I started working in an office setting when I was only 22.
That was all I knew until I went through a divorce and had to make a decision about employment. Do I go back to the job I had before I became a full-time stay-at-home-mom? My two boys were pretty young at the time – the oldest was only in 1st Grade and my youngest wasn’t even in Preschool yet. I wanted to be home when they were home, so I started my own business as an Interior Designer.
I quickly learned the problem with working from home is that I was HOME.
I wasn’t commuting to an office surrounded by other people working. I didn’t even need to change out of my pajamas, if I didn’t want to. My “office” was on the couch with my laptop. As glamorous as that may sound, it was not comfortable and I was definitely NOT productive.
There was no separation between work and chores.
Laundry needed washed, dishes needed cleaned, and the cats needed demanded attention. I found myself not working when I should, and working when I shouldn’t. When the kids got home from school, I would ask about their day, but being on the couch with my laptop wasn’t really present. Many nights I would find myself answering emails and creating floor plans at 10:00 while binge-watching Netflix.
I didn’t feel like I was really accomplishing anything and I was getting burned out.
I decided enough was enough and I created a workspace for myself in the basement. The space was actually there the whole time, but I didn’t like the idea of working in a basement. It felt like a dungeon, and I’m my own boss, dammit!
The first order of business was to paint the walls a bright, happy color (which also happens to be the same color in my logo).
I changed the overhead lighting from the cold, depressing fluorescent bars to a soft and warm pendant shade light. Instead of squinting at my laptop, I installed a large external monitor. I splurged and purchased a quality office chair. All the tools I need to do my job are now within reach. No more walking up and down the stairs (although it was good exercise) to grab something off the printer. I added other visual touches such as a large whiteboard calendar to easily track the deadlines for all my clients. And a photo of my boys and my vision board to remind me of my “WHY.”
I framed my logo to hang as I’m descending into the basement. It’s a mental switch that tells me I’m at work now. And when my kids arrive home from school, I’m also home and more importantly, present. Not only do I maintain reasonable business hours, I’m actually more efficient and productive.
And I LOVE working from home!
Please Comment below and share your experiences with working from home.