When stuck years ago in a job I hated, my only friend was the public bench. As the tedious mornings dragged on, how I would long for the lunch hour, when I would be able to escape the torture of the office and stroll over to the churchyard and into the comforting wooden embrace of one of its benches.
Management gurus in general are, I think, best avoided. All too often they reduce your working life to a list of rules to be followed. Targets are aimed at. Goals kicked at. You then break the rules or forget them and, hey presto, you start beating yourself up.
I originally welcomed the mobile phone, as it seemed to me that it would enable you to work from anywhere. On the mobile, who was to know if you were sitting on the branch of a tree or sitting in an office? But it instead had the opposite effect: instead of freeing us from the office, it allowed the office to take away our freedom.
What is required as we travel towards full unemployment is not new legislation but a gradual change of mental attitude, a shift in values. As our taste for idling grows, we will refuse to work for old-fashioned bosses who demand a five-day, 40-hour, nine-to-five type week, or worse.
These days we seem more bound to our bosses than ever before. We even identify our own selves with the jobs we do: 'What do you do?' is the first question we ask each other at parties, as if a job title could express a fundamental truth about our personality.