As a business consultant for mom entrepreneurs, one of the first questions I ask a new client is “Where do you work?”
I’ve learned that having a dedicated and official space to call your “office” is a key component to being an entrepreneur. But how?
Believe me, I get it. Kids take up a lot of space.
I’ve been working from home since long before I had kids, but after baby number one was born, my lovely office with two desks and a spot to do yoga became a blue polka dot nursery. I scaled way down, lost a desk and my yoga spot, and moved one room over into a corner of the guest room. Guess what happened when baby number two came along?
Yup. The kitchen table became my office.
After a few month of packing and unpacking my work daily, routinely putting my papers down in a sticky spot of jam, never knowing where my favorite highlighters were . . . I craved my own space.
In our tiny 1000 square feet with two kids, two dogs and all the stuff that goes with a family, there was no space for me to go but out.
After a major purge of our unfinished garage and a trip to Ikea, I created what my husband likes to call my “adult fort.” My home office is now the size of an area rug, boarded by Ikea bookcases and a curtain ‘wall’ to hide the shelves of christmas decorations and extra toilet paper when I have a video call with a client. But you know what? It’s all mine.
When my work day begins, I head out to my office, shut the door, light a totally girly scented candle, sit in my hot pink office chair, use my favorite pen that no one has turned into the axle on a Lego car, and focus on building my business.
I also go to this co-working space that is beyond amazing. A) It’s gorgeous and B) It’s just so inspiring with all the cool stuff and amazing women working there. I have a little crush on the place, but my mainstay work space is still a dedicated space back home.
I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt the need to have a dedicated space to work, so I asked a few of my entrepreneur friends what their workspaces were like and what their dream spaces would include (wine fridge, anyone?)
“This is so crucial for me — I must have a dedicated space. It’s non-negotiable. And was actually a big reason we bought this house over others!
I have a dedicated room in my house. Technically, it’s a very 1970s style den in our tri-level home, complete with wood paneled walls (thankfully, they look gorgeous painted) . . . but it’s my little sanctuary. I love that I have enough room for not just my desk and book-shelves, but also a sofa and chairs. It’s the perfect spot for masterminding or kicking back to relax.” Racheal Cook – Business Growth Consultant
“My friend and I rent an office space in a converted house outside of our own. Having a dedicated space for work helps me create more separation between work and the rest of my life. I’m less likely to keep working late into the evening or on the weekends than when I was working in my home office.
I MUST have lots of natural light, a real desk, supplies . . . all the ‘office set up’. I could never work on a kitchen table or move my setup from place to place.
Dream office would have some comfy stuffed chairs, a separate table to be able to step away from the desk without leaving the office, and a wine fridge.” Krystina Feucht – Marketing Strategist
“We converted the main floor master to my dedicated office space. It’s still a big work in progress, but I love it. I need a door and time by myself to get the real work done. If I am craving some interaction, I’ll head to a co-work space. That said, usually getting an in-person fix with other biz owners every month or two is enough for me.
I rotate between working at my desk with my monitor set-up (makes campaign plotting and planning SO much easier!), a chaise lounge that’s super comfy, and the floor.
I prefer working in my office, but I can literally work just about anywhere, granted I have my headphones and some coffee or sparkling water. Brittany Becher – Sales and Marketing Strategist
“My home office is our spare bedroom made over into my workspace. (Sorry overnight guests — you get a blow up bed!)
It’s a small bedroom with the office basics, but my favorite part is that I put my desk right in front of the window. I overlook my front porch where in the winter I can see birds at the feeder and in the summer our gardens. I do move around during the day as I work, sometimes I pace the house, other times I snuggle up on the couch or work at the kitchen counter. Variety keeps me from feeling boxed in.
My dream space is a sun-filled loft over my garage with two desks (one for guests), a couch and a white board wall for all of my planning and plotting.” Maggie Patterson – Communication Strategist
“I’ve worked all over my 700 SQ foot home . . . our living room, our dining room and most currently I set up shop in our bedroom. . . . This is NOT ideal at all but the quietest place in the house. Even though I’m not super in love with where I currently work, the cool part is that I get to do it period. I mean I get to design all day! (That’s a dream in itself) and no office rent (whoop!) My dream space would be a little corner office at co-working space or a house with a dedicated area for me that I make my own!” Kayla Rose – Designer
“I work in my office in my 2-bedroom apt (but it’s about to also become the Room of the Baby). It’s heaven – I used to work in my living room with a desk and everything but then my husband got an office and I got the home office. It’s not that well decorated or anything, but when my desk is clear my productivity goes through the roof! You’d think I’d clear it more often . . .
My dream is to have a dedicated home office. My kids will share a room before I give up my office space!” Claire Pelletreau – Facebook Ad Consultant
My new dream office is a “shedquarters,” building a shed in our backyard and finishing it to truly be my little business sanctuary (scroll down a ways here and see what I’m talking about). My shedquarters would have glass French doors, a bigger desk, an inspiring color palette, a dedicated wall for post-it note planning, a corner set up for filming videos, and no toilet paper storage in sight.
A girl can dream . . . right??
So tell me . . . where do you work? (And what would your dream work space look like?)