- 15 May 09, 16:09 GMT
In the middle of a busy day, darting between my office and various locations, I discovered that this was actually National Work from Home Day. Damn! If only, I'd realised, I'd be sitting at the kitchen table, tapping away on my laptop in my dressing gown while tuning in to daytime TV.
But seriously, for me and many other people, technology has now advanced to the stage where working from home is a real possibility. In my house, I have an ISDN line - elderly but reliable technology that allows me to do live radio broadcasting - and a fast broadband connection which means it's very easy to send and receive fast files, and keep up with everything that's happening at the office.
It looks as though quite a few people are not at the office today. I've been sent a mashup adapted from the snow map put together by a web developer Ben Marsh earlier this year as Britain ground to a halt.
This one shows the location of home workers who've decided to proclaim on Twitter that they are at home, in messages containing #NWFHD and the first part of their postcode. So far, they seem to be concentrated in southern England - which either means that southerners are more likely to see the benfits of avoiding the daily commute, or that that is where Twitterers mostly live.
For me, however, it's not really possible to work effectively from my kitchen. I need to be out seeing businesses, I need access to some technology that I can only find at work - like studios - and I need to work with colleagues, like picture editors who may not be so keen to come round to my place. But crucially, I still need to be able to come face to face with my bosses to sell my stories, to convince them that I am working hard, and generally to get things done.
Video-conferencing technology is now making very rapid advances, and will soon be cheap enough for many firms to install in some workers' homes. But will video "face-time" with the boss still prove as useful as the real thing? I remain to be convinced. Technology may be transforming our working lives - but relationships still matter, and it's difficult to have one at the end of a webcam.
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