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Working from home: Graham Simpson

Working from home: Graham Simpson

Central Scotland Conservative list MSP Graham Simpson on the view from lockdown

We live in a four-bedroomed detached house in Scotland’s first New Town, East Kilbride. Some years ago we decided that one of rooms could be a study and had bookshelves put in. I’ve got all sorts on there, books, some LPs- including some great jazz - lots of photos and some bongos.

I have to say it’s not the tidiest room, which is my fault entirely.

There’s a small telly, which only gets used if there’s a clash or I want to watch the news.

The view from my study is of rooftops over to the town centre and the Dollan Aqua Centre, which for some reason is a listed building. I’m afraid it’s not particularly inspiring but we like it here. Sometimes if I fancy a change and a bit more light I will go and read in our conservatory. That looks onto our small but nice garden and that’s a lovely calming view.

I have occasionally worked from home for a long time. I used to be a councillor and did a lot of work from here. Now I am an MSP I can do the same, accessing work emails and files. You have to be focussed and knuckle down. Set yourself targets and get them done. There aren’t many distractions here so that’s not an issue.

I’m quite a fan of remote working.

When I worked for The Scottish Sun I always thought that newspapers should be more tech-savvy so that people could sub-edit from anywhere in the world.

There is a need for some people to be in the office, though that’s being challenged now but it should be possible to employ people and not expect them to live nearby. It could also save struggling newspaper firms money as they wouldn’t need to have flashy city centre offices.

It’s not something I would want to do permanently. The interaction with people that you get from physically being at work is important. I love coming into parliament for that reason.

My staff are working from home at the moment and I do feel sorry for them. We’ve set up Teams, which is good but it’s not the same as actually having that interaction you get in the office.

MSPs are still coming into parliament once a week but our staff aren’t, which is a challenge for them. I hope it doesn’t go on for too much longer.

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