‘On the couch’ with Jasminda Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - January 11, 2022 DEAR Jasminda, IS it okay to do chores around the house when I am being paid by my employer to work from home? Nothing major, just loads of washing or unpacking the dishwasher. It seems like a good opportunity to do these tasks while I’m working. Patricia H. Dear Patricia, This is one of the great advantages of working from home, right up there with being able to work in your pyjamas (unless you have to attend Zoom meetings, in which case wearing the bottom half of your pyjamas is still acceptable). It is tempting to use the opportunities granted to us by the COVID-19 pandemic to multitask, but it’s also important not to abuse this situation. If, for example, your work-leisure mix starts to include visits to the beach, reading a novel, uncovering the secrets of the Mediterranean diet, teaching your dog how to master yoga poses so you can make a Tik Tok and become an influencer, or becoming a Bitcoin investor, then you are possibly taking advantage of your working from home arrangement. If, on the other hand, you are using your ‘take a stretch and a deep breath’ breaks to hang out the washing, then you are simply making good use of time. Really, when you think about the number of workplace interruptions from water-cooler chit chat to extended lunch breaks and endless unproductive meetings complete with doughnuts and coffee, you are probably being far more efficient than usual. There are some great apps that record and allocate your hours. Maybe try using one of these and have a ‘non-work-related’ project. This way you can keep accurate tabs on how many breaks you are really taking and whether they are becoming excessive. Carpe diem, Jasminda.