If you work from home, you can probably relate to this article in the New Yorker. The satirical piece – “I Work From Home” – imagines a phone call between Robert, who works from home, and a 911 operator. Spoiler alert: It’s funny …. and oh so true.
I can relate because I work a lot from home. I’m Paul Briand, I’m a freelance writer, and, while I haven’t been recorded on a 911 call, I have been known to talk to the cardinals, chickadees, and occasional wooly woodpeckers at the bird feeder outside my window. It can get a little lonely, a little isolated.
Thankfully, I’m also a member at the Cooperative Venture Workspace. The membership as a part-time occupier of some dedicated space, helps me achieve a balance – enjoying the economics of working at home, while enjoying the social and professional interaction that the shared workspace provides.
Freelancers, consultants, and one-person proprietorships have any number of options when it comes to going to work. If there’s wi-fi, we can work. Even if we don’t have wi-fi, we can work by hot-spotting off our smartphones (but watch those data charges).
I found an interesting online magazine — Deskmag — that is all about this issue of work as a mobile venture, and it has a good article that compares and contrasts the options of a home office, co-working space, and coffee shop.
The article pinpoints the reasons why I value the time I spend at the Workspace — greater motivation, quality social encounters, and professional venue.
When I have a lot to do, I know when I sit at my desk at the Workspace that a lot of work will get done. I’m disciplined and productive at home, but there can be distractions — my guitars, for example. (Spoiler: There are guitars in the 911 call.)
I enjoy talking to the people I’ve met at the Workspace. I like being able to drop in on Nick Bouquet and talk about his latest Evergreen Partners Housing project. Molly McPherson of Social Shift Media likes to hear about my grandson; I like to hear about her daughter. I poke my head in to say hi to Leslie Wiseman at Love Affair (full disclosure – she’s helping out with my stepdaughter’s wedding). They engage me, they inspire me as fellow small business people.
And the venue is truly professional. I recently had an interview with a couple of local folks for a story I was writing. I took a lot of pride in being able to greet them at the front desk and bring them into a space with a lot of class and style.
The Workspace helps me achieve a certain work/life balance that can be challenging when the office is at home …and when the birds just don’t care to talk back.