#LastNormalPhoto and a look back at pre-lockdown working

There’s a trend to share your “last normal photo” on social media. That is a shot or your life pre-lockdown, or even close to lockdown. It is on the first anniversary of the start of the first lockdown in the UK last March.

My lockdown started a little early as I had a Covid-scare at the start of March – so my boss said just start working from home – and a year on I’m still here. Although that is expected to change in the next few weeks.

It turned out not to be the deadly coronavirus, and thanks to isolating myself and my family, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it so far – and have now had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, so hope to be able to avoid a serious case even if I were to develop the virus in future.

The image I shared is Kensington High Street tube station, the final stop in what was an almost two hour commute on a bad day and the first stop on a two hour return commute at the end of a 9 hour shift.

I have benefited massively from being able to work from home – without any slip in my work. It has allowed me to spend more time with my family, watch my baby grow for his first few months of life, and save money.

I miss some aspects of office work, especially being around other people, but the benefits of working from home outweighs that – not to mention the cost savings.

A recent study by the Press Gazette found that the majority of journalists either expected to, or even wanted to, continue working from home post lockdown, and Mirror publisher Reach, has opted to keep staff home.

The world of work is changing and while I know many prefer to work from an office, I think many more don’t, and it’s a shift unlikely to be reversed, especially as millennials and generation z begin to take on roles of responsibility.

I think it is inevitable I’ll be returning to the office before long, back to the commute, back to ordinary life, less time with the children and my wife, but more ‘alone time’, time to think and learn. I’d still rather be home.

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