Home Vs. Office
I was going to write about something different this week until the morning it came to start writing about these weeks topic, at my day job, the internet went dead. Not just for an hour, but for the entire business day, which ultimately rendered my role in the business obsolete for a day. This had me thinking about the idea of working remotely vs. working in an office.
Normally, when you work for someone else, they require you to work on site, in person, with them. Whereas if you’re an independent entrepreneur, you have a lot more freedom to choose where you wish to work and gives you the ability to move around more freely. Whether you like working from home or in an office, comes from your personality type. Introverted or extroverted, mixing with people and being in a noisy/busy environment. Or working from home, in an isolated environment and solitude. Away from crowded offices and noise (generally).
The age-old stigma for young designers, photographers, creative graduates etc. would be to move to large cities. Where the work is bountiful and there is endless opportunities for work and chance meetings with other creatives and people in your line of work, directors, agency owners, startups, and just people looking to hire you in general. A chance for new work, closer proximity to resources.
Communication was harder for people outside of a city, for the most part, due to the absence of the internet.
This is not the case now, as most entrepreneur friends I talk to now say that there is more opportunity for them online, more so than in their locality. The abundance of social media, blogging, portfolio, image sharing and e-commerce platforms allows you to create your own work and products to showcase and sell online at your own ease, in your very own home.
The internet gives us more of an opportunity than ever to create and showcase your work, regardless of geographical location.
Western society is trending more in the direction of working remotely, yet there are still some negative connotations associated with people who work from home. That they don’t wish to leave the house, they may be lazy. Which may be true, depending on how disciplined you are when working at home. If you find yourself easily distracted by social media or other activities while trying to do your work, you may fall into the trap of thinking that you will get a lot done by working at home. You must have a solid work plan in place and dedicate specific time for your distractions.
The night before, make a list of 3 things you need to do the next morning and start with the most difficult.
The best clients hire the best people, regardless of geographical location. There are great opportunities from working in an office too, from communication, learning and generating ideas, discovering new insights, collaborating with different minds, and that feeling of comfort you get just being in the company of others (see; hermit mentality).
As an extrovert, I enjoy working in an office space, but if you job is predominantly digital, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s the only option available for you. Be open with your client/employer, discuss the possibility of working remotely a few days out of the month to start, then gradually work from there, even if they insist on you being present in location. On average, the daily commuter spends about 2 hours a day commuting to their workplace.
Think of the side projects you can work on or even start, the family time you can have, or an activity you could take up in those 2 hours.
The practice you could have on your secondary passion (or even primary). Let that be the motivation you need to bring it up with your next client who wishes for you to work on location. There are benefits to working in both environments, both depending on which personality type you are.
Ask yourself; are you able to work effectively from home, being disciplined, without being easily distracted? Or do you need to be in the hustle and bustle of a busy office or shared workspace environment to motivate you to work? Can you really be productive at home? Is it just something people say that they can work at home, to give off the impression that they have more freedom in their work? Can you really be disciplined at home without distraction? Yes. But ultimately, it comes down to how passionate you are about your work.