After yesterday’s brain dump and a message from a friend, I have begun to realise that even though I really enjoy working for myself and don’t need someone hanging over me managing my every move, I work far better and happier when I am in an environment with other people. Last year when I was working for the short-lived start-up company, I traveled to London once a week to work in the communal workspace they worked out of. I was doing the same work that I did at home 2 days a week but was in a different location. I was surrounded by people who communicated with me, I walked to make a cup of tea and observed loads of other people interacting and had the opportunity to get out of my house and breathe in fresh air. I loved my day in London. It was London after all but it revitalised me. It made me feel like I had a “proper” job; it made me feel more official somehow.
I love the opportunity to work from home for many reasons. It means that I am home to do both school runs, drink (essentially) free tea, eat whenever I want, play Radio 2 and prepare dinner in between tasks. It means being able to wear my fuzzy socks or Mark’s old fleece to keep warm. It means gazing out into our back garden from time to time to admire the view. It means being able to take in packages or have British Gas come to give a heat assessment of our house without having to make ARRANGEMENTS. It means that if school rings because one of the children is poorly, I can walk 5 minutes down the school path to collect them and have them home with me. Working from home is brilliant.
But for me, working from home is lonely. I am realising that I NEED more stimulation. I need people to bounce ideas off. I need to feel like I am doing a JOB. But I struggle with the idea of going to a cafe to camp out for 4-5 hours. First of all, that all costs: fuel to drive there and back, parking, coffee/tea/cake/sandwich. You can’t really expect to sit at a cafe with free WiFi for more than 2 hours without purchasing something to offset your drain on their bills right? I messaged a friend of mine who also works from home several days a week and suggested that maybe once a month, we both meet and go to a local cafe to work opposite each other. We could bounce ideas off each other. Have someone to chat to occasionally and just be in the physical presence of people in the world. She was quite keen so we are going to try something like this.
And then I got to thinking today…there are a lot of work-at-home people (mums, dads, etc) who fit their freelance and/or employed work between the school runs who might feel similarly. Right? Or maybe not? But there are tonnes of communal work-spaces in larger cities where people can drop in and work for a small-medium fee or who can rent a desk space monthly or annually. They do this for a similar reason…the need for human contact. And as I often, I find myself wondering and starting to plot. I can never seem to do anything simply. I started thinking about whether a village like the ones around me might have a space that could be rented and made into a positive workspace for self-employed and work-from-home people who simply want to be in the world to do their work? I started thinking about what that work-space could look like, sound like, function like. I started thinking about the drinks station! And then I remembered that things like this cost money. And that half of the reason that work-from-home people work from home is that it doesn’t require an outlay of cash. It means walking to another room or a desk or maybe a shed (we have one of these decidedly unfinished) where you sit down and tippy tap away for 5-6 hours and then pick up your children and begin your home & family life. But it still has me thinking…which could be dangerous. Perhaps one business in the family is enough? If you have any opinions on working in a communal work-space as a traditional home-worker, feel free to let me know.
Today was another lovely Mummy Sammy Day. We went to a local garden centre after the school run and met a friend for breakfast. Sammy and I visited the animal shops in the shopping centre and then popped in to visit Mark at work to check that he hadn’t felled a tree onto his head in his on-going effort to help British Telecom secure space to run a phone cable through. BT really needs to have their own tree trimming division! Then we drove home, had lunch and a snuggle on the couch while Sam caught up on a bit of YouTube and I caught a bit of shut eye. It’s now time to work on Ella’s spellings and study a bit about volcanoes which are the subject of their upcoming creative homework assignment. Our life is so rock and roll!
A photo posted by Karin Joyce (@karinjoyce) on