When it comes to working from home people often talk about the distractions: Television, endless teas and coffees, biscuits - I'm sure there are biscuits somewhere, even the ironing, tidying up, mowing the lawn, the bills, the books, the music and games... and so on and so forth.
But these do not affect me. In any case I think there are more dangerous distractions available on any smartphone this day and age, so location is not an issue for me in this regard.
The laptop is there, I am in my workplace, I might as well do some work.
However, as someone who works for himself I have re-discovered the importance of divorcing home life from work life. Just recently I have found that my work has encroached on home life, not as it once did by getting in late, but rather by seeping into those quiet moments of home life; the laptop is there, I am in my place of work, I might as well do some work.
This has partly come about because I do not have a set space in which to work. We do have a spare room which will one day be an office. Then again “one day” the world might be clocked once more by a giant asteroid causing the extinction of almost every living thing. All bets are off as to which will happen sooner.
So the line is not drawn. Some days I sit in the TV room, some days in the kitchen. Working from home means that every nook and corner of your castle risks becoming a work place and therefore has the potential to become associated with all the negative aspects of work. This is something that has crept up on me over the last few months. There is no part of it that is sacred and this is also of psychological importance when cherishing the home for what it is; as a place of comfort, relaxation and family.
There is no hierarchy at home so we interrupt each other.
This line between work and home is further blurred because my wife also works from home. It is often the case that she distracts me. And I, her. Neither of us do so through ill will of course but it is natural that domestic thoughts should be shared between us.
The beauty of an office (at least an ideal one) is that everyone is pointing in the same direction and working toward the same goals. So communication is likely to be related to this. At home this is not the case. We have different jobs and so communicating - which is kind of an inevitable thing when two humans are placed together - tends to be about home life. Furthermore there is no hierarchy at home so we both consider it acceptable to interrupt each other.
Having started just recently to limit my work in progress, I also feel I need to ensure my focus is 100% on those projects that I am engaged in. Consequently, over the coming weeks, I will spend some time working from a few places outside home.
Last week I “tested” my local pub/restaurant; The Old Bridge, Huntingdon. Settle down, I know what you are thinking. But actually I was able to resist the spluttering draw of the pipes of craft ale and limit myself to coffees and teas. But even though my levels of concentration and my productivity were raised, sitting back in the large comfortable chairs and busy atmosphere of their lounge is not really a long term solution.
Another down-side to working from home is something that only struck me recently. Whilst I am stuck at home redesigning my life I am not coming into contact with the kind of energetic and entrepreneurial people from whom I could really benefit, not only in a professional capacity but also just by feeding off their positivity.
Surely the answer therefore is the occasional use of some co-working space, which I hope can help on both these fronts.
The only problem is that I don’t live in a city… so I would love to hear from anybody who has any suggestions for a creative and productive space that I might use, in the Huntingdon / Cambridge area. Please feel free to send me some ideas via the Contact Me page or add a comment below.