This month, I’ve mostly been getting better at working from home.
It’s been a year and a half since I quit my full time job and went contracting. The first gig was office-based, so didn’t change my day to day experience, but working for the New Startup (Now named Skute) and more recently for my second client, all the work is remote save a few catchup meetings. My self-disapline for working from home has never been great, so I rented an office at an industrial complex nearby, and spent eight months or so commuting to it daily.
Partly this is vanity. The idea of my tiny little company having an actual office with an address and a name on the door made it feel much more like a Real Thing than sitting around in my pajamas coding stuff. It kept work as a ritual, and put a firm dividing line between Work Time and Fucking Around On The Internet time, and all this was good for my productivity.
Less good for my general sanity was getting up early, going to an office to sit on my own all day, then going home and to bed. With the office in an even more remote bit of North London than the bit I live in, visiting people for lunch or going out in the evening was significant effort, and I could go for weeks without interacting with anyone apart from my girlfriend. In this regard, my previous office-experiement – a desk in a shared office space in Dalton – worked a lot better. The social buzz in the office was good for both myself and my business – a couple of contacts I made there have panned out well. The office complex, with a hundred different businesses behind a hundred anonymous blue doors, was a lot more isolated in every way. Also, quite expensive.
So I packed that in with thirty days notice in September, and am now in month two of working from home. The work-life division is embedded within my Macbook, which remains my work machine. While I use it as a personal machine away from home, the laptop works well as a Work Indicator to my brain, and mostly keeps me on side and focused.
The abandoning of the office wasn’t entirely positive, it’s always a downer to take a step backwards, even if they’re long-term-positive ones, but it’s given me a lot better ability to establish a Work mindset, even while at home.
Now to work out how to include gym visits when I don’t go past it on the way to work…