Today, as all the world is ‘working from home’ on a snowy day, it’s business as usual for me. I’m all set, I just walk from my kitchen to my office. It is the best commute ever. This and so many other reasons make the freelance life hard to beat.
I’ve recently finished a corporate stint. I was in a proper office, open plan with no place to hide. I had a lanyard, I had a parking pass, I had an intranet identity. This was the real world. So why does working from home come out on top?
I love the variety. Everyday is different because all my clients are doing different things. It’s very rare that I spend a whole day working on just one project and the juggling keeps my brain fresh. It creates an energy and an urgency about each task that I don’t feel when I have exclusive time carved out to think about just one thing.
I get to call it. However flat you make a management structure, you cannot run an organisation with hundreds of staff without having some chiefs. When an idea has filtered down through 12 meetings, voicing that it’s actually a bad idea is not appreciated. As a freelancer, I have more bosses than most, they are my clients but it’s just them and me. If something is not going to work, I call it and of course, that spins both ways.
Silence is important. Banter is fun, listening to other people’s phone calls less so but it’s all part of the open plan lifestyle. I need a room of one’s own to do my job, unfortunately, the corner offices at headquarters are usually taken. Working from home, I don’t need to command silence, it’s just me and my dog. Which leads me to…
The work/dog balance. When I was out for 11 hours a day, despite the intermittent presence of other pack members, my dog stopped sleeping at night. It turns out we had both under appreciated the bliss of breaking off to take a walk and, either figuratively or literally, chase a stick.
It’s true, as a freelancer working from home I get no paid holiday, if I’m sick I will starve and when I am old I will be destitute. For now, though, I am joyful. It turns out teenagers still need you and I like to be free to answer when they call. I like to control the quality of my coffee and have lunch outside my lunch hour. I love my work, I like to be busy, I have no problem with motivation; if I don’t crack on, I won’t get paid. My freelance journey started out of necessity, what I hadn’t taken time to appreciate was, it’s become the best choice.