Recently, NPR was interviewing an expert (something about politics, finance, etc…) and the expert’s dog decided to join the conversation. In the background, on live radio, listeners around the world heard Fido bark. Several times. The expert must have scrambled to shoo the dog out of the room and close the door. And I can image a tense conversation after the interview, “I was live on NPR and you couldn’t keep the dog quiet?”
Admittedly, working in an office doesn’t always mean you have a perfectly professional setting at all times. We’ve all heard raucous laughter in the background of a call center. But if you are trying to portray yourself as an expert professional, you need a controlled environment.
Working at home also comes with distractions. Of course, we can all get caught up watching too much cable news during the day. But in our world of constant connections, small distractions are simply a way of life. Even in an office, you have the distractions that come with Facebook, text messages, and cable news on your phone. The real distractions are the big ones – waiting for the cable repair man, stopping by the bank, dropping off the dry cleaning, etc. If you have an office (either corporate or coworking) you are much more likely to put off errands until the weekend. And you are far more likely to share the household chores with a spouse or housemate.
Potentially worse than the distractions that come with working at home, you will also face the isolation. Walking around a creaky house at 11am on a weekday can make you feel like you’re the last survivor of humanity. Even if you walk outside, the houses are dark and quiet. Very few drivers are on the road. It’s just you and birds. And the birds are busy with their workday of building nests and laying eggs. At a coworking space, you feel connected. Even if the guy next to you is programming an app to rate snack bars in Japan, you and your coworking coworkers are working towards the common goal of productivity.
Don’t sit at home and work. It’s depressing. Get out and find some other brave soul focused on forging their own path at a coworking space near you.