The Freelance Series: Taking the “Home” out of “Home Office”

I recently asked on Twitter if anyone had any opinions on my next blog entry concerning freelance life and Joel Stransky wrote “I’d be interested to hear about disturbance agreements you have with your family.”. Therefore, Joel, this post’s for you.

Make a space
My situation is one where I staked out one room in my home for my office.

If you are able to remove yourself from the regular hustle and bustle of your home, much better for you.

I leave my door open because I want to accessible but in the end my space is my own*. In every sense of the phrase I have a “home office”. So what do I mean when I say “Take the home out of home office”? Think of it like this;

When you work at a company you get, at the very least, a desk. When you don’t see your family for the duration of a work day, most people have photos of said family. You know, to remind them of “better times.” Sorry.

When you work from home and you have a 4 month-old baby girl, a 5 and a 1/2 year-old boy and a wife on maternity leave, all you have are reminders of your family’s presence. Keep family photos out of your workspace. Keep all mementos of non-work out of your work space. That’s the function of the rest of your home.

So that’s Home Office. Let’s get into interruptions. You know when you’re sitting at your desk, diligently working away and a coworker comes up to you and asks a question, completely throwing off your flow/chi/balance/progress? Now imagine these are your coworkers:

That’s right, cuteness overload. However, when your wife is taking care of a fussy baby and your son yells upstairs “Daddy! I need help!” and he’s referring to some video game (which you know you’d rather be playing anyway) you have to restrain yourself from jumping up. Instead yell back, “Sorry buddy, Daddy’s working.” To be fair, that’s super hard to do. (See above picture). I have listened to my wife explain to my son that “You need to pretend that Daddy isn’t home.” This is not an easy concept for a 5 year-old to grasp. He is starting to come ’round, though. Slowly but surely.

The other thing my wife mentioned that would make the separation of home and office easier would be to close my door. I am considering it, but I do like being available in some instances.

So, I don’t know, Joel, if that answered your comment, but that’s the best I have at the moment.

* I need to point out that we are currently in the middle of moving rooms so my lovely little office is completely overrun. Such is life and I do my best to ignore it.

2 thoughts on “The Freelance Series: Taking the “Home” out of “Home Office””

  1. Good points. I certainly could not work with my door open. Our family room is close enough to my office that the noise from either room would distract each other. My daughter would be in here constantly if she could see me.
    I’m still working on getting my wife to measure the importance of what she needs to talk to me about and I need to get some “on the air” light I can hang outside the door.
    The cuteness overload is definitely a factor. My wife will send my daughter to come get me when dinner is ready and nothing puts a bigger smile on my face to hear her knock on my door and yell “daa-deeee, re-deee!”

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