Most people who have worked from home can identify with the following statement.
“Can you just put the washing out and clear the kitchen”
“But I’m at work!”
For nearly five years I worked at home. Life was great. I had set up my business quite organically, taking on a few jobs here and there and it had grown to a point where I was pretty busy.
In the morning, all I needed to do was roll out of bed, into the shower then into the office – our spare room, about 10 paces away. I loved the freedom. I had all I need right next to me, including my family (particularly helpful after my wife had given birth to our first child).
But I was advised to look into getting an external office by a number of people (you know, the usual – my business coach at the time, my wife etc…) and although the idea of additional regular overheads and less convenience was daunting, I knew it made sense. In October 2015 (a year ago this week) I made the move into my own studio. Here are five reasons why I feel it’s been a great success and why I would recommend giving it serious consideration.
The distractions are gone. The housework chores are no longer expected as part of your day at ‘work’.
1. You can go to work
I know – I just said I loved rolling from one room to the next and magically being at work. It can also be a disadvantage though. Being at home can induce a familiarity and complacency that having somewhere to go (that you’re paying to rent or own) can quickly beat out of you. The distractions are gone. The housework chores are no longer expected as part of your day at ‘work’. You’re free to really immerse yourself in what you need to get done.
2. You can go home
The second side to the same coin, really: when work time is done you can go home. Now you can switch off and separate yourself from work ‘stuff’. Be present with your family. Chill out in the evening (or do the online shopping and clean the kitchen, whichever is more pressing). The temptation to just pop upstairs to get a couple of jobs finished is gone – embrace it.
3. Health benefits
Just the fact that you are forced to leave the house gives amazing freedom. I ride my bike to work four days out of five. Just a 15 minute ride each way gives me a boost of energy and fresh air as well as a little taste of physical activity that those 10 paces from bathroom to bedroom really lacked.
4. Hosting professionally
No longer do you need to meet prospective clients in coffee shops – you can invite them to your own slick office space and they can be treated to your own brand of hospitality – a great chance to bond naturally and hopefully help build stronger relationships. Bringing in juniors, interns, suppliers etc. is no longer a cringeworthy traipse up the stairs, dodging the cat and hoping they don’t notice the laundry basket or children’s toys on the landing.
5. Reputation and personal brand
It sounds a lot better answering the question “where are you based?” when you can tell of the great space that you work from rather than shuffling nervously and trying to dress up the fact that you have a desk set up in the spare room at home. Even if you’re speaking to someone totally non-judgmental, the sense of confidence you can gain from knowing your business address has an appropriate amount of gravitas and the workspace is an extension of your own personality and aspiration is invaluable.
My move into Mount Wise House last year was an excellent move and I’m bang in the middle of a very sought after commercial and residential estate. In the summer there’s often a cricket match going on on the green next to my building and if I walk out of the front door and up the hill for just 30 seconds I’m right by the sea with a stunning panoramic view of a harbour full of yachts and the rolling green hills of Cornwall.
Mount Wise House
Views from Mount Wise Park
Inside the studio
Just so you can get a feel for the benefits, here are a few photos of the Mount Wise estate, the surrounding area and my studio. Not bad really.
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