Ianiv and I have been working from home in some capacity for about 9 years now. We both left our ‘corporate’ jobs to start our own company and also work with local start-ups in Vancouver, him as a software developer and me as a marketing & blogging & social media consultant. Our roles have varied through time, but through it all we’ve always required a place from home in which to work.
When we lived in our small apartment in Kitsilano, our “office” was our living room, him on one side of the room and myself on the other. It worked and we fit an amazing amount of furniture into such a small space. But we both found that it was hard to ‘stop’ work when the day was over, since our computers were always within sight. The laptops often traveled to the couch with us.
Damien ‘working’ at Daddy’s desk
When we purchased our current house, which had 3 bedrooms and a ‘den’ on the third floor, we set up two separate offices. I took the top floor with the window view while Ianiv took an office on the bedroom level. Since we had our two boys, we’ve had to merge offices. Since my office space was larger, and actually contained a couch at one point and a spare bed at another, it made sense to use the upper floor.
We have shared this office space for a couple of years now and it’s served us well. We are currently looking to build a custom desk to minimize the ‘stuff’ and maximize our space, which has been my motto for the past year (see my Pinterest board for my inspiration ideas). But I will say this – I am so glad our office is high up.
When you have kids, they naturally want to be with you. If one of us is up here working, we can (mostly) ensure that the chaos of the kids stays far away from the work space. Sometimes little feet come running up for attention from the other parent, but mostly we try to avoid that. Though the noise does travel, the physical space acts as a boundary both for us (mentally) as well as for them. I find it much easier to get into the headspace of work in a dedicated office, as well as to mentally release from work when I leave.
If you also work from home, how do you manage the work / life balance as well as the physical space issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts.