Most people perceive working from home as a luxury, usually for freelancers or those with flexible (read - ‘cushy’) jobs. They’re right, it is a luxury getting paid for working at home full-time, but I don’t see that as a good thing.
The correct working environment is important for any job, but more so for us designers. A home is full of distractions and, subconsciously, you might be a little too comfortable in your familiar surroundings. We discovered this a couple of months after starting Happycry and found working remotely as a partnership far from ideal. Sure there is Skype, but it’s no match for bouncing ideas around in the flesh and talking to a computer will slowly send you mad.
Yet even if your not working collaboratively (i.e. a lone freelancer) I’d argue you should get an office. Work and home life don’t fit well in the same environment and they will inevitably interfere with each other. If you work as an individual, it’s worth looking into getting a cheap office/workplace away from the home and seeing how it affects you. It will work out expensive but your business, and your life, may be better off for it.
Look at the benefits
- Exposure to more inspiration: billboards, flyers, advertising… Inspriation is a plenty in the outside world as well as the internet.
- Seeing more people: It’s easy to become trapped in your own little world working from home. Real-life social interaction can help keep you grounded and open-minded.
- Separation of work and home life: No matter what you try, treading the boundaries of work and home life is difficult.
- Sharing ideas and critical feedback: If you’re a team (or go for a shared workplace) some quick opinions and a different viewpoint can make the difference between a good idea and a great idea.
- Sanity: Combination of all the above
Working from home full-time looks the ideal setup: it’s cheap & convenient – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. It’s fine for the odd day here and there but if you use it as a permanent workplace you should ask yourself… Is it really is the best option for your business and your lifestyle, or just convenient?
Posted on 05 March 2010Tweet