Maybe it’s the need to be as close to the kettle as possible or just because it’s at the heart of our home, but even though I’ve got a dedicated home office that I love I can often be found working at the kitchen table instead. I guess that’s one of the best things about working from home – you’re not restricted to one workspace, you can pick your spot for the day, whether it’s at your desk, on the sofa, or even holed up in bed (this ranks pretty highly for me on cold, winter days or if I’m feeling under the weather).
Having said that, I’ve always had some rules about working from home that keep me sane. I like to have a shower and get dressed. Even if it’s just swapping my pjs for comfy tracky bottoms and an oversized sweatshirt, for me that flicks the switch in my head to say that my working day has begun. And although I might potter around with the radio on while I’m having breakfast and making coffee, I need it to be quiet when I settle down to work. That’s another thing I love about being in my own space – when I was based in an office I had to accept all the noise around me such as music, chit chat, phones ringing. I do sometimes miss the general hubbub, but when I really need to knuckle down and focus I relish the silence.
I know some freelancers need a buzz around them, so they prefer to pack up the essentials (such as a super-portable 13 inch laptop) and head out to a nearby café to take advantage of the free wifi. I’m often tempted to try this (even though I know I’d probably get little done because I’m so easily distracted), but I’ve yet to find the perfect local haunt. Plus I’m most relaxed at home. I’ve always wished I could be one of those people who are happy to have lunch out on their own, or go to the cinema solo, but I’m too self-conscious. I wonder if I should push myself more (a solo trip to the cinema has been on my ‘things to try’ list for years) but then I get stuck between thinking I should be braver, and accepting that that’s not who I am.
One option I’d love to have would be a shared workspace I could decamp to when I’m in the mood for like-minded company. I’m a sociable person, and I do miss office chat, especially when I’m in need of inspiration and encouragement. There’s nothing better than brainstorming and bouncing ideas off people who know where you’re coming from. I’d happily rent some desk space with fellow creatives if the chance ever came along.
How do you work best when you’re based at home? Do you have a set routine or do you like to mix it up? Any tips for the perfect home-working set up?
Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Dell, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.