The Home Office and Working Remotely
In the age of high-speed internet connections and mobile communication devices it’s becoming increasingly possible for people to work from home. My first experience of working from home began in the spring of 2012. Subsequent to being made redundant, I set out to search for employment. During a conversation with the local MiTek representative, I was informed that a roof truss and timber frame company in the south were looking for a designer. Naturally, I was thrilled but also uncertain due to the 100 mile plus distance between myself and the company. After being informed that I was successful in the interview with this company, it was agreed that I would work 2 days in the office and the other 3 remotely from home.
The next challenge was creating my home working environment. The most ideal location for a home office is obviously a spare room; however I do not have a spare room and instead commandeered a large alcove off of the lounge.
One of the most important attributes to any office is the workspace or desk. I feel it is important to have a non-constrictive desk; one that does not make you feel cramped of claustrophobic when working in full flow. Particular features that are important for a designer’s desk, in my opinion, is space for the following: A1 sized drawings, dual monitors and a keyboard, a printer, telephone, lamp stationary holder, A4 pad and file storage. I know what you’re thinking; this is tedious stuff, but remember that you spend a considerable length of time here and minimizing stress is important. I personally, would recommend an L shaped desk as this gives you optimum space usage and fits nicely in to the corner of a room.
Another important aspect to consider when working from home is a fast and reliable internet connection. I would recommend a service provider with a fiber optic service and an uncapped usage allowance. The most important thing to establish, is whether or not the service experiences regular down time as this could seriously affect you and your customers if you are not contactable and cannot submit work.
Working from home is a contentious subject; I’ve heard people both praise and criticize it. In my view, there are both pros and cons. Yes, it can be lonely, and little interaction with colleagues makes it somewhat difficult to develop relationships and perform team work. During the working day, it can feel as if you can’t escape from your home, and at the end of the working day, it can be difficult to escape work. On the contrary, there’s no more stressful commute to the office and no more shirt and tie – you can put comfort first and wear what you please. It is efficient due to little disruption from others and money can be saved that would have been spent on fuel or eating out. Working from home offers flexible working hours and you can grab that well-earned coffee when you please. All things considered and in my current situation, it suits me just fine.
Greg G Watson
Roof Truss Designer & Estimator
Dundee, Scotland, UK