November 21, 2011

Home Court or Away Game?

Nicole Block, NicEvents

Author: Steve Gordon, Jr.

Many people's first expectation is that they'll work from home. Don't make the assumption that this will be the ideal situation for you. Some people are great at it and love to work in their own environment in their pajamas. Others need the social life of office spaces to stay happy and productive. And there are those that find that working from home tends to creep into their downtime, which includes time with family and personal activities, because they can't turn the professional world off. Maybe you're better suited to doing onsite freelance work; maybe you can share office space with other creatives just to have a social environment; or maybe you can set up your home office in a separate room and shut the door at the end of the workday. But be honest with yourself—it's not easy to be creative if you're in an environment that bums you out.

Pluses of home office:

  • Short commute (although you lose the weather excuse)
  • Best coffee around, just like you like it every time
  • Tax deductions in abundance
  • Work without brushing your teeth or combing your hair
  • You can wear a tie if you'd like, but it will look really funny with boxers.
  • Cheap rent, good landlord

Minuses of home office:

  • Work without brushing your teeth or combing your hair
  • Your kids/cat/spouse/neighbor/mailman interrupt you all the time.
  • You find yourself working at 11:00 pm on Friday, or 2:00 am on Sunday, and perhaps not at 9:00 am on Tuesday.
  • Loss of the collaborative environment can adversely affect your creative vibe.

Pluses of office space:

  • You get up, get dressed, go to work—structure can help creativity.
  • You have a place to invite clients and have meetings.
  • By setting yourself up as a professional, you're more likely to act like one.
  • By setting yourself up as a professional, your clients are more likely to see you as one.

Minuses of outside office:

  • Rent can be expensive.
  • Leases can be a drag, especially if you change your mind in a few months.
  • It can get lonely without the cat/spouse/neighbor interrupting you.
  • Minimalism is good, but you'll need to invest in some furniture.

Source: 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers