Written by Lori Thiessen

Like many people working from home these days, I love the fact that I don’t have to brave the traffic or the bus and sit in a hermetically sealed building for 10 hours. However, home can sometimes be a place where you get the least amount of work done. There are just too many distractions at times.

I seem to have morphed into something like a gerbil, content to scrabble around in mounds of paper, making a reasonably comfortable nest in a place away from the wheel. When I started working from home, it wasn’t really a conscious decision. It just sorta happened. So I didn’t prepare a proper workspace in my home to accommodate this transition.

Gradually, I’ve found it harder and harder to work at home and then also to relax at home when my workday is done. Most of my working life, I have worked out of an office so my work and home spaces were clearly defined by that commute. Now the boundary has really blurred because I’ll move from the computer to the couch to read to the diningroom table to write … well, you get the picture. My entire home is my office.

That’s why I like getting out of my cage and taking my wheel to a new place. A coffee shop allows me to join other workers who’ve run away from home. There is usually a good amount of table space to write and depending on which coffee shop you choose, the place is quiet. There generally aren’t any distractions except when your coffee mug becomes magically empty. Again.

I’m working on making a good working space in my home but it ain’t easy. I share the 2nd bedroom-cum-office with my husband and so space is at a premium. I’m thinking of getting rid of the bits and pieces of furniture that we use and buy a proper two-person office modular set so that each of us has a work surface, file drawers, etc. I think this will help stop me roaming about the house, scattering papers in my wake. It will also help that the door on the room can be shut when the day is done.

Maya Angelou, the poet and writer, takes herself off to a hotel room when she is in the middle of writing something. It’s a defined space, apart from the rest of her life where she can focus. Someone else comes in to clean up the mess. To me, that’s what a coffee shop office is all about.

Q: How do you manage your home office?

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll safe your seat until next time.