I’ve been working from my home since early 2009, when a desk and family-shared laptop in the corner of our living room comprised my office. I later graduated to my very own net-book computer, at which point I felt like I’d arrived. The fact that my work required that I invest in my own (albeit tiny) computer, felt significant to me.
When we moved to our Michigan home in 2010, I claimed a spare bedroom for an office and, once again, felt in shift in the growing importance of work in my life.
Once my work grew to include others, the spare room felt too crowded, and I moved across the hall to a larger space. Then my team’s use of the space overflowed from my office to our loft. These days, three or four people work in my home each day.
We’re at a crossroads: I either need to invest in office space outside my home or find more space at home to dedicate to the company. My home includes an attic space (600 square feet) that we could renovate. Or, our living room, just inside the front door, is under-used and could become more office space.
At the moment, we’re leaning toward closing off the living room with french doors as additional space for my growing company.
The more physical space my work takes up, the more significant and large it looms in my life.
This evolution of my office, from a shared computer to my own net-book — to three rooms of our family home — is an outworking of my personal and business growth.
I’m thankful for a partner who has graciously allowed for my company’s friendly takeover of our home; we share a desire for me to be home and available to our daughters. Taking the step to lease office space would remove the stay-at-home mom dynamic that I’ve nurtured. There is comfort in sharing space with my daughters, in the roaring fire on warm winter days, and on my own pantry steps from my desk.
And there is the sometimes odd dynamic of people in and out of our home daily: lack of privacy, extra cars in our driveway and parked on the street, the accumulated mess of shipping hundreds of books on a weekly basis. I’m never truly alone, nor can I enjoy the work-at-home perk of pajama days. I have to stay on top of my kids’ dirty clothes in the bathroom unless I want my team to step over them. My dirty laundry is on display for all — every day. It’s a bit awkward to hold business meetings in my home, although a dining room is a fair replacement for a conference room.
Despite the awkwardness, I still prefer to allow my office space to evolve, at home. I’m excited about my company’s next iteration and expansion to three rooms (and two floors) of my home.