March 29, 2016
For me the idea of "working from home" really means "work from anywhere anytime." Sometimes I need the confines of my home office to help me minimize distractions, but other times, I start to go stir-crazy from the silence and the monotony of four walls and desk. There are days I like to wake up at at […]
For me the idea of "working from home" really means "work from anywhere anytime." Sometimes I need the confines of my home office to help me minimize distractions, but other times, I start to go stir-crazy from the silence and the monotony of four walls and desk. There are days I like to wake up at at 6am, grab my laptop and work from my bed for a few hours then go on a dog walk before resuming work some where else in the house or outside of the house. Many people think the coffee shop is the typical out-of-the-house office, but my office is wherever I can pull out my laptop and get wifi or 3G connection. I wear a lot of hats and have a lot of interests both professionally and personally, so the ability to take my "office" with me in order to suit my lifestyle makes me a more productive and creative worker.
I know some people picture me in PJs on the couch when I say I "work from home," and while that has happened, it normally has something to do with its proximity to my wood stove in the winter and I am normally in workout clothes not PJs because I just got back from the gym, a run, or a dog walk. Typically in the summer months, I can be found on a porch swing in the back yard, on my boat at the mooring, or on the Newport Yacht Club deck with my laptop, phone and iPad working away. I have exchanged dog walks for a place to crash for a few hours between meetings or sat in my car in a parking lot to make time. This flexibility allows me to always be motivated when I am in work-mode. For me, its not about work hard, play hard. It is about work smart, enjoy life.
While the the best part of connective-ness is flexibility, the flip side is the lack of detachment, or the ability to unplug or "go dark," as I call it. Sometimes I can get in the modes where I just keep working and don't look up from my screen for hours. These can be very productive times for me but also I can feel unhealthy and drained afterwards. I love when my Apple Watch tells me to stand, because it snaps me out of my trance, and gets my body to move and my brain to relax/destress. Other times, I choose to stay in the "focus mode" and keep plugging through. However, the most important parts of these situations are the independence and the personal choice. I think back to my days in an office, or even in a school desk, where I was told when I had to work and when I had to be creative. This didn't motivate me to work smart, it just motivated me to work no matter what I was doing, so it was sometimes very unproductive.
I never want to take advantage of the opportunity and luxury I have to work from home. I know that not everyone can do it. However, my advice to anyone with the power to undertake tasks independently or task others with work, think about how you can take advantage of working smarter for personal motivation and happiness.
Here are a few on my favorite "offices" this past year: