Home office frenemies: Why a co-working space might be just what you need
A few good reasons to get out of the house
Last summer, I spent the first few weeks physically baking in my apartment. For the first time, I went looking for a nice air conditioned co-working office space.
Ahhh…in that co-working space, my productivity was like an arrow released from a tightly strung bow – with precise focus I was piercing the air, eyes set on splitting open copywriting apples.
Til then, I’d run my copywriting business from the home office. I didn’t realise I’d become comfortable with a whole host of little sh*ts sucking my time away.
The home office frenemies.
Home office frenemies are a drag on your time and business. They’re a distraction you either enjoy, feel good accomplishing or even something annoying that you’ve come to accept as part of your routine.
The frenemies smile, call to you like a siren’s song, and pour honeyed potions of promise into your mind. They brainwash you into giving them your precious business time – every single day.
It wasn’t until I worked in that share space, with my office frenemies safely at home, that I realised the hold they had on me.
I’m not the first person to get sucked in and I’m definitely not going to be the last. We’re all susceptible. Here are some reasons you might need to get outta the house…
Home Office Frenemy 1 – SNACKING
Crunchy, cheesy, twisty bits. Salty caramelised popcorn. Cheese. Deep-fried thinly sliced bits of potato seasoned with weird artificial chicken flavouring. Cheese. Biscuits. Rice crackers. Did I mention cheese? Weird radioactive deep fried Japanese peas coated in explosive wasabi batter.
Snacking is like crack to me.
Can’t think of a headline? Stuck on a website you’re writing? They’re waiting. Your loyal frenemy. Snacking will help, right?
When you start, you can’t stop. Those corporate bastards designed those junk food bliss points deliberately to distract you from your work. By the time you get to the bottom of a bag of chips, you’ve wasted 20 minutes.
In a share space, your access to junk food is limited. There’s usually a vending machine, but the price of this convenience will give your wallet a whacking.
No junk food? More time for work.
Home Office Frenemy 2 – CLEANING
Clean sheets that smell like spring, blue sky and rainbows. Nicely pressed shirts you never wear. A tidy kitchen with a fruit bowl nicely arranged like one out of a classic Jan Davidsz de Heem painting. A toilet that smells like roses.
I like clean. I like tidy. I like that fake rose smell because I’m allergic to flowers.
If you’re partial to clean and tidy surroundings, this little frenemy is a convenient time suck on every writer who just can’t get the words out.
If you’re on deadline and inspiration is nowhere to be seen, it’s easier to do the washing or scrub some dishes. It’s even easier arranging fruit like a Dutch master.
In a share space, there’s no cleaning to do unless you want to wipe down the communal kitchen bench. (If you’re doing that, your procrastination has gone next level.)
No cleaning? More writing.
Home Office Frenemy 3 – TELEVISION
Afternoon re-runs where everyone cries if their cooking isn’t perfect. Getting caught up in the story of a middle-aged man building a meth empire. Or the one where 27 girls date the same guy. Frenemy television doesn’t rely on quality programming, anything will do.
When the final dish succeeds, you’re elated. When the girl gets the guy, sun shines on your soul. When crystal blue starts selling on the streets, you feel you’ve seen the birth of a meaningful new brand.
Home Office Frenemy 3 is all about distracting yourself in the universe of make-believe.
But it’s a deep rabbit hole. Like Alice through the looking glass, you enter a strange parallel world where no work gets done and you miss all your deadlines.
In the share space, there’s no television except the one in reception. Think you can take your frenemy with you and catch up on Netflix? Think again. They eat up so much data, the management will be all over you before you can say pass the popcorn.
Home Office Frenemy 4 – NOISE
Techno beats thump through the wall. Random lawnmowers splutter. Jackhammers sound like they’re ready to bring down the house. Kids are screaming outside your window, reminding you how old you really are.
I put up with noise for a long time because I thought it was part of life. But excessive noise is nobody’s friend. We make a frenemy of it when we choose to live with it. We even make the excuse – “work didn’t get done, it was too noisy.”
Noise is distracting and draining. The share space? It’s usually silent. And if there’s noise from a bunch of start-up kids reciting dialogue from the entire Star Wars saga you can always SHOOSH them.
Because it’s officially a share space for working, not chatting.
Tried a co-working space and hated it?
Okay, so you might be one of those people who just hates sharing a space. Or you’re a shut-in who doesn’t want to leave the house. Or you like having a shower every time you take a dump. Or…you just don’t like other human beings.
If you’re coasting along, writing your life away, bringing in business and succeeding, then hat’s off to you. Good on ya!
But if you’re at home struggling with your home office frenemies, a co-working
office space may be what you’ve been looking for.
Gorging on junk food, obsessing over reality TV, steam cleaning your carpet the 80th time and listening to the soothing sounds of jackhammers and construction? These are all signs the frenemies might be ruining your business.
Do you have home office frenemies?
Are you thinking about working in a co-working office space? Comment below and let us know the good and the bad of working in a co-working space and if it slayed your frenemies.