Do you work from home – and if you do – do you enjoy it?
I’ve been working from home for a few years now, and my husband has been working from home even longer. It’s almost like we’ve come full circle, other than we don’t have any employees working out of our home (like we did in the beginning), and our working environments are definitely different.
Let me share a little of our history so you can understand my comment of coming full circle – hang in there – I’ll try to keep it short…
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience life in the way they have been told to.”
~ Alan Knightly
When we started out in the Business Communications Consulting arena – primarily in mobile and telecom – we took over the dining room in our farm house at the time and that’s where we set up office. It seemed convenient at the time, one of us was almost always home for our 3 kids to see them off to school and to be home for them after school as well.
My husband was on the road a fair bit, and I worked in the office primarily – however – after we integrated lead generators (who made calls from our little office) I ended up on the road too. We eventually outgrew our space – we started taking over a piece of the living room too – and we knew it was time to make a move.
So out of the home we went and found suitable office space in town for which provided ample parking for everyone, shared washrooms, a lunchroom, and enough offices to accommodate our growing team – there were even extra offices that we eventually took over as well. But as fate would have it – we outgrew that space after a few years (growth is good), and thus moved ourselves to an even bigger location for which we signed on for a 5 year lease… Yup that’s a long time – and the space allowed for even more growth if needed.
Fast forward through those five years – we had some highs and lows – changes in teams, and our business focus had shifted into other ventures too. We soon realized that we had outgrown our space yet again… and at the end of our 5 years we moved once again. We actually downsized, and moved a little closer to home (moving homes is a whole other story – as our family moved twice in the same time periods as our Business). Surprisingly… our previously traveled 23 minute drive was reduced to a mere 13 minute drive – I now had time to spare (no not really – but it sounded good).
This new location served us well (while we were there). But my husband didn’t have a set office – as he had opted to only work out of this new location a few days a week – he had set up an office for himself at home where he primarily worked from. As for me – I still worked out of this new location (for a little longer – I had no reason to work from home).
BUT… Life has this funny way of complicating things – by taking one of those unexpected moments in time and forcing your hand to change the way you’re doing things. Yes – life thru us a curve ball or two (not that we hadn’t had any curve balls before – but this one was pretty major).
One of our kids was involved in a life changing traumatic accident – that altered our family’s schedules dramatically. Without going into details – I’ll just say that it may seem like your kids always find their way back home – for various reasons – and that’s what happened here (but not by choice). My time was not my own anymore – and because of that, my work focus shifted too, and the amount of time that I actually worked or when I worked changed as well. At this time it made more sense for me to have an office at home – so I took over the dining room (see… the circle is starting to close in).
Fast forward to today… we no longer have an external office close to home – and all of our team members work out of their own homes too. Now my husband and I both work together from home — but in separate offices (I always like to point that out – as I really don’t think we’d survive in the same working space – we’re just too different). And for the most part we work well from home – it’s not without it’s challenges – but I’ve come to realize there are more pros than cons at this point to working from home.
Here’s some advantages that I’ve noticed…
- I can work in my PJ’s if I choose to (and I sometimes do)
- I actually take more time to eat proper meals (and take time to enjoy them too).
- I workout more consistently (it helps that we have gym equipment in our basement)
- We adapt our schedules accordingly (we’ve been playing with our schedules a bit – I’ll save that for another post).
- We motivate each other to stay on track
- We brainstorm more frequently on projects that we’re working on
- We get more fresh air than we did working at an external office – and our dog enjoys the added fresh air too
- I don’t always work at my desk – sometimes I’m in front of the fire on a cold winter day – or out on the deck on a warm sunny day.
- I can do other domestic chores/task throughout the day (that I couldn’t do if I was in an office setting).
- I don’t have to drive in traffic to get to my desk (there’s a joke that my husband & I have… one of us will occasionally say “Don’t get stuck in traffic” meanwhile my husband just has to go up a flight of stairs to his office!
- I enjoy when we do go out for meetings (because now I’m more conscious of other’s people’s time).
- Sometimes we’ll work from Starbucks or Chapters (another city or country)…
Just because we can.
So – those are a few advantages I’ve discovered by working from home…
Now it’s your turn – do you work from home too – do you enjoy it – what advantages have you discovered that you could share? Would love to hear your perspective on this…