I’ve never been happier since I started to work at home, and I do believe that it’s the only way to achieve a genuine balance between work and everything else.
Most of the people I have met recently also work at home, usually for themselves, but not always because, increasingly, employers are getting the message that they can trust their staff to work diligently at home: subsequently they are retaining those gold-standard employees who might otherwise take themselves off to the green, green grass of self-employment.
The Sunshine Coast (did I mention that I’d temporarily relocated Down Under for a short while?) is among one of the most entrepreneurial communities I’ve ever come across. Nearly everyone I meet works for themselves, either full-time or because they have a secondary business alongside their substantive job. Yet, for all that, the atmosphere here is what the locals call ‘cruisy’. Somehow, time spools out at a leisurely rate and no-one ever seems to be unduly stressed, no matter how busy they are.
It must be the weather. How could anyone be stressed when they’re never more than 10 minutes away from a wide, empty, golden beach lapped by a warm turquoise sea? By 6am, the coastal walk has a regular flow of walkers and runners – yes, even me – making the most of the coolest part of the day to take exercise. We watch the distant surfers bobbing patiently in the silvery sea as they wait to catch a wave.
By the time I retrace my steps, the surfers parked up beside the beach are putting their boards onto roof racks and peeling off their damp rashies in anticipation of breakfast and the day’s work ahead. No doubt about it, there’s a very different attitude to work and play here: it’s all about working to live, not living to work. I hope I can cling on to that when I’m back in the UK in what passes for our summer!