Why I'll never work in an office again
I've had quite a few office jobs in my time. Firstly, I worked as a conveyancing clerk and thought having my own desk, computer, phone and client files was the best thing in the world. A few years later I worked as a lawyer at one of the big Australian law firms in my very own office on the 38th floor. And when I moved to Scotland, I hot-desked all over the place in Paisley when I worked at the University.
But now I know I'll never go back to that kind of office life. Where you need to be there for 9am even if you're not a morning person. When you sit at your desk twiddling your thumbs until it's time to go home. When you get tied up in office politics and hardly have a quiet moment to get your work done.
I've worked independently for the past few years – when I taught at UWS in Paisley, I didn't have an office or set hours (aside from teaching) so I did the bulk of my preparation work for lectures at home. When I worked for Yelp, I had a lot of freedom – we had a couple of set meetings via skype each week, but other than that, we were quite free to set our own calendars and agendas. I knew that I would really struggle if I had to go back to office life, which was a huge factor in why I decided to set up my own business.
I love the freedom. I know my own working rhythms and when I'm most productive, and I love being able to work when my brain is most switched on. As we've got a dog now, I can take time out of my day to take him to the park for a good run around (see photo above!), and for me to get some thinking done. I read a blog post by Gillian at Elevator Musik the other day and it really resonated with me. Work can be all-consuming and life-engulfing, but that's not for me. I want to have the space to be able to walk my dog without resenting it, and to take a rest day when I'm not well without stressing too much.
So it came as a surprise to me that I recently joined a co-working space in Merchant City called Collabor8te. I didn't think I needed a space in town for working, but actually it's such a brilliant space that I am loving being a member already. The main draw card for me was being able to use their address as my business address, but the facilities are great – meeting rooms, lovely desks, an awesome bright, airy space and a nice motivating buzz, and I've really enjoyed the time I've spent working there so far. It's a great option if you find yourself working in coffee shops (which I used to do all the time) this way you can relax that bit more and feel like you have an actual "home", and not worry about leaving your laptop on your desk when you go to the loo. To me, Collabor8te has all the perks of working in an office without any of the downsides – no one cares if you leave early, no one's going to tell you off if you're not working hard enough and you don't have to get there for 9am unless you actually want to.
I know it's a big call to say I'll never work in a proper office again, but I just can't picture it in my future. I love waking up each day and having my piece of freedom. It makes me more productive and passionate about my work.