Over the last year, we have become accustomed to the idea of working from home; but where is home exactly?
At one level, it’s the place where my parents brought me up. However, that ended up being several locations in the UK with different cultures (No matter what those in Westminster like to think, regional differences are genuine). If I take that as my definition, then as William S.Sax describes it, “People and the places they reside are engaged in a continuing set of exchanges; they have determinate, mutual effects upon each other because they are part of a single system”. No single home, just an evolving experience, which for me describes it accurately enough.
At another level, it’s the people who have shaped me. When I left the place definition of home, I was lucky enough to meet remarkable people who have shaped my life ever since. From the large Yorkshire family I married into to those we met along the way in various parts of the world who though very different to us, not just accepted us but provided support in all sorts of generous ways and helped us see the world differently.
Place remains important. Along the way, there are places that I treasure for their resonance. Locations where things become more evident and have the qualities of what the Celts term “thin places.” The veil between where we are and where we want to go is more porous, and we can sense more clearly. For me, the North West Coast of Scotland, the Mountains of Cyprus, and buildings with a deep history.
Then, there are those who share my professional interests, which have evolved along the way. There have been and continue to be outstanding, curious, and committed people looking to expand their knowledge and find new ways of doing things that have provided support as I have done the same.
Four aspects of home – where we started, who we’re with, where we are and what we do. If we’re going to work from home, it makes sense to consider where we are on that evolving set of continuing exchanges.
We have been brought up to accept dull and lifeless workplaces, with people we are assigned to, doing work determined by other people.
It may earn an income, but it’s no place to spend a life when conditions are changing, and there is so much more of which we are capable.
We can determine where our home is.