How to break the bad habits of working from home
Okay, we get it; working from home has its benefits. On winter days like these, the lure of the central heating and the sofa wins outright compared to de-icing the car to face a freezing cold commute. At home you can work as and when you like, and you can wear what you want too, jeans, oversized hoodies and – dare we say it – even pyjamas suddenly becoming an acceptable uniform for your working week. There’s a fridge full of food and a cupboard full of your favourite mugs for when creative block hits and only a brew can get you through. But working from home isn’t all rainbows. From struggling to get that elusive work-life balance right to finding yourself flicking through the channels when you should be rattling through the invoicing, look closely and you’ll see the signs that working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Here are three tell-tale signs that it could be time to consider co-working instead.
You find yourself relocating
Working from home always starts with good intentions. A Saturday afternoon in Ikea takes care of the desk and swivel chair situation (plus a candle of two, naturally). You’ve created your workspace and are positively bossing the freelance life from your home-based hive of activity. But laptops are portable and sofas are seductive, especially when they’re positioned in front of a TV brimming with box sets. Before you know it your desk is languishing dust-covered in the corner and your working hours are spent on the sofa, laptop on your knee – or a cushion if you’re feeling fancy – Friends re-runs on the TV and the dog snoozing by your feet. It’s a cosy little set up that sees us through many an off-duty evening, but finding yourself relocating to the sofa to work could be a sign that it’s time to up your game and opt for a more professional set up. Co-working bridges the gap between working from home and heading back into a traditional office environment.
You’re craving human contact
Working from home is heaven for introverts and anyone who likes their own company more than anyone else’s, but you might be surprised by just how quickly you come to crave human interaction. If you recently took the plunge from full-time employment to freelancing, the lack of office banter and chats by the water cooler can take some getting used to. At the other end of the scale, anyone who has worked from home for a while will be all too familiar with that moment when you realise you haven’t left the house for three days straight. Or spoken to anyone but the cat. Isolation comes easy when you have work to do but the shared ideas, lunchtime chats and general camaraderie that comes with co-working is worth getting dressed and leaving the house for. Plus, the cat will appreciate you all the more when you get home.
You’ve gone from anytime to all-the-time
Ask anyone who has put the work into becoming self-employed or freelance why they did it and flexibility to work whenever they choose will be right up there at the top of the list. There is no better feeling than knowing you decide what your working week looks like, whether that entails early morning starts so you can pick the kids up from school or burning the midnight oil to suit your night owl tendencies. The bad habits of working from home creep in when you struggle to differentiate between the two. Lunchtimes dwindle from a relaxing hour at the local coffee shop to 15 minutes scoffing some toast in the kitchen. That yoga class you relished finding time to attend now you set your own hours is suddenly sacrificed for Skype calls and you find yourself answering emails in front of the TV at 9pm. Co-working is a great way to set boundaries between work and life. Before you know it you’ll find yourself settling into a routine and nailing that work-life balance we’re all aiming for.
At Helm, we’re big on keeping things casual and creating an atmosphere that inspires creativity in our co-working space, rather than keeping your cooped up like traditional office set ups have a tendency to. We make a great brew too, so get in touch today if you’re ready to break the bad habits of homeworking. We’ll even let you wear your pyjamas, if you must.