Even though I know the term and have used it for years, right now, 'hot desk' sounds like a sordid act partaken by a young horny Michael Douglas having illegitimate fumblings with some unhinged bint in a corporate environment. Watch your bunny, Mike!
It has been a pretty varied year so far plunging me downward into gloomy solitude but giving me the opportunity to clamber back upward relatively quickly
I've found myself single and depressed (back to square one), struggling with the start-of-year work slump but also meeting new interesting people, going to new places, trying new things, starting a new full-time job while wrestling to cope with a surge of freelance projects and at one point wrestling with my flat's bathroom door to release a trapped friend after the door's inner mechanics failed. That was a hairy five minutes prying the door bolt with extremely thin screwdrivers and lots of hope for a bright untrapped friend's future!
I am currently performing a balancing act between new projects and old, hoping to keep everyone happy, especially my new employer, since I have secured a three month trial for full-time employment working remotely.
Working from home has been my main aim all along. In three months time we'll know if it will continue this way. Fingers crossed.
But having freelanced now for three years I've learnt just how lonely it can be working from home, especially if your circadian rhythms become disjointed, like my bathroom door.
My mission this year is to fix this! The door, yes, of course, so I can get a new tenant in to help with the bills but also the solitude that comes with remote working.
Last year was tough because I didn't make enough effort to get out during the week. Instead, I found myself living for the weekend when my girlfriend of the time would come visit. These visits would become important, sadly too important to be honest, adding an unnecessary pressure that I don't think we spoke of but could surely sense.
I've been attending meetups for freelancers 'My name is G ... and I've been freelancing now for three years,' sobs unashamedly, writing groups 'cos I like writing, and I started hot desking in a brilliant community hub down in Bristol's Stokes croft area; Hamilton house for those in the know.
Sat in an office of your own accord can feel super grown-up. But it also helps my concentration so much, just to feel part of the rat race many of us dream of leaving. It is the noise, that noise around you of people engaged in project talk and client liaison. For me, it was wonderful. I found my concentration elevated. I was part of things again.
But hot desking there isn't enough. I've also found visiting certain cafes has been invaluable too. Last Saturday a chum and I spent hours sat with our laptops, ticking things off our to-do lists and sipping pricey coffee. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday with our current workloads; out the house and cracking on.
Yesterday I met with another local freelancer and spent a few hours doing the same. We'd met at the aforementioned freelancers' meetup group and are hoping to gather a few more folk for more of the same. Was quite cool sat there with someone you don't really know but share a commonality with.
It makes me feel so relaxed to work in the presence of others. I'm less twitchy. Working from home I feel like I'm missing out on life and in a sense I am. We are pack animals after all.
2016 is definitely the year of the hot desk and there is no risk of domestic bunny boiling or itchy VDs.