Friday, 23 July 2010

Homework


Our guest blogger this week is Al Muirden, who talks about the pros and cons of working at home....

Home working - good or bad?


Since I became a freelance worker and based myself at home, I’ve been pondering on the pro’ and cons of living and working in the same place and whether it works for me or not.


Up to the point in April where I cut myself loose from a regular job in a regular office which involved a 10 minute drive or an hour long walk or a 15 minute cycle to get there, I HAD been working from home on the various sound editing and proof-checking work that Ali or Ali and Lorelei had generated for me and I have to admit that when slotted in around a “regular job” it worked quite well, as it was very much in the minority when it came to how I spent my working day. I could easily get changed when I’d finished my day job and go up to my den-room and settle into my “other” job and all was good.


However, when the balance was upset by not having a regular job in a regular office that involved detaching from home-base each day, I quickly came to the conclusion that it doesn’t fit the bill quite as well!
Ali and I are of course married and she has been based at home for the best part of 2 years now, so is well used to it and finds it very agreeable. She had got used to me being out of the house for most of the day and not being in a position to distract her (other than by the odd email I would send during the day).

But with me becoming a freelance worker, I was also based at home and the dynamic changed somewhat - suddenly I was free to ask inane questions on a regular basis and interrupt Ali at will. I soon discovered that this approach didn’t work with Ali (I think I knew already if I’m honest!) and I found myself getting the cold-shoulder treatment (quite rightly!) - she has so much to do with Creative Content and all of her other projects that the last thing she wanted was more distractions from me! I was finding as well that there is always another cup of tea to be had, the latest news headlines on the TV to be checked, washing to be done and hung out - the list goes on and on!

So I rapidly realised that working from home for me (and more importantly for me and Ali as a team) didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, so a solution had to be found - pronto! Luckily, my mum and dad live just over 5 minutes walk away, so I approached them and asked if I could take over a room at their house and work there!

They said “yes” and promptly had a clear out of my dad’s old office and within a day, I had a place to relocate to - all very excellent! Now I have moved all of my stuff to my new “office” and I can now have breakfast at home, check the overnight news etc and then walk out of the house EXACTLY like I used to and go to a regular office - this just happens to be at my parents house! I can close the door - they know not to disturb me - I just come out for a 10 minute tea break morning and afternoon and a half hour lunch break at midday - sometimes I even get dinner thrown in, if Ali happens to not be at home for when I finish (usually around 4:30pm).

I admit I’m lucky having such a convenient and comfortable place to work from, but believe me, when people say “I’m working from home,” don’t get too worked up about it - it isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be! - AM

photo WoodleyWonderWorks

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