You’re ready to work. The house is quiet, the coffee is made, and you have a big project to finish. You sit down at your kitchen table and get to work. The problem is there are distractions everywhere. Phones are buzzing, neighbours are loud, and there's a fridge full of snacking opportunities to take you away from your work.
Okay, so maybe that last thing is just why I never work near a refrigerator, but you get the picture. There are some significant benefits to having the freedom to work from home, but there are also some real downsides. As one of my main clients was out of town this week, instead of going into their office, I worked from home a couple of days this week. I also remembered why I am terrible at working from home.
It’s fair to say that I am more distractible than most. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all me, that after working in an office for a few months, I have become used to a cubicle environment that helps keep me on track.
Switching back to working from the couch was disastrous. But it was a good reminder about the importance of the environment I work from. I’m not just talking about home vs. office either. What about working from a coffee shop, or even the different environments in different offices? Your workspace will affect your ability to work. But, do you know where you work best?
Personally, I know that I’m easily distracted. It’s why I don’t like working in a coffee shop. If I’m working in an office, and I have the option to chose where I work, I find somewhere where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic. If I can see people walking around, I will watch them instead of working.
Everyone is different. I’ve known artists who need to have the TV on in the background while they work, and writers who can’t have any music, of any kind, playing. The important point is not to assume there is only one kind of space you can work. If you’re given the freedom to pick where you work, as a lot of creatives I know have been, finding somewhere that fits your personality and work style is crucial to be able to focus and getting your work done.
Here are some great articles about making your perfect work space.