Ahhhh working from the home office. Dreamy. Wake up a little later. Make yourself a flat white. Swan about in your fave leisure wear, munching on your home-made muesli and sitting down at your beautifully adorned desk to write screeds of extremely professional emails, locking down 4 new deals and clearing the to do list by 1130am.
When I worked in the corporate world, my employers were fairly lenient with a ‘WFH’ (working from home) day here and there. I was so thrilled not to be sitting in my cubicle or ‘hot desk’, I twiddled away on the couch/rug/balcony with minimal distractions and was fairly efficient. Unsurprisingly with employers eager to keep workers loyal & the growth in entrepreneurship research shows one in 12 workers (769k) in Australia (ABS 2013) and 169k in New Zealand (NZS 2016) choosing to base themselves down the hallway. However, after 3 years away from a cubicle and working on my own business I’ve decided to pull the pin on living the h’office phenomenon full time.
Sure I get it. WFH is pretty rad. You have flexibility. There’s no nasty commute and there’s plenty of tax benefits. If you have little ones this can work in well with pick ups/ drop offs and you can easily slink off for an afternoon nana nap where required. And wow! How spotless does the house look whenever you encounter a business problem? However here are several reasons why I think it’s worth ditching your sweats and h’office and getting back to ‘work world‘.
Being social vs lonely. A survey of 250 ‘work-from-home’ workers by McCrindle Research in Australia last year found 58 per cent are craving more social interaction and face-to-face contact. WFH is lonely and while the office dramas can drag us down we underestimate the power of being surrounded by others to push us, share ideas and build our confidence. Find a space to work with like-minded folk where you can interact, network, join group learning sessions and potentially do a better job of of ‘co-lab’ than Justin Bieber on exciting projects with new colleagues.
Self-discipline. The struggle is real. Respondents from the same survey also admitted to eating more food, spending more on office expenses, being unable to relax at home after work and struggling to muster enough self-motivation to do a decent job. The housework all seemed to take top priority for me all of a sudden when I didn’t have to ‘be’ anywhere. If you’re an Olympic qualified procrastinator your h’office is likely your enemy. Move away & fast.
Professionalism in an ug boot? Honestly how much of a success story do you feel in your slippers? Even when coaching on Skype I know what’s going on under the desk and it makes me feel sloppy. Even when you’re WFH it’s always advised to dress as if you were meeting clients in order to convey to yourself & others you mean business.
Work/life balance. Pffft. From the same McCrindle research only 25% of people said the WFH offered better work/ life balance. Remember – you can NEVER escape the h’office. Saturday & Sundays blend into a slippery slope of working hours because you were too busy attending to your herb garden on Monday & the computer’s standby light is beckoning you every time you walk past.
The Buzz. Home & Away omnibus playing in the background does not make up for the atmospheric buzz of people kicking goals and the uplifting energy you can literally feel being surrounded by others. The banter may drop off but the sounds of others getting sh*t done is enough to motivate the snooziest of us.
The alternatives. Many of my clients are ‘solpreneurs’ and if budget is a little tight they choose to hit up cafes or libraries – though NZ seriously lags Australia on free wifi spots. The only annoyance is the occasional café office hogger loudly completing personal admin on their headset purchasing just two mocha-chinos for a days free rent.
For those of us who don’t have to go into a company office I am a big fan of co-share spaces. I’ve visited many inspiring hubs in Sydney and NZ over the last 3 years & I’m excited to finally commit to a space called The Collect and see how my productivity levels accelerate, network grows and routine falls into place. I believe it will be the best of both worlds but I’m very aware at the end of the day my determination to have my own successful business will always be the driver to get up motivated everyday whether I’m in an office, h’office or co-share space.
Enough from me. The dryer just ‘dinged’ and it’s time to get folding.
Check out some co-share #inspo from around the globe.
- Coco Vivo is going on my must work at list.
- One Roof in Melbourne has me intrigued.
- Loving how light all these cowork spaces are in the U.S.
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