Working From Home

22-Jul-2014

Tara and I started Braid Creative right at three years ago from my 1920s tudor-style home located just a hop and a skip from downtown Oklahoma City. After a couple of years of growing our little business from my guest bedroom, I got pregnant and found myself needing some work / life separation. That’s when we decided to rent an office space to call our own. For the last year we’ve really enjoyed having a space to call our very own (plus the incentive it gave us to get dressed). And if I’m being completely honest, having rent and utilities set up in our business’ name made us feel capital “L” Legit. An office space seemed to complete the picture of success we had painted for ourselves as creative entrepreneurs. 

Kathleen here. I recently decided to move out of that 1920s house and into a new home. I didn’t move far – just a hop and a skip from where I was. But my new house (a rad mid-century modern 1950s split-level ranch) just so happens to be across the street from my sister and business partner, Tara. So with that, after a year of proving to ourselves how credible and successful we were by paying overhead on an office space, we decided to bring Braid Creative back home. 

When you work from home it’s easy to let work bleed into life and let boundaries slide. It’s easy to feel isolated and unprofessional when you’re working in your pajamas from your bed. So today I’m going to share a few ideas on how to keep the personal and professional blend that comes with working from home feeling ideal.

1. Remember, You’re Not A Homemaker 
Just because you work from home does not mean that you have time to be a full time homemaker and build the creative career of your dreams. So don’t feel bad if you aren’t able to tend to the laundry, dishes, cooking, and cleaning during work hours. Also, if you have a partner or family living with you it’s important to communicate this point to them as well. 

2. Create a Sacred Working Space 
Whether it’s in your kitchen nook, on your couch, or in a dedicated room with a door, make the space you work best in as conducive to your creativity as possible. Some ideas for creating a sacred workspace might include: lighting a candle or incense, decorating your walls with art work or inspiring magazine clippings, keeping your space uncluttered, and having your favorite mug full of your favorite pens close by. Brainstorm what works for you. It’s important to respect and like the space you’re working in. 

(I’ll be writing more about how your physical space can affect your work, for better or worse, in this week’s Braid newsletter going out on Friday morning. Sign up to receive our exclusive Letters for Creatives here.)

3. Get Out of Your House 
The hardest part about working from home can be feeling a bit isolated from your community. So make it a point to get out a few times a week. I like meeting local clients and creative peers at my favorite coffee shop. I also like to get some fresh air with a morning walk before I begin my day. 

4. Do Something You Couldn’t Do at An Office 
One of the best parts about working from home is doing things you couldn’t do at an office. Here are just a few ideas: cook yourself a delicious meal in the middle of the day, tend to your garden, watch a movie, do some chores (if that floats your boat), take a bubble bath, or lay out and soak up some sun. Do something fun and different every week – it will remind you why you love working for yourself from your very own space. 

To be honest, Tara and I were concerned that we were taking a step back by moving our business back home. After a few weeks of weighing our options and processing what we really wanted for ourselves and our business, we realized that we had become attached to a vision of success (having an office space) that no longer served us. We acknowledged that our ideal days happen when we straddle the fine line that is work and life. We’re the same people at home and work, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Other blog posts you might like: 
Considering A Coworking Space – an alternative to working from home or an office
Shedworking On My Mind – Tara is STILL talking about building a shed in her backyard 
The Daycare Dilemma – a personal post about how I decided to send my baby to daycare 
 
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