Truth Talk From A Mum Of Seven

Keyword: Coworking vs Working From Home

Ever toyed with the idea of ditching the home office and heading into a coworking space? Wondering if coworking v’s working from home would be worth the investment? I hear you because I was the same… I’ve done both, and I’m here to give you some truths about both options.

But first, a couple of questions for YOU:

  • Have you ever started your morning super early, with the determination of a productivity ninja ready to smash out your workload… but before you know it, the clock strikes 6 pm, and you’re left wondering where the hell your day went?
  • Have you ever conducted a sales call in your bathroom, in your PJ’s…. with a toddler having a meltdown on the other side of the door determined to blow your sale?
  • Have you ever felt trapped, confined to the same four walls, the same conversation (or lack thereof), day in, day out?

It’s like a sick game of Groundhog Day meets Jumanji – in our homes! 

Hi, my name’s Stacey, and I’ve had all these moments in my last thirteen years of working from home. It’s stressful, deflating, and draining. You start the day with such enthusiasm. You write out your to-do list confident of completing every task by the end of the day.

But as the day wears on, so does your patience. The distractions are endless. The interruptions, unrelenting. The SRC mum calls in for a quick cuppa to discuss the all important mothers day stall. The toddler has a meltdown because you cut his toast into triangles and not rectangles. The WiFi is on holidays somewhere sipping tequila and sunbaking. The damn washing machine keeps beeping. To top the morning off, the mother in law calls in, because weekdays are the quietest and most convenient for her. By the time the postie knocks at the door, you’re ready to go on a mass murder spree. One that even Criminal Minds couldn’t decode. All before lunchtime. It’s brutal.

I’m not an expert at anything. But I am a mum to seven kids twelve and under, with a shift working hubby, and no less than three family businesses to run. So, it’s fair to say I’ve got a bit on my plate. Although I haven’t mastered it, I have a speckle of experience with wrangling work life balance. Believe me, I’ve tried all the tricks. Working late. Working early. Working while they’re sleeping. Working while they’re playing. Working in short spurts. Working in batches. All with mixed results, none of which are predictable.

The truth is, you can’t control the surroundings when you work from home.

So, how do I get shit done? When I want a boost in productivity, I silence my surroundings and head into my local coworking space. And that’s where the magic happens.

When I go into my coworking space, I get to speak to other humans. Other like minded individuals that enjoy cool ‘businessy stuff’. My coworker’s eyes don’t glaze over when I talk about algorithms, and profit percentages, and all that sexy stuff.

Also, I get to focus. I’m talking more than 3.7 milliseconds of pure, unadulterated, precious focus time. It’s amazingly satisfying, and that to-do list becomes my bitch.

But the best thing about coworking is the definition between work and home. I have boundaries. Space to work, and space to enjoy my family. I’m not jumping up in the morning to check emails while pouring cereal for kids. I’m not racing back to my computer as soon as the kids start heading off to bed. And I most definitely am not making sales calls in my bathroom.

Don’t mistake this post for me hating on working from home. Having the ability to work from home is an amazing privilege, one that I don’t ever take for granted. Working from home allows me to put food on the table, pay for camping trips, and enjoy life with my kids. Often, our family schedule means work looks like short spurts between therapy appointments. Sometimes work looks like 2 am mornings, at the dining table, catching up after a busy sports carnival day. And that’s ok.

But when I want to pour some productivity fuel on my business fires… I go into my coworking space, grab hotdesk or an office, and I #getshitdone.

My recommendation to you, if you’re considering coworking.

If you’re thinking about coworking, try it. For a minimal daily rate, you’ll soon discover if it’s a good fit for you. You’ll also get the chance to discover what kind of coworking space you want to work in. Would you prefer to be in a uniform, clean, minimal space? Or a colourful, vibrant, energetic space? Do you work best around corporate kinda people or creative people? This stuff matters, and since you have a choice, why wouldn’t you want to have a say in it?

For me, I go where I feel comfortable, and where difference is celebrated and not judged – The Creative Fringe in Penrith. The coworkers at The Creative Fringe are like my second family. I’m talking about the good family members that you actually like and want to hang out with. Not like the ones you only see at weddings and funerals. At The Creative Fringe, you’re sounded by colour and inspiration. And you can’t help but dream up (and have the space to create) amazing business ideas.

Also, have I said the people are awesome? I mean, these coworkers know stuff. Lots of stuff. Never underestimate the value of a quick conversation with someone willing to share their expertise. This is the kind of business gold you get when you come into The Creative Fringe. And my concern for the cost of coworking v’s working from home? Null and void. Thanks to the power of collaborations with my coworkers, I’ve made back my entire investment (and some). #ROI

Come into The Creative Fringe if you’re ever in Penrith and see what the hype is about. We can have an uninterrupted kid free coffee and talk about businessy stuff together.

Until then
Stacey
Save My Books