ADVICE / 58
today’s question: “do you ever get lonely working from home? what do you do when you need to bounce an idea off someone?”
i’ve always been in an office environment so i can’t speak from experience, but i have a ton of friends that are on their own. my friend julia works from home and skypes with her friends in chicago all day. they just leave it up and will holler if they need to talk to someone. i bet that kicks any of the lonely feelings. i have other friends that rent desk space at studiomates in brooklyn. my friend jonnie just wrote about being in a co-working space there and how it’s given him a ton of new connections and jobs he wouldn’t have had if he was at home (the article also includes some fantastic freelance advice!). renting a studio space as a freelancer starting out feels like a luxury to me, but high-five to jonnie for taking the leap. i would work from home one or two years until this became necessary/possible.
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lets pretend i do work at home. i would probably plan days to work at a friends house to get my interaction needs covered. I also think just taking the occasional lunch break with a friend to talk out ideas over tacos would work well for me. but! part of me thinks I’d enjoy the quiet. i love working in an office but it’s social hour all day long. you’re always interacting with someone. i find it hard to get work done sometimes. don’t get me wrong, i’m a social butterfly and i love to chit chat, but there are days i have to plug in my headphones to get any work done. the grass is always greener right?
i have worked at a 9-5 job in a cubicle, at home all by myself, and in a shared creative space with a bunch of freelancers. there was a time when i was at home everyday working…in silence…and it drove me crazy. i couldn’t stand being in the house so much, always in my pajamas, and no one to chat with on my “breaks.” one day i took a walk with brian from shark pig and we decided to look for a space with some friends. we ended up finding a loft space in atwater village (we are shooting our office makeover this weekend!) the rent would only be $250 per person (which is cheap for LA!), it was 5 minutes from my house and finally i would have some creative energy around me. it was the best thing i could have ever done. i have met so many people from being there, we have happy hours together, and i’m able to stay motivated by being around a group of hard-working folks.
there are some weeks where i only go in 2-3 days a week because i do still enjoy working in silence on certain busy days…but the option of going in to the office is awesome. the space is a tax write-off and more importantly i feel like i can truly separate my work with my home life now. it’s also made me excited to come home and see arian after a full day at the office (it can be hard working in a home with your guy, you gotta have some time to miss one another!). it was also important for me to have a space for my employees to be able to spread out and focus. arian walks around in his boxers and that isn’t really a professional work environment!
when i was working at home alone i would definitely take walks, go to brunch with fellow freelance friends, and work from the coffee shop a couple days a week so i could get in some good people watching while i worked. my vote is for a shared space if you are able to make that work!