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Do you prefer to work in an office environment?

Categories: Balancing Act, Career Talk, Entrepreneurship, Working Women Issues


For the past 10 years I’ve worked in an office environment. Some were better than others, and all came with their share of office politics, interesting personalities, and pleasant and unpleasant dynamics. Now I work from home, until we get our office space set up for Work It, Mom! There are things I love about it but there are things that I miss about being in an office.

Today what I miss is distraction that is easily attained in any office environment, just by walking over to a colleague or chatting with co-workers in the hallway.

This weekend kicked my butt, in many senses of the word, and I’m glad it’s over. But as I sat down to start my work this morning, I couldn’t focus -I knew I needed to do the weekend-download-chit-chat before I could get some work done. But there is no water cooler to walk over to and no co-worker in the next office to distract.

We had some great discussion about the benefits of working in a corporate environment on Work It, Mom! last week. (Check out Kathy’s blog post and Florinda’s article.) I’d love to hear your thoughts on which you prefer - working at home or in the office - as well as any tips on how to simulate some of the great things about being in an office when you work from home.

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6 comments so far...

  • I think one of the hardest things about working at home is that if you do have a weekend that kicks you hard, for whatever reason, and then you sit down in that very environment to do your work, you have all of the negative energy and negative associations of the stressful events.

    I went out of town recently and took some work with me. I was immediately able to focus and work quickly and efficiently in a new environment in which I had no other context except the work.

    That is what I miss about working in an office environment.

    Caitlin McDonald  |  July 16th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

  • I agree with Caitlin–I will often have to leave my house to get away from the house and all it’s politics. This weekend I was working on an article, and I wound up “officing” at a nearby coffee shop because I just couldn’t get anything done at home.

    I also miss that human contact, and will IM other working at home friends during the day to alleviate the feeling of isolation. IM is nice because I can turn it off when I’m not ready to chat and turn it on when I am, much like opening or closing the office door. And if I’m still wearing the yoga pants I slept in, no one has to know.

    Not that I would ever DO that. No no.

    Susan  |  July 17th, 2007 at 6:25 am

  • I have never been a fan of the corporate office environment partly because the water cooler gossip quickly becomes a requisite part of the 40 hour work week, encouraging face time and decreasing productivity. However, I am admittedly unproductive working in my home office where the TV, the fridge, the phone, and everything else beckons for my attention.

    I personally have been most productive working remotely. Across the country, there are telework centers for employees who just need a desk and office equipment to get their work done. Also, renting shared office space can be an innovative solution. You do not have to work with a coworker, or even anyone you know. But having an office space to go to can keep distractions at bay while giving you the flexibility to work close to home and the hours you need to maintain productivity.

    The bottom line is, to each his/her own.

    Amy  |  July 17th, 2007 at 6:58 am

  • [...] under: Nataly Kogan, Work It, Mom!, Work — becki325 @ 5:58 pm Nataly from WorkItMom! has a great post from earlier this week on working in an office environment.  I truly enjoy the office setting.  I [...]

    Office or not? « PR, Babies and All The Rest  |  July 18th, 2007 at 11:08 am

  • I lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE working from my home office. It’s the best of both worlds. It is different from any other place in the house and I only come in here when I am excited about working…which I love to do, so I’m in here a lot :)

    The kids know that they get to play and do certain things in here, too, and that makes it fun for them. Plus, I tell them they are in my mastermind group(they really are!) and they feel REALLY COOL!

    Talk to you soon,

    Annemarie  |  August 24th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

  • For the last 3 years, I’ve has a home office for my consulting business. While the flexibility and comfort is wonderful, I miss the interaction with my peers. I’ve tried the coffee shop office for an offsite offie. It works. I find that the action, energy and people talking, create a feeling of connection. However,
    I was wondering if any one has tried the virtual offices. I’ve been exploring the idea of having a virtual office because I can have an office within a larger organizations office. Someone answers my phone, we share a common break room, copy machine, mail room, etc. This idea also helps legitimize the business for my clients. Plus, it is a transition from home office without the expense of a full business lease. Does anyone have any experience using a virtual office?

    Sallie  |  October 23rd, 2007 at 9:47 pm