I have noticed that many of my peers (i.e. people who are also in the adventures business of running coworking spaces) bash the good old home office persistently. Posts from them and their respective companies are frequently about how you achieve nothing working from home or how much the lack of genuine human interaction isolates you. We also made these claims in the past and they are indeed valid. However, there is a caveat. So here comes a declaration of love to working from home, written by a coworking company founder.
Some work is best done at home
I love our coworking spaces. There are now six of them, each with its own style and unique community of awesome people. I enjoy spending time there and most importantly these environments help me getting work done. However, I have noticed there are certain types of tasks which I do better and faster in my own study. These include any sorts of extensive planning or research and writing blogposts.
But please don’t worry, I am not about to close our coworking operations. The kind of work I prefer to do at home is limited to that rather short list. For example, I hate to take or make business calls at home. Feels like intrusion to me. What planning, research and writing have in common is that they are “silent” activities and that I deeply enjoy them. For any other type of work, I much prefer the coworking space.
The home office has another significant upside: There is no commute, or at least commuting is limited to the distance between bed, shower, coffee machine and desk. I not only have this company to build, I am also a husband and a father of two young children. Unfortunately, I discovered that supply of time is completely inelastic. So, wasting time has become a mortal sin to me. When wasting time is a sin, commute is the devil himself, especially if you live in the Ruhrgebiet (Commercial Break: You will find that the network of Work Inn Coworking Spaces is designed to minimize your travelling time).
The greatest part of the home office is that it has a profoundly positive influence on my work-life-integration efforts. What does that mean? Some people might call me a workaholic (I think that stretches it a bit, but my personal benchmark -consultants and investment bankers- is suboptimal). Certainly, building a coworking business from scratch is demanding. The home office allows me to come back from work earlier, have dinner and some quality time with my family and then get back to work if necessary. I feel that this is much preferable to staying late at the office.
Home office and coworking is a love affair
To me, the answer to the question “From where will I work today?” is subject to factors which change more often than the weather. I am neither bound to an office nor stuck at home. I can freely choose. That is why I love my home office (and our coworking spaces).