Up until 2008, the idea of working for myself had never occurred to me. Then I met my hubby. He’s been self employed for as long as we’ve been together. He worked from his home office at the start of our relationship, and it suited him well. At the time, I worked for a mobile phone company, training new customer service advisors, and handling customer complaints.
What Happened Next?
For the most part, I loved my job. One night, I moaned to hubby about the role I hoped to progress into being removed from the business model, and he said I should work for him as his assistant. (We’d been together for about 4 months at this point). Honestly, I thought he was kidding. I said thanks but no thanks – there’s no way I’m working from your home office. Maybe if you had a proper office in a business centre or something. Suddenly, we were looking for offices in business centres, buying office furniture and discussing the various types of commercial flooring they offered. (Vinyl is easier to clean, but carpet is warmer in the Winter and means less noise from the office above)!
Everyone thought I was crazy for leaving a job I had loved to do something I’d never done before, with my other half. It was exciting though, and I knew I could go back to my old job if I really needed to. The office was great for so many reasons. I loved that we had to leave the house to work, so we “clocked on” and “clocked off”. We had a communal kitchen and staff room, so there were plenty of opportunities to talk to other people too.
How Did The Office Work Out?
The main downside to it was the cost. We were paying £850pm plus VAT, (which is more than our mortgage). The building had an ongoing issue with break-ins too, so we were constantly concerned about our equipment being stolen, which meant we had to pay for insurance too. In the end, the final nail in the proverbial coffin came when I had left one night and hubby rang me saying someone was in the building and he’d locked himself in the office and was waiting on the police. We’ve worked from the home office since then.
Home Office Verdict?
While working from our home office has many pro’s…. (Working in your pyjamas, putting a load of washing on when you nip to make a coffee, saving a fortune in office fees etc), there’s plenty of cons too… (You never really “clock off”, so housework gets left, people assume you’re free to help them during the day as you’re at home, half the street’s deliveries are dropped at your house every day)… For us, it’s the lesser of two evils – for now at least.
I definitely do miss the social side of working outside of home. We don’t get Christmas parties, there’s no secret Santa, no office gossip and no girly chit chat when you work from your sofa. I try to get around that by working from a cafe or such like once or twice a week though. Or I mix it up and meet a friend during the day, then work once the kids are in bed instead. It’s a constant juggling act.
Have you got a home office? Have you considered working from a business centre? I’d love to know your thoughts.