TheAspenStand: To Work From Home or Not to Work From Home?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

To Work From Home or Not to Work From Home?

Have you ever wondered about working from/at home? Do you or do you know someone who works at home? Wonder what that type work environment is like?

Recently I saw a conversation on the Zazzle, Inc. Print on Demand forum about designers who decided to try co-working. Designers left their home offices or home workspaces to see what it would be like to work in public spaces. That forum discussion and a social media post that recommended sharing something about who I am prompted me to write this particular post. I'm sharing my thoughts on working at home and you learn a bit about me.

I travel for work when there is some, which is totally unrelated to photography or digital artwork. That leaves me ample home time to prepare my Zazzle store products in my cubby/home office. The room was a bedroom until we did a minor bit of renovation and now it serves as my space. I rearrange office elements when I feel the need which is generally with the summer and winter seasons. I have a habit of reorganizing the layout throughout the house though so it's nothing special for the office. 

Rearranging gives me a sense of renewal. I don't purchase new elements for the room, I simply rearrange. I may add something from another room like a houseplant or a small chair but generally not something large. Everything I need is right there. I may also remove an item as I have done with the tall standing computer desk on the far left in the photograph below. That computer desk now looks great with a variety of houseplants on all the levels in our sunroom. I also have a few of my photographs framed and on the wall. Both sides of the pocket doors have built in book shelves that give it a library feel when you walk in. 


Fisheye view of my home office.
I've spent time working in open and separate room office designs in my early years. In both scenarios, I often found it easy to be distracted by just about everything. People talking and movements would keep me from getting much done. Recently I've had to leave the home office with my laptop for public wifi due to an inadequate internet connection. It was nice getting out but I never got a lot done.

My office cubby is spacious and pet-friendly. We replaced a wall with glass pocket doors so the room has been a great way to acclimate new furbabies. New furbabies can be in with me and see out while the current fur babies outside the room can see in. That has worked quite well. Two huge windows on different walls illuminate the room with natural light. The windows also give me a glimpse of nature when I look out.

Currently, there is a corner with a feather-bed turned pet bed that the dogs and cats come to visit while I'm in there. The blue rocking chair visible in the right corner of the office photo above has a small quilt that one or two of the cats sleep on when I'm in there. I'm never alone and can talk to them all day. They are great listeners. I have musical accompaniment in the background and I'm good to go. 


Gavin is hard asleep in the feather bed.
I noticed two concerns when I started using this as an office. I found it distracting knowing that I can go do things around the house and initially I was working well beyond the normal hours one would spend in an office away from home.

Over time I've learned a few tricks. Walking away on short breaks that would be taken in an away office environment are necessary. During those times I might get minor tasks done in the house then return to the room. I've also spent late nights into early mornings working on specific designs or products. I learned that isn't always the best practice and I don't do it much anymore.

I have no problem not working around other people because I'm an introvert. I think some people can make a home office work and others will still need that companion atmosphere.

What are your thoughts about working at home compared to an office/group environment?

2 comments:

  1. Hi Patricia,

    Wow! I love your home office. I don't know what it looked like before, but it's beautiful now. How does color affect you? That orange wall makes me happy, and I imagine that's why you chose it. The pocket doors to keep some pets in and some out makes a lot of sense as well.

    Thank you for this article!

    Carol

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  2. Hi Carol.

    Thank YOU for checking out the post and your kind words. We never had accent walls in our home. Our neighbor and wife are painters. She convinced me to select an accent color for each room. I bounced among a few shades of orange for the office and I loved this one. Sometimes when the light is beaming in from both large windows, I don't even notice the color. That's what is nice about having the natural light fill the room during the day.

    Thanks again for all your interactivity.

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