Working from home is talked about a lot today, as a way of balancing work and life, spending more time with your kids, spending less time commuting, and in some cases saving money on renting a commercial space or office.
I ran a home based studio for 12+ years.
I had a separate studio in my home that was fairly big. I had a dedicated camera room, sales room, office, production area and waiting area. Almost all of it separate from my living area.
One of the comments I received from people most was “It must be so nice to be able to work from home.”
But I wasn’t working from home – I was running a retail business out of my home.
There’s a big distinction there. Working from home suggests a home office where all your client meetings and shoots are done on location.
A home studio on the other hand means multiple visits from each client. Which can be very hard on your family and personal life.
There seems to be this fantasy conversation that happens when people talk about working from home. They seem to think that they’ll get to spend more time with their kids. Or they can not get dressed and work in bed all day. Or that they’ll save big money on renting an expensive studio space.
It’s funny that people think if you work from home that means you get to see your kids more and get work done.
But can you imagine if your kids came by your office every day, in the middle of the day? How much work would you get done? Working from home is a constant battle of home and work life.
Moving your business or job to your home will not buy you more time with your family. The work is still there.
In fact it’s always there, and suddenly the ‘advantages’ of working from home are no longer all they’re cracked up to be.
When you run a retail studio business from your home every decision is a compromise between what’s best for your family, and what’s best for your business.
And you almost always fail both.
Commercial space is cheap when you consider the costs to your family life. In many cases people struggle to balance their family life when their business is their own. Having a home studio cost me my relationship with my partner of 12 years.
For me there is no gray area at all. I hated having a home studio. In fact, I loathe working from home.
I like getting up in the morning and driving to work. Seeing people. Working at home was isolating even when I had employees. Work is always there.
Not that if you had a retail space you’d have the this big team of people to interact with. But just the act of leaving the house is different.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on:
- If money wasn’t an issue would you run a studio out of your home?
- Does having a home studio really mean more quality time with your family – or really that you are just there and working all the time?
- Do you feel that you can offer your clients a great, high-end experience with a home studio? Or do you feel that the perception of working from home is not as good as having a retail space?