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Wellbeing / Work life balance

Why I’m divorcing my bedroom office!

When the first thing you see each morning and the last thing you see at night is your desk – maybe it’s time to reconsider your bedroom office.

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Picture this – you have an idea to start a business; you are cash-strapped but filled with excitement, passion and enthusiasm for your next big thing. You spend time mapping out your ideas, strategy and goals and you start to share your dream with your friends, family and potential clients.

Sound familiar?

Most of us soloists have been there and hopefully many of you are still waking up and going to work in your business every day, doing what you love. BUT – what if, when you wake up, you only have to walk three steps to the end of your bed and your office?

"Then came the day when I moved a whiteboard into our bedroom. That’s when I realised things had gone too far. "

When I started my business we were very cash-strapped (we sold our car to fund the business, pay the mortgage and feed us and the kids). There was no consideration of getting a dedicated office space as there was absolutely no way we could have afforded it. (Plus I’d been working from home for years ‘on and off’ and the business I was starting was a virtual one.)

There were many advantages to my bedroom office early on:

  • No traffic
  • No commute time
  • No cost
  • Access to our young kids (relieving some of my ‘mother guilt’)
  • Ability to work whenever I wanted or needed to

Then came the day when I moved a whiteboard into our bedroom. That’s when I realised things had gone too far. It appeared my personal and business lives had become inseparable.

As you can imagine, this was not healthy. Not for my marriage or for my business. A friend who is a psychologist even told me very bluntly that, “bedrooms are for sleeping and sex!”

So after three years in my bedroom office and with a healthy revenue being generated by that business, I decided it was time.

  • Time to create a positive, inspiring and personalised workspace.
  • Time to put some space between my personal world and my business world.
  • Time to stop the fact that the last thing I saw when I went to bed, and the first thing I saw when I woke up, was my desk.
  • Time to divorce my bedroom office.

In this world of technology, we have the ability to work almost anywhere (case in point, I am writing this on the bus – not great for my neck – but that’s another article). But there is still a need to have some kind of separation between work and life.

Which is why I’m now looking at office space to rent.

And in the interim, I’ve taken over the granny flat out back. While this means we may not be able to have guests over for a while, my husband is glad I’m no longer taking notes in the bedroom.

 

Anyone else sharing an office space with their bed?

Natasha Hawker

helps SMEs understand the challenges their businesses face and unlocks the mysteries of effective HR. She is the co-owner of Employee Matters and author of From Hire to Fire: Everything in Between".

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