Home Offices: Overrated?
Regardless of one’s given profession (or lack thereof) shelter mags suggest we ought to have a dedicated space in our homes where office-y type stuff happens. As a writer, freelancer, workaholic, I should tell you up front I don’t have one! This is not from a lack of trying, but rather after all the effort I realized it wasn’t really worth having, based on the way I tend to work. These days I park myself on the ageing Click Clack with three cubed lack tables serving as my “desk”. Usually there is nothing more than my laptop, extended monitor, jar of pens and my journal outfitting the entire operation. Well maybe a mug of coffee or a mason jar of diet soda.
When I had a home office instead of writing or finding side hustles I was more interested in finding that one elusive decor item or element that would “finish” the room. And all those neatly arranged peripherals? Turns out I had less use for paper clips, rubber bands and a bulletin board than previously assumed. If anything, all that festively displayed order turned out to be a distraction. This doesn’t mean I don’t dream of having some gorgeously decorated (by me and to me) dedicated space for dreaming up characters, blog posts and snarky things to say to people on Twitter, but the reality is very little time would be spent there and most likely it would serve as a home for lamps, chairs, pens and sketchbooks I haven’t quite gotten around to using.
More importantly, I noticed lots of the home office rhetoric tends to be rather classist, shaming and judgey. You aren’t going to cause the world to end if you pay your bills in bed or at the kitchen table. Hell, the world won’t end even if you don’t have a kitchen table! Your writing will not lack for polish nor its prospects dampened if written while nestled in the comforting arms of a recliner. Home offices don’t start small businesses, successfully execute craft fails/triumphs or run corporations; people do! Taking into account the myriad environmental needs, most of us can get by with whatever space/furnishings we already have. Even though I like designing and redesigning spaces, my hackles should have gone up immediately with regard to home offices. Any time we’re told we need to stop accomplishing tasks we’ve already been accomplishing to engage in activities alleged to enhance our ability to accomplish tasks we’ve already been accomplishing (ooh a mouthful!) we’re probably being bamboozled.
This isn’t to suggest you can’t turn the junk room, a rarely used closet or a quiet corner of a living/dining room into a home office. It’s only to suggest it’s okay if you don’t want or are unable to! I grant you full permission to utilize whatever environment enables you to accomplish the task. I mean wasn’t that the whole point of the home office anyway?