Working From Home – Office Or Not?

working from home

Working From Home – Herding Cats… 

working from homeWorking from home has its positives and in my humble opinion those well outweigh the disadvantages. When our cat wandered into the living room recently with a dying sparrow in his mouth I decided it was time to get the dedicated office space done! I was on a conference call with 30 other people.  In this post I just want to talk best practice. Should you have a dedicated office area or lots of little “create spaces when working from home?”

I’ve run my online business from home for several years. First in a Glasgow tenement flat. There I was fortunate enough to have a large spare room that I turned into an office. Now in our new home in Argyll I have just started building a dedicated office. For 8 months I have been working from the living room table and elsewhere. This has to change.

Both the living room and two of our 3 bedrooms offer staggering views over the firth of Clyde. The 3rd bedroom offers a view of the back garden and Argyll forest beyond. Spoilt for choice you might think, but sometimes the views can be distracting. Just now for example I’m watching a submarine cruise down the Firth towards the open sea on a gorgeous sunny day.

Murder and Other Distractions….

working from homeSince I really only need a laptop to run the business, I can work from wherever the WiFi allows – which is most of the house and garden. I’ve chosen the smallest, sea-facing bedroom to use as an office. I’ll still move around – especially to the garden if summer turns out the way I hope, but the dedicated space is much needed. Murderous cats aside, my partner runs a driving school so is in and out of the house during the day. This is also quite distracting at times.

This weekend I bought the bits and pieces I need to extend the sill of the bay window to the size of a small desk in the chosen space. I’ve been stalling doing this for a while but the cat incident kicked me into gear. The joys of working from home indeed!

The Joy Of Dedicated Spaces

My business involves still and video photography. I have cameras, tripods, lighting and even a green screen. Whilst this is quite portable it’s a lot easier to have a semi permanent set up. One wall of the new office will be green screen with the lamps and tripods on the opposite wall.

2019 Update: The green screen wall is done!

I’ll still be able to shoot video from elsewhere in the house or garden but for the most part it’ll be a “good to go” video studio. It’ll also have a lock on the door! This will offer the best of both worlds: A dedicated studio cum office when I need to be locked away and lots of seriously great create spaces nearby.

I guess there are also subconscious benefits to having a “real” office. When working from home, particularly with an online business, it’s easy to forget you’re running a business. Having a desk, chair, printer, filing cabinets etc sort of makes it real: You go in there to work. Even if that work is a lot of fun – and lets face it – this will also be a bit of a man cave!

Working From Home – The Office Advantage

Whilst a permanent office space is by no means necessary for working from home I’d say, if you have the space, do it. Not only for the reasons above but also because anything you need to buy to do it is tax deductable as is a portion of the household expenses.

Obviously working from home is different for everyone depending on what kind of business is being run. I don’t intend to spend most of my time in there when its ready but it will be a huge asset all the same. Actually for me, my home surroundings are very important. They demonstrate the kind of location freedom an online business allows. I need to be able to shoot video in front of those amazing views from the living room, office or garden deck.

I also however need to design websites, landing pages and advertising campaigns. I need peace and quiet to write blogs, emails and broadcasts. I also need to be able to take part in conference calls, webinars and Skype calls. This is easier without cute little birds being dismembered nearby!

Are you considering working from home yourself and looking for a flexible, modern business to do it with? If so, grab a series of free videos on the link below that’ll give you some serious food for thought.

working from home