I’ve been a home-based worker for several years. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed my time in the home office. But lately something has changed. I’ve been less enamoured with working from home, and as a result my productivity has taken a hit. I have been thinking about what it is that has changed for me, and it boils down to this.
I was lonely.
Even though my chat windows and social networks are always a click away when I’m working, I still felt a real sense of loneliness. There’s something about the office environment, having other people around, the hustle and bustle, that is motivating to me. Even just having someone to say a friendly good morning to at the coffee maker can set your day off right. Working at home you miss all that. And it does get really lonely sometimes.
I had to keep moving my stuff around.
I have a home office set up and that’s fine, but when my partner and I need to get together to work on projects, I’m finding that I have to shuffle files around and carry a boatload of things with me to the coffee shop or her place or wherever we decide to meet. It’s inconvenient and I’m forever misplacing things as a result.
I need a space to collaborate.
Virtual collaboration can only get you so far. Yes, we have amazing tools like Google Hangouts that allow us to connect and work with each other. Call me old fashioned, but nothing trumps face to face for collaboration. I am in love with the idea of having a space to collaborate with my colleagues and clients. A home for my business, not my business at home. It’s just so much more real to me when I can have a physical space like that.
There’s a sense of credibility.
There’s something that legitimizes your business when you have a space to call home. It doesn’t have to be a big space (and believe me, our new office is not very big), but just having a place to hang your hat, a place to have clients in, gives a sense of real-ness that a virtual office just can’t give you.
I will still keep my home office set up and will still work from home on occasion – sometimes you need the peace and quiet that comes from being in your own home. But I am looking forward to being in an office environment again. For me, people are vitally important to my success at work. That’s the piece that’s been missing from my equation.
What say you?