Working from home was doing my head in. I spent 23 hours a day in my house, and I was going nuts. I needed to get out.
So, I tried an office hot desk arrangement. For a reasonable monthly sum I worked at a Camberwell office two days per week.
I got lovely light-filled desk space. The people working there were friendly and accommodating. There were no passive aggressive signs about what happens if you eat Janet’s expensive organic yoghurt.
It was a chance for me to escape my wardrobe (where I work from home) and be more professional and capable.
But no, as it turned out.
Myth: working in an office will make me more productive
Fact: I am quite capable of procrastinating anywhere. The lure of Camberwell shops gave me more than ample opportunity to do so.
Myth: a short commute will not bother me
Fact: it does. I can work from home with no commute, and have limited working hours per week to spare. So, it was this commute (and lack of parking that added extra transit time) that was frustrating.
Myth: clients will appreciate that I’m working from an office
Fact: clients don’t care if I work from the the moon. They just want well written, on-time, affordable copywriting work.
Myth: I can’t wait to get out of home
Fact: Working from home is fabulous. I have my desk set up just the way I want. Working in tattered KMart leggings is welcome. I can pop round the corner for errands. My complex post it note project management system is visible at a glance. I can burn my essential oil blends that help me concentrate. I missed those little things.
Myth: I’m looking forward to presenting myself more professionally
Fact: I’d rather not waste valuable time hair-straightening and lipstick-applying.
I spoke about the dilemma at my local business networking group Greater Ashburton Business. I realised that it’s a problem that many small business owners face. Business owners of all kinds struggle with switching off from work, allocating space for business and feeling like they never leave their property. With their expert guidance, I realised this trial was not working out for me.
So, I ended the trial arrangement with the office and now I am back to my wardrobe where I belong.
It’s a lesson to appreciate the benefits of working from home that I had taken for granted.