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Home Offices: Overrated?

04/22/2011

seems like half the time Carrie wrote while lounging in bed!

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.

the ill-fated home office at the end of the world

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.

another home office type set up where very little office-ing was actually done.

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?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rosecampion permalink
    04/23/2011 2:23 am

    Back when we had a house, I had a dedicated home office and it was okay. I used it more as a sewing/craft room though. It was nice to have a space where I could leave my project out for as many days as I needed. Now that we sold the house and bought a much smaller condo, there is no home office and it hasn’t turned out to be a big deal, except I haven’t done nearly as much sewing as I used to do. I now have to sew at the dining room table and have to pick everything up at the end of the day. Not very convenient. But for computer work and writing, it’s just as easy to do sitting at the end of my sofa. Or if I really want to get work done n a focused way, I head for the star bucks and work there.

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