out of my jim-jams before 11 am on any given day.   

I pitch articles to editors from home.  I write articles from home.  I send invoices from home.  I pay bills from home.  I purchase my groceries, clothes and alcohol online from home.  And I only read e-books.  It seems I’ve been unknowingly preparing for the Coronavirus for some time. 

Research shows that working remotely can actually boost the productivity of employees and allow businesses and sole-traders to thrive.   

In a recent column by Will Oremus for One Zero Magazine, he states:  

It feels, in some ways, like a dress rehearsal for a future that was already on its way — one in which more and more of us self-isolate voluntarily, interacting with the outside world only from behind screens.  

Dreary as that might sound, the advantages would be enormous. Think of the effects on commute times, housing prices, gridlock, and greenhouse gas emissions if large swaths of society stopped driving into the office and began working from home. Think of how it would empower people whose disabilities make it hard for them to get around.  

Once coronavirus has forced companies and workers to figure out how to function without an office, office space will start to look more like a luxury on the corporate balance sheet — something that’s nice to have, but which can be cut if needed. When companies realize how much business travel they can do without, they’ll be tempted to slash those budgets as well.

Artists always shine brightly in times such as these.

The Trio String Orchestra who played to calm passengers as the Titanic sunk. 

The Women’s Vocal Choir of Sumatra who continued to sing while prisoners of war in a Japanese internment camp.  

And most recently Italians defiantly singing and playing instruments on their balconies while in lockdown. 

During any tragedy or economic crisis throughout history, creative communities have always thrived in solidarity.  

And it will happen again.  As the world crashes around us, we will get out our paints and pens.