Working from home: John Mason
What’s your home office like?
The view at the front of my flat is basically across the road to other tenements. However, at the back I share a small piece of garden and then there is a large cemetery. So it is a combination of being quiet and has a fair number of birds visiting.
I used to try and be disciplined by not working at home (other than a few emails) but doing all my work in the office. However, that has clearly changed now. I have a table at one end of my living room and that is where I eat, work, and even attend online church services! I have a picture of Nepal (where I used to live) in the room… that helps remind me that poorer countries have much greater challenges with coronavirus than Scotland does.
What are your tips for working from home?
I am not sure I could handle working from home long term. I enjoy being single and having my own company, so that is probably an advantage to start with. Certainly, I am trying to have a bit of routine (albeit getting up a bit later in the morning!): emails and work between 9 and 5; reading books (two on the go) and social media in the evenings. And going out for an hour’s exercise each day is both something to look forward to and good for physical and mental health. As a result, I would say I am sleeping better than I normally do.
How do you avoid distraction?
There can be a bit of noise outside in the street with folk standing and shouting or swearing at their friends in flats one or two up. But people have largely been staying at home, so the street is pretty quiet. I was impressed by the folk downstairs playing games with the alphabet out in the garden… the nine-year-old boy obviously misses school… or his mum does!
What do you miss most about being in the office?
I am missing decent coffee, such as is available in the parliament, as I pass through Waverley or in Parkhead Forge near my office. All I have at home is instant. But more seriously, I miss being able to chat over issues with my staff. And I certainly miss the interaction with constituents whom I would normally be meeting as I walked around or got the bus in the constituency.