I’m no stranger to working from home as a freelance writer and editor, but I haven’t done so regularly for a while and I was shocked to realise that – on day one, when I sat down at my computer all excited to begin work – my home office was severely lacking in fundamental areas.
I have recently relocated from Sydney to the Blue Mountains with the very soloist ambition of doing what I love and reclaiming the lifestyle I want – which has long been buried beneath the rubble of full-time work, commuting, traffic and constant urban pressure.
So there I am, sitting in my new, Blue Mountains office (which I have dubbed the “dojo” – it’s very Zen), and I log in for my first Skype session with former editor Sam Leader. All I want is to make a great first impression, and that’s where it starts to go wrong: my internet is dropping out every 10 minutes, my landline is dead and my first-generation iPhone – complete with cracked power button – won’t wake from its digital slumber.
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Sam and I push through our online meeting, doing our best to pick up where we left off after each internet outage. We joke that it’s like the scene out of Armageddon where the video message from Bruce Willis’s character to Liv Tyler’s cuts out, leaving his daughter in despair; meanwhile I’m despairing every modem meltdown is draining life from my Good First Impression tank.
Thankfully, Sam is an understanding person and no such consequences were incurred, but not everyone will be lucky to have a “Sam” on the other end of the line.
When dealing with clients, potential clients, colleagues and industry professionals – dysfunctional technology (dysfunctional anything!) is not a good look. Nor is it very motivating. They say that in order to get motivated at the gym it’s a good idea to buy clothes that help you look the part and feel good about yourself. The same mentality could be applied to your home office equipment: if you “get by” using damaged goods, you’ll probably end up feeling like damaged goods yourself and, in effect, limit your own success. By equipping yourself with the technology and gear you need to succeed you will not only give off an impression of success – you will be more likely to achieve it.
My experience led me to make a list of equipment I need to get sorted asap (high-functioning internet, a new smartphone, an operational landline…) to set me up for success in my new role and which will hopefully help me avoid Armageddon in the dojo.
Does this experience sound familiar to you? What home office equipment is on your “equipped for success” wish list?