The Affirm Press team shares the upsides to working from home that we didn’t see coming.

Being able to hang out with my dogs and husband a lot more and create a new routine is something I’m loving. We get to have coffee together (the humans), zoomies hour (the dogs), and lunch time walks (all of us). An unexpected perk is finally having time to source and dress my dogs in obnoxious matching knitted jumpers (pictured). I’m very grateful for all of this extra time together, even if the dogs aren’t as stoked about the jumpers as I am!

Getting to peek into colleagues’ homes on Zoom and seeing them all in their home attire. Martin is a hoodie guy! Ruby wears scarves indoors! Steph has a rotating collection of cosy knits! Who knew?

I love being able to use work breaks to get things done around the house, especially when I take advantage of the sunshine to dry my laundry. Is there anything more satisfying than clocking off from housework and work-work at the same time? The smugness is addictive. Of course I’m also enjoying all the extra quality time with my furry mate, Archie.

I’ve traded Melbourne for Perth to work at the family home during this pandemic. An unexpected surprise (I wouldn’t go as far as perk) has been that I get woken each day by birdsong. Specifically, the song of a rooster who lives next door. As someone who sets multiple alarms each night for fear of being late, it has been liberating to have no need of an alarm anymore! The unexpected downside is that the rooster continues to crow throughout the day.

An unexpected upside for me is the comedy of my kids (and everyone else’s kids) not realising that not ALL video catch-ups are an opportunity for photobombing. My kids can’t tell the difference between a jovial team catch-up or a tearful author agonisingly recounting his daughter’s plight, and will happily drop in regardless. Remember when the kids appeared in the BBC journalist’s life feed and we all thought it was such a novelty? Not anymore but I love it; we are all prone to getting stressed about work, naturally, but the sight of my kid twerking in the corner of my screen or unaware that she’s getting undressed in front of an audience is a reminder that, hey, we’re not saving lives.

To be honest, I haven’t discovered many upsides to working from home. I miss my giant screen, I miss my bike ride at 8, but most of all I miss my work mates! (Please read that to the tune of ‘We love our bread’ from Madeleine). I guess it’s nice being home with my cat and it’s soothing to do so much laundry.

Like many people around the world, I feel like I’ve traded all of my social engagements for solo time with my cat, Pops. I think I’m enjoying it more than Pops – she has a strict regimen for napping in various spots during the day and I’m constantly getting up in her grill and chatting away to her. But she is honestly keeping me sane (if sane is talking and singing to your cat while wearing lime green flared maternity pants and a woollen jumper). Pets are the best.

There have been some true positives from working at home. I do not need to iron shirts, a job I hate. I rarely shave my beard. No interstate travel (although I do miss my customers). The commute to work is about 15 seconds. No school means I am not working 7am to 3pm hours to incorporate school pickup. All of this means more time that I have used to read more books. A lot more.

The biggest perk for me is the ability to get out and exercise on my lunchbreak. Every year as the days getting shorter I inevitably drop whatever regime I had managed to put in place since around September, so I’m enjoying getting around that with a midday run in the sunshine (or overcast gloom – it is Melbourne, after all).

The liberty to play whatever radio station, album or playlist I want, all day long, cannot be underrated for me. And I don’t even have to use headphones! It’s not exactly an unexpected perk, but I certainly thought the novelty would have worn off by now. Day 17 (27? – the weeks are a blur) and it’s still a delight.

I already worked from home, and in a different state to most of my friends and family, but now that everyone’s in the same boat, they’ve made things way easier for me: Zoom conferences, sharing screens, tri-weekly catch-ups … plus I’m probably more social now than I was when I first moved to Tassie!

Ruby with her cat, Winx, who has made this her favourite spot. (Not pictured: Ruby’s computer.)