Put that phone down, my friend. Its Lunchtime!

In 1972 Billy Wilder directed ‘Avanti’, a great romcom movie with Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills in the starring roles. But it was the Italian backdrop that makes the movie – and there is nothing greater than the running gag around ‘lunchtime’.

What’s this got to do with anything? Simply that, as far as my current experience suggests, there are a lot of people out there who need to learn about the Italian concept of lunchtime.

The impact of Coronavirus on our working patterns means that lots more of us are obliged to work from home. And that’s leading to troubling reports about how work patterns are impacting on our home life.. The ‘always on’ condition that may have served (to an alarming degree) in the pressure cooker of the office does NOT translate to the home worker.

Those of us who have been home workers for many years have probably worked through the cycle that starts ‘I’m free to work whenever I like’, then goes through the ‘I’m free to work all the time’ and, hopefully,  ends up with a work/life pattern that acknowledges that the same physical space we know as ‘home’ is also home to two contrasting emotional/mental states . . . this is my work and this is my life – and it’s vital that we gain control of knowing the difference.

All I want to say here is, if you’re contacting me at lunchtime, you haven’t got the balance quite right yet. And if you’re ringing me after 6pm, then you need to do some serious work on yourself.

So – if I don’t pick up a call between 12.30pm and 2.00pm, you’ll know what that’s about. And if I don’t answer after 5.30pm, I’m just saving you from yourself.


John Bullock is the editor of The Light Review

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