Episode 29 // Working From Home

July 21, 2015

As creative entrepreneurs, you (usually) get to choose where you want to work. So today we want to talk about the pros and cons of working from home and tips on how to establish work / life balance & boundaries so you can work from home like a boss.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"Ultimately, make sure you feel creative and productive in the space you're working in."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • Transitioning from working from home to working at a studio to working from home again
  • Pros and cons of working from home
  • Tips for working from home
  • Making investments and setting boundaries to make your work-from-home life easier

Resources

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.

This Episode Brought to You By:

Transcript

Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Welcome to being boss episode number 29. Get your business together, get yourself into what you do and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:13
Being bosses hard. Lending work in life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn't easy,

Kathleen Shannon 0:19
but getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable

Emily Thompson 0:27
if you do the work.

Kathleen Shannon 0:29
being bossed is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Brought to you by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:35
Hi, I'm Emily. And I own indie typography, where I help passionate entrepreneurs establish and grow their business online. By helping them build brands that attract and websites that sell. I help my clients launch their business so they can do more of what they love, and make money doing it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:54
And I'm Kathleen, I'm the CO owner of braid creative where I specialize in branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs who want to blend who they are with what they do narrow in on their core genius and shape their content so they can position themselves as experts to attract more dream clients.

Emily Thompson 1:12
And being boss as a podcast where we're talking shop, giving you a peek behind the scenes of what it takes to build a business, interviewing other working creatives and figuring it out as we go right there with you.

Kathleen Shannon 1:24
Check out our archives at loving boss calm. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, right? Hey guys, it's Kathleen Emily here today. And we want to talk about the pros and cons of working from home. Plus a few tips on how to establish a work life balance or at least boundaries so that you can work from home like a boss. Hey, Emily.

Emily Thompson 1:52
Hi, Kathleen. How are you?

Unknown Speaker 1:53
Good. How are you?

Unknown Speaker 1:55
Good. Good to see you again.

Kathleen Shannon 1:57
You're, you're not actually that good. You're hung over.

Emily Thompson 2:01
I know I am hung over. So last night we had we had to get together with some with some bosses in Oklahoma City. And I had a very dangerous three glasses of wine and woke up really hung over this morning.

Kathleen Shannon 2:17
It's not a bad day whenever you can't even like metabolize three glasses of wine.

Emily Thompson 2:21
I know. I know I did. I woke up at 430 this morning like with the shapes in cold sweats. Thinking about how much of a lightweight I have become. Basically, it's great. I don't drink as much anymore, which means I can't drink as much anymore.

Kathleen Shannon 2:41
That's a problem with cleaning up having a clean diet. not drinking as much you start to get used to having a clean system.

Emily Thompson 2:49
Yeah, no kidding. But it was so much fun though. like drinking the wine was a ton of fun. We had

Kathleen Shannon 2:54
a do we already say this that we had a being boss Oklahoma City meetup while Emily's in town. And yeah, it was so much fun. We probably had about 30 people.

Emily Thompson 3:05
Yeah, I think so.

Kathleen Shannon 3:07
There is a lot of bosses out there. And so if you guys want to have a meetup or being boss meetup in your city, just go to the Facebook group, we have a doc in a document in the Facebook group, or they call it files, a Facebook file with everyone's location in there. And so you can add your location and get in touch with other bosses that live in your city. And it can just be super casual. So last night, I just sent out a little Facebook post saying, Hey, we're going to meet up at a bar at this time, we'll see you there. I literally thought that it might be me and Emily and my sister having a couple of drinks, which would have been fine. Also certainly doesn't have to be big, it can stay small. But um, one of the things that we always try and tell our bosses on this podcast is to really tap your tribe and cultivate your creative pack. And sometimes it's as simple as saying, hey, let's meet up for a drink and talk shop. Yeah. And that's what it was. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 4:08
it was so great to hear. We talked to so many people and like really talks in business stuff too, like talking about how to be more decisive. I had some conversations about just like about invoicing and about like how to do some of that business side of stuff. All while having a couple glasses of wine with some really cool people who totally get what we do and get this idea of like being a young, independent entrepreneur trying to make it in the world, which is cool to like, have conversations with people who are in the same boat as you. I loved it. I had a ton of fun.

Kathleen Shannon 4:45
Alright, let's get into our podcast topic for today, which is all about working from home. We've been working from my home for the past couple of days. And what really brought this subject up is that Emily You've been working from a studio for the past few years. shut everything down. You're moving from Florence, Alabama, to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Yeah. So between that transition, you decided to take a 40 day road trip, which you're still on, you're stopping here along the way. And so I guess I didn't even fully realize until we were talking about it recently, that you are going to be working from home whenever you get back. And so I just kind of want to hear your, your history or a little bit of your story of working from home and then having a studio and then kind of what has factored into your decision to work from home again. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 5:40
definitely. So um, so I started my business, like at my kitchen table, like a lot of people do, I had even set up a little office space, like the very first office space I ever had was a little office space in my dining room. And then from there, we moved to the mountains. And I had like a more legit sort of office space downstairs, which was really awesome. I loved like, you know, going to IKEA and buying all the things that I needed. And sort of collecting and collecting things for an office space. Whenever we moved. Whenever we moved from the mountains of North Carolina, back to Florence, Alabama, I worked from home for maybe not even six months, maybe like three months. And then we got the opportunity to get office space. And the place we were living in was really great for living in but not so not big enough to live and work in very comfortably. So getting an office space was a really great way for me to, for me to separate life and work a little bit because I had been working from home for so many years and working very aggressively from home. I mean, you know, the hustling, part of starting up a business including like 60 hour work weeks and crazy nonsense like that was really good whenever you were working from home. But I needed that separation, I needed to be able to go to work for a little while and separate life and work a little bit more than I had been. And we've talked about this a lot the past couple of days, but like cost of living, both, you know, in Oklahoma City, but also where where I was living in Florence is super low. And I was able to get a cost of living as low, but also cost of doing business is very low. So I was able to get office space very inexpensively. and was able to just sort of build this really cool creative space, especially at my my last office space, because we did do two different office spaces while we were there. The second one was by far my favorite. And it was really great to sort of expel some creative energy on like a whole space, and to be able to give my brand. This more like physical home, which was which was really, really cool. I talk a lot in terms of websites about your website, becoming your like storefront online. And for me, like having a real physical storefront for my business was, was really, really awesome for building a brand both like internally with my team, but also locally, and having that that central studio space that people would drive by and see and be able to come in and visit. So having that separation of life and work was really, really important for me at that time. But I've also noticed in the past six months, I find myself working from home more and more.

Kathleen Shannon 8:36
And so why were you working from home more?

Emily Thompson 8:40
Um, I wanted life to be easier.

Kathleen Shannon 8:44
So getting dressed and walking those two blocks down to your

Unknown Speaker 8:47
suit was really hard for me.

Emily Thompson 8:52
No, no, but I did find myself, I found myself being stuck in the in the office space, I'd really created a nine to five for myself. And, and as I was building it, I didn't recognize what I was doing. But I had totally like blocked myself in into a nine to five. So my team would come in between nine and five most days of the week. And, and I had built a job

Kathleen Shannon 9:20
in a bad way like yeah, see, that's the funny thing about it is that we're always I think that encouraging people to have routines and boundaries and rules for yourself. And I think that we also encourage people a lot to not work into the evening. But sometimes the nice thing about working for yourself is getting to choose when you want to work anytime.

Emily Thompson 9:45
Yes, yes, that's definitely one of the one of the things that I was missing. And in having an office space and being there like being there at nine o'clock every morning and leaving, you know, five, six o'clock every evening is that I had lost the freedom of building a job for you. And so I started working from home a lot more. Also, because we homeschool Lilly, I wanted to be a little more involved in that, because I was doing a nine to five. Like I love to cook, like one of my favorite things to just do is cook. And because I was, I was going to this nine to five. And even though there wasn't a long commute, I would come home at five or six o'clock. And the last thing that I would want to do was cook because I had just worked for eight hours. And sometimes not even taking a lunch break, because I'm one of those people that would like sit down, just hustle out some work and look up and it's three o'clock and I forgot to eat lunch.

Kathleen Shannon 10:36
I've noticed that about you since since being together in the same space. I'm constantly eating, I am an eater. And Emily, he is not he is like 3pm and I'm like, now you haven't eaten anything all day. Are you okay?

Emily Thompson 10:54
Yeah, like I just I, I'll eat when I'm like hungry. But it does take a while for me to get hungry. And sometimes, sometimes David, you know, would bring me stuff to the studio and just put it in front of me and be like, eat, it's a lot easier for him to do that if I'm working from home. So it was it was it was sort of missing home life a little bit. I mean, I have no desire to be like a stay at home mom and like traditional sense. But I was missing a little bit of being a stay at home mom, which is one of the whole reasons why I started the business was so that I could be at home with Lily and you know, homeschooling her was part, you know, so she could be home with us. And then I wasn't there at all. So um, so i have i've done several transitions, I worked from home, got the studio, now I'm ready to get back from working from home and having getting back to the freedom of getting up whenever I want. And, and eating whatever I want. And working when I want and, and being really open to when it is that I feel productive, which is something that I know that both you and I talk to our clients a lot about is you know, not everyone is productive between nine and five every day. Some people are productive, really late in the evening, or really early in the morning. And I think that's one of the cool things about being a creative entrepreneur is you get the opportunity to really, really make your own rules based on how you like to work. And I had like boxed myself out of that freedom, which is ridiculous. So I'm excited to get back to working from home so that I can enjoy some of those freedoms a lot more. But braid has done the same thing. Like you guys worked from home, had a studio for about a year, I guess like office space for about a year and then move back home as well. Yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 12:45
guess it was, yeah, it felt maybe it felt like two years for me because I was a freelancer for a year working from home, then my sister quit her job at an advertising agency to join up with me. And so together because I already had a home office, we started working from my house. Um, and it was a little tricky. We actually did some things in my house like I had made the smallest room in my house, my office, and we ended up flip flopping my master bedroom with the office so that we could fit not only myself and Tara but an employee that we hired into this home office. So we took over the biggest bedroom in the house. And that was a big help. Because what had happened is I was working for my little office, my sister was working from my breakfast nook. And we just felt like really separate. And she always felt like she was coming in on my turf, which like I totally get. So that's kind of an interesting dynamic whenever you have other people working from home with you. And then we decided to get a studio again, so that I can have a little bit of that work life separation. And it really came to a head whenever I got pregnant. And so we knew that I'd be taking a maternity leave and really needed to just, I mean, you get like these hormones, but like the nesting hormones were like that space anyway. And so I really got those nesting hormone signs, like we need to get the office out of here. So we ended up renting a little studio. And it's funny because we couldn't quite find an office space that really worked for us. So we ended up renting an apartment in this really cool historical apartment complex building that probably had about, oh, I would say like a dozen units in it. And so we rented out a little apartment and what was really nice about that is that there's still a kitchen there and still a full bathroom there so that we could eat food there and go work out and take a shower at the office and to get dressed again. So it's really fun. Having our office space and like you it kind of felt like an extension of our brand and it really felt like we were still working from home. Just kind of a more neutral space. that both of us can feel at home at. Um, so then after that, we were in the office for about a year and I have the baby and I took an eight week maternity leave. And whenever I came back to the office, I put Fox in daycare. And I went back to the studio, and it just felt stale. Like literally, we couldn't open the windows, they were painted shot. And the like our little water filter jug had like green slime in it, like things had just gone stagnant. Because my sister wasn't really working from there. While I was on maternity leave it just the space started to feel a little dead. And we tried making it work again, and injecting and also our designer had moved from Oklahoma City, and he was working remotely from Brooklyn. And so it just kind of the lack of life in our studio. And because we weren't really using it started to make it feel really stale and kind of lonely. So at the same time, I was still nursing Fox and breastfeeding, which meant I was eating a ton. I'm already an eater. But while I'm also like the source of food for someone else I was eating all the time. And so that was a struggle, I felt like every time I went into the office, I had to pack up all of my pumping supplies, I had to pack up enough food to keep me fed all day. workout clothes. I mean, I felt like I was packing up my entire house every time I was leaving. And it was just one more thing to coordinate on top of packing a diaper bag for the baby to go to daycare, I just can't keep it all straight in my head. And then I ended up buying a house pretty much across the street from my sister. So at that point, we're like, okay, is ridiculous to have an office space. So we decided to work from home. And it's funny because even though we work across, even though we live across the street from each other, we're kind of working from our separate homes now. I think part of it is that my sister got really used to working from home and kind of fell into her groove there. And it takes a while to adjust going from a day job where you're surrounded by people all the time to working by yourself at your house. And so once she had fully made that adjustment, she was like I like working from home. And she had also recently moved and found a little space in her house that she really loved working from. So that's a big part of working from home is just making sure, I guess working from home or a studio is just making sure that you feel creative and productive in the space that you're working in. Anyway. But it's funny, because now, after working from home again, for a while I'm starting to, I'm starting to maybe crave a studio space again. And maybe it's more like now I'm kind of imagining it's maybe not just dedicated to braid, creative, but maybe more of a collaborative co working space, especially as I expand my partnerships. I mean, Emily, you and I are now boss partners. And so it would have been cool while you're here to maybe have a little dedicated space that we could go to and especially as the podcast grows, like having even a quiet room like a dedicated podcasting room. And that might be a little like asking a little much because the nice thing about podcasting is we can put our mics anywhere, but to get good sound quality. And then also I'm about to partner up with another business partner here we're launching a new project in Oklahoma City. So I do think it would be kind of nice to have a space or maybe I'm just starting to experience some of the same challenges of working from home that I did at the beginning, which was five years ago, so it feels almost cyclical. Alright, I want to pause for a second and talk about our sponsor fresh books. Fresh books is designed exclusively for small service based business owners who build for their time and expertise, so they can get organized and get paid. Alright, you guys, if you use fresh books for billing, you will end up saving two days a month to focus on the work you love. So basically freshbooks is a really easy to use tool that will free up so much of your time whenever it comes to billing, invoicing, tracking your expenses. Two days, you can get a lot done in two days. And also in our Facebook group. A lot of people have been asking if freshbooks integrates with some of the apps that they already use. And I'm here to say yes, you can use freshbooks with Google Apps, Zendesk, MailChimp, PayPal stripe, formstack wufu, Zen payroll and more. 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So let's go ahead and go into the pros and cons of working from home. Because this is what we're about to tap into Emily, I want to hear the biggest pro for you for working from home.

Emily Thompson 20:10
Well, after after leaving a studio space where I had rent and utilities and a separate cable bill and like a whole other set of expenses for my business, I would say a huge pro of working from home is lower overhead costs. So it's cheaper to work at home, which I think is really huge for a business, especially just starting out. I mean, I really don't think that anyone should, you know, jump into actually make your own decisions, no matter what my opinion is, if you if you're making the money, do it, I think it's a great thing. But you definitely don't have to jump into having a studio space and having that stress of, of needing to make extra money. And again, one of the reasons why we were able to have studio space, or why I was so willing to jump into it was because the cost of rent for a studio space in Florence was so insanely cheap that it was, you know, it was rent was paid for by, by like a retainer from a client that we got every month. So it was just like, it was so cheap that it was just sort of

Unknown Speaker 21:20
with him, that was your retainer client,

Emily Thompson 21:23
it was actually it was paid for by the by the braid retainer every month. Because Because rent was so cheap, like it was so insanely cheap that it was just easy to sort of write off as like, Oh, that's just that one client, like, as long as I keep everything else up, I won't ever have to worry about rent. And so so yeah, you can, one of the biggest pros of working from home is definitely the fact that it's much cheaper to do so. And there's a tax write off, which I don't think enough people know about. If you have dedicated office space, then you can write that square footage off in terms of rent for for your business, and when it comes tax time, which is huge. And so let's say your dedicated office space, I decided to choose the biggest room in my house.

Kathleen Shannon 22:08
So job like Yeah, right. So it was close to 20%. So I was able to write off 20% of my mortgage, but you can also then write off 20% of all of your utilities, including landscaping. So not just your phone bill and that sort of thing. But 20% of basically everything in your house, you can then write offs, and not just the square footage, and not just the mortgage, but all of your utilities.

Emily Thompson 22:36
Yeah, that's huge. And really huge for for a lot of a lot of the bosses who are just starting out, being able to write off a portion of that stuff is is just massive for taxes, because taxes for for independent entrepreneurs is is a hassle, but it's good. It pays for like fix potholes and red lights and policemen to come help you when you when you need it. So it's a good thing.

Kathleen Shannon 23:00
But let's not get political, I know. But I was also going to say that dedicated office space part of it is huge. And so a lot of you might just check with your accountant and the rules in the state that you live in. But my accountant was like you need a door. Like you have to have a door to your office. And I think that as people are starting to work from home a little bit more, it's becoming maybe a little bit more lenient, but if you like working from your couch, and that's great. But I would say to create a little note somewhere, even if you don't have the luxury of dedicating an entire room to an office space, you can really do you like half of one bedroom. And if you can basically take a photo of it and say, Look, here's my desk, here's my work, like my shelf where I keep all my scenes, here's my computer on my desk, you can start to write off that square footage.

Emily Thompson 23:49
Yeah. And you should you definitely definitely should do that another another sort of pro to that to whenever we lived in North Carolina and this is definitely a state by state thing. But the county that we lived in while I was working from home, I didn't have to do any like business licensing in the county because it was like I wasn't a business and so like that was that allowed us to to cut those licensing fees because I was able to work from home and that county didn't care. So um, so like place to place has different rules, find someone in your county who knows what is happening and see what you can write off or or not have to worry about in terms of setting up business as long as you're working from home.

Kathleen Shannon 24:35
Alright, what would you say is the biggest con to working from home? Oh,

Emily Thompson 24:41
I think the biggest con is also that really cheap overhead. Guys, I think there's totally like a flip side to that. I I love it when businesses force themselves into expenses that they then have to work really hard to cover. So if you have rent, you're gonna work really hard to make sure your rent is paid. And for, for me, I think, I think that giving yourself extra expenses forces you to do more work to make a bigger impact to make more money, and there's nothing that will force you to work, like needing money. And so, so I do think that, that a really big con for working from home is that you do cut yourself those expenses that may keep you from working as hard as you actually probably could work.

Kathleen Shannon 25:38
I think there's also this sense of legitimacy. whenever it comes to having a studio or office space. I knew that for Tara and myself, we felt legit being like, oh, we're going into the office. And so I think that a big con of working from home is that maybe, or maybe it's a pro for getting a studio is that it can help make you feel a little more legit, and like you have a real job. Whereas working from home, you can wind up feeling unemployed versus self employed, especially if you're at the beginning and you don't have a lot of clients.

Emily Thompson 26:14
Yeah, I think that legitimate factor is huge. I mean, I loved inviting local clients into a space that was mine. And being able to sit them down like the couches in the front and go over things when you're not having to like

Kathleen Shannon 26:26
pick up your underwear off the floor before they go

Emily Thompson 26:29
over exactly or like or being at a coffee shop and goodness knows who's going to walk in and like interrupt a meeting, having having that dedicated office space, having a really cool studio like lended so much to the legitimacy of my brand. But then again, double edged sword is that sometimes you can look like a bigger deal than maybe you are. And so people will think that they can't afford you because you have a studio space. So yeah, there's so many pros and cons to it. And I just think it's about working or finding something that works for you. And the stage in your life and business that you currently are. I've already talked to David do about, you know, we're going to be working from home for a little while, but I really imagine that in the next year or two, there will probably be another studio space,

Kathleen Shannon 27:22
it really is like cyclical, you know, feels like it is for a couple years. I'm gonna work from the studio for a couple years, I kind of I'm interested in trying out a co working space next time.

Emily Thompson 27:32
Yes, yes, I want to do that too. And I'm really excited about some opportunities in Chattanooga to do so there's a couple new ones being built, and I'm totally gonna get a membership. And, again, try to work there as much as I can. And hopefully, hopefully, that will be a good balance. For me this idea of having working from home for a lot, but also having a more legitimate co working space to work at. Maybe that's the balance that I'm looking for. But I am excited to get back to working from home more. But I also know that I really do love the legitimacy of having your own space, like outside of the home, having having the ability to leave the house, like I think a huge con from about working from home is you know, you find that you haven't left the house in a week.

Kathleen Shannon 28:19
Because I think a lot of remote, but I think a lot of the listeners that we have and some of the bosses interacting in the Facebook group can feel a little lonely working from home and feeling a little isolated. And I find that this is also an issue with stay at home moms even like feeling isolated. And so I think that that's huge, a huge con factor to working from home is just the loneliness factor. Anyway, um, so one of my big pros from for working from home is one being able to eat whenever I want, because I'm an eater. That could be a con for some people, I don't know, but I like being able to eat whenever I want. But my big one is actually no Can you and so I was joking giving you a hard time earlier about like what walking two blocks down the streets like the hard work. But I have found that my schedule is packed so tight, that literally getting something done in 15 minutes is huge for me, I can get a lot done in 15 minutes. And so if I'm spending that 15 minutes, I'm getting dressed so that I can walk to a studio or drive to his studio. I mean, that might end up cutting an hour out of my work day. And as I've been cutting my work day after having a baby anyway, from eight hours to know, maybe more like five or six hours every hour really does count. There is no time for procrastination and so just kind of trimming the fat and not having a commute is a huge pro for me and just being able to sit down and do the work whenever I want is huge. And but my big con is kind The flip side of that and being able to work whenever I want is I kind of feel like a slob sometimes and not having not having an excuse or a reason to get dressed. That bums me out a little bit. And so I'm trying to make more of an effort to get dressed, even though I'm working from home, or, you know, maybe going to it's like Grand Central Station. Over here, there's planes, there's trucks. Anyway, maybe this is a con of working from home. Now actually, some of my friends I have a studio, they have a studio next to a railroad track. And they didn't really think about it whenever they bought this studio. And now they're like, Oh, my God, the train is killing us. I mean, they have to straight up just stop their meetings. And waiting for the train go by

Emily Thompson 30:52
my my last studio was, was next door to a fire station. So and I think there was a couple of phone calls and podcasts that we've recorded, where we just have to sit there for a second while there's blaring fire truck drives right in front of my front windows. Or I could never Schedule A a Wednesday at noon meeting because that's when they tested the tornado sirens that were like across the street. So you know, being in like a business centric places in your city will definitely have so much noise that is that of being quiet or having meetings that you don't want interrupted by blaring noises is really important for you work from home because trucks are easier to deal with then fire trucks and tornado sirens.

Kathleen Shannon 31:42
But you know, it's funny that you mentioned that to you. Because I think that might factor into the loneliness, like just having sounds of life around whether that's a fire truck or a train. But even like just the smaller sounds can help you not feel so lonely because sometimes I'll realize I will go all day without saying anything if I don't have a meeting, and I will forget to plug in my iPod and I'll forget to listen to music and it's just silent. And then I realized I've gone all day and just silence. Another kind of working from home I this is the final one that I would have is just distractions. Yeah. And I think a big distraction is whenever people see all the housework that needs to be done. Fortunately, I'm not very good at doing housework. So I'm not distracted by a pile of dishes in the sink. I'm not distracted by a pile of laundry. Like I'm pretty good at staying focused on my work. But I do get distracted by the same things that would distract me in an office space to like Facebook, or Netflix, or emails. And so that's maybe just a whole separate topic is how to stay focused on your work. Yeah, I

Emily Thompson 32:55
think I think distractions from working from home is one of the reasons why I got the studio in the first place we were living, we had just moved back to Florence. And we were living in like a little interim apartment while we figured out like what our next move was. And it was really small, which means distractions were very close to me. And so and so moving out of the studio, or moving into a studio was really huge for me then because of distractions. And you know, especially if you have kids, or if you have a I've talked to a couple of couple of creatives who you know, their husband is also or spouse I guess is also a creative but maybe don't work together. So they're in the same house constantly. So, you know, he'll get up and go to the refrigerator and then you think, Oh, well I'm hungry too. And so like unwarranted distractions. I think that I think distractions can be huge when working from home. But they're also distractions when you're working at a studio or an office straight there are so many times that you know, the the fire inspection guy would just show up in the middle of a meeting and because in Florence he's a little rude but he would he just kind of like knocking on that door with that like all mighty look on his face. Like you better come let me in or I'm going to like kick you out or whatever. So I had that happen several times or you know, people just wondering, you know, what is this cool office space and you know, I'm trying to record a podcast or I'm, I'm trying to like meet a deadline and I have just unwarranted people just like walking into the studio. So there's distractions in either place. It's just choosing which ones you want to deal with.

Unknown Speaker 34:36
totally true.

Emily Thompson 34:39
Hey, bosses. I'm going to take a second to interrupt this episode to tell you that if you're liking being boss, and you're ready to level up your game, we've got something just for you. Check out the being boss bundle. It's Kathleen's DIY coaching for creatives. And my Get your shit together series bundled together at one low price just for you bosses. You can find that at love being boss comm slash bundle. Okay, back to the episode.

Kathleen Shannon 35:07
Alright, let's talk about just a few tips for working from home and some ways you can make working from home work for you.

Emily Thompson 35:14
Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 35:15
I like that sounds like I wrote that out I just made that up

Emily Thompson 35:19
just been practicing her radio voice

Unknown Speaker 35:23
what's been happening

Emily Thompson 35:27
so yeah tips from working from home. Um, I'm really excited to get back to working from home. And mostly I'm I'm ready to get back to having a setting my own like office hours, apart from the nine to five. And in grading a more like wild schedule. Like maybe on Mondays, I will work a nine to five to like, do all the Monday things but then maybe I take half a day off on Tuesday and then work on the in the mornings on Wednesday or whatever. But it is about establishing office hours, it's about giving yourself giving yourself times when you're expecting yourself to be productive. Because otherwise you're not going to be productive.

Kathleen Shannon 36:09
One of the things that I love, and whenever we interviewed Danielle chrissa, the jealous curator, one of the ways that she organized her work week was giving because she works on a lot of different projects. She has her blog, she's writing a book, she now has a podcast, and giving one day like dedicating an entire day to writing an entire day to podcasting an entire day to making art. So I think that's an interesting way of establishing kind of your workflow. And what about I'm curious, like, what's a tip for? Because you do homeschool? Really. So you're kind of like a work from home? Mom, you and David both are super hands on with that. So what how do you get work done whenever you do have family. And maybe even that as a distraction whenever you have your kid and husband or spouse around

Emily Thompson 37:02
is definitely not having dedicated workspaces. And we did this in the studio and we're going to be doing this in like at home to, like, you know, Lily Will have her like homeschool corner where she just sort of where she has her stuff. And it just explodes everywhere. But, but she'll have her designated messy area. And then you know, David having his space and me having my space and that's, that's one of the things whenever we get to Chattanooga and we're finding a place to live, that will be at the forefront of choosing where we live and like can we have three designated workspaces or at least two because Lily is going to need her own. But even even you know, prior to having the studio, having my own designated workspace has always been really important for my productivity. And even if it's like a corner with a desk, but you still take the laptop to the couch, like being able to keep all your business things in one centralized location is so important for creating even if it's a fuzzy boundary between your life and work you know, you don't want to don't want to end up taking all of your all of your paperwork to bed and it just staying there for a month. You need to be able to have a dedicated workspace and make it functional for you. I think that you know going and buying a new desk does amazing things for productivity. And, and styling it up in a way that inspires you creatively is super important. You know, hang things, hang pretty things. Yeah, and get some good pins and keep those pins well stocked, especially if you have a homeschooling child who likes is still them.

Kathleen Shannon 38:39
I think also along with that is maybe having an dedicated family space too. And not even just physical. Even though that's a huge part of it. I wanted to jump in and say that whenever we did our interview with chalene Johnson, she was teaching us a new way of goal setting. And what she did was have us list out all of kinds of different areas of our life like career family, hobbies, environment, and then and rank them from one to 10 and you can find a worksheet at our website at www dot love the boss calm on that worksheet within that worksheets. We're working on maybe doing one for every episode or at least every other episode, so be sure to sign up for those at love being boss calm but anyway, whenever I did that push goal worksheet. My environment ranked the lowest and I was so surprised by that. So literally the next day I invested in my office space has actually become my breakfast nook. And I thought it was going to be because I have a dedicated office space. And in my guest bedroom like half of it is the guest room which is where you're staying right now Emily and then half of it is my office and I just don't work from there. I found myself working in my breakfast mark and so I actually spent some money in hanging nice curtains and getting a new table and getting a rug in there. And some Cool seating situation. So anyway, I think it's huge to invest in your space and make it a place that you want to be creative in. That's huge. Um, anyway, but I was going to say is having space like dedicated time for work and family, especially if you guys are all together. And I feel like you're really good about that, Emily. And you've taught Lily, and David, I mean, David's really helpful too, in being respectful of your space, you're like, Hey, I'm

Emily Thompson 40:29
recording a podcast and you guys to, you know, be quiet and say, stay in this area for 45 minutes or an hour. But then also I I've seen you make really good dedicated time to help Lily with her homework, and you're not checking your email or phone at the same time, like you were dedicating that time to working with her. And so I think that's huge, too. It is huge. And it's it that is something that I talked to a lot of creatives about is dividing time in a way that is effective and, and putting aside time like that for each individual task is huge. And is something you have to practice at, like we've been homeschooling Willie for a little over a year now. And it didn't just start out that way. Like I was sitting there, I'd been sitting there like wanting to check my phone while doing things. But but because we've been practicing it for a year, it's really easy for me to just sort of disconnect from things, sit down, do whatever we need to do, and then move on to the next task. And and that's not even a working from home tip. That's

Unknown Speaker 41:36
a life tip. Like

Emily Thompson 41:37
if you can, if you can learn to like segment your time in a way that so that you can get all the things done, whether you're working from a studio or from home, you can be super productive either way, and you can get lots of things done that way. That's also another tip from you know, the chalene episode was that, you know, your brain can only do one thing at a time. And so you know, if you are sitting in the living room trying to watch TV and on the laptop and you have kids running around, you're not going to be doing any of those things. Well,

Kathleen Shannon 42:08
yeah, you're going to feel scattered and spread thin and pulled in a lot of directions.

Emily Thompson 42:13
Yeah, and that's when you start feeling ineffective in your workspace, whether it's at home or in a studio. And so, I guess in choosing it's really about, you know, where is it that you can limit distractions, the most, and, and really find a really productive, inspiring place to work because creatives, creatives need to be inspired with where they're at. And so you know, you putting a little money into your breakfast nook, and I love your breakfast nook, by the way money well spent.

Unknown Speaker 42:45
Yeah.

Emily Thompson 42:47
Is is really huge. Like that's, that's where, you know, I can talk for weeks about investing. And like, why you should be putting, you know, bits of money into things that feel as silly as like hanging curtains in your breakfast nook. But the impact that makes on your productivity in general, just happiness and well being makes it money. So much more well spent than you like hiding in a way for you know, rainy day things go by some pretty curtains, it'll make you feel better.

Unknown Speaker 43:20
Totally.

Emily Thompson 43:21
I'm sorry. So what about you? What are some tips that you have for working from home?

Kathleen Shannon 43:25
Well, and these are some that I was trying to remember back in the day I first started freelancing, I was writing a lot about working from home, and what that's like, and kind of establishing and figuring out stuff for myself. And I've gotten really lazy about some of these things. So in preparation for this podcast, I was revisiting some of those and I was like, I need to pick some of these tips. Back up, I need to take my own advice, essentially. But a big one is walking to work, which sounds really silly, because if you work from home, that walk is not far. But getting outside and taking maybe even just a 20 or 30 minute walk is so good for just and I like to do it first thing in the morning. That's why I call it walking to work. And so after I've had my breakfast, just going for a walk around the block, maybe taking 20 or 30 minutes to clear my head. And I find that I can generate ideas and really set an intention for the day. Whenever I'm moving. Whenever I'm walking, I'm getting some nature, some fresh air I'm breathing, it's just a really good way to start the day. And I think it's also a good way to end the day. Um, so creating transitional habits or routines that help you transition from your home life into your work life and vice versa is huge. So if you have a dedicated office space, you can close the door, but if you don't have that, what kind of ritual do you do to stop or start your workday so it could be walking to work or walking home from work. So going for that walk it can also be something as simple as Lighting a candle. Like whenever you're working, the candle is lit. And whenever you're not working the candles out, and that might be even a good if you work with family at home a good way to kind of let them know, Hey, I'm working now. So I think about ideas, I want to encourage our listeners to think about ideas for ways that they can establish routines that help them transition in and out of their workday, especially when they're working from home. Right. Another one is get dressed, which is hilarious because literally like right now we're both in, well, I'm at least in my pajamas, like tank top, no bra, like I'm barely Yes, no makeup, nothing. So that's a huge one is getting dressed. And I like to have, it's really hard for me to get dressed with nowhere to go. So another big tip on working from home is to have a third place. So your third place is a place like a coffee shop or a library a place that you can go and kind of feel like your home away from home. And so mine here in Oklahoma City is elemental coffee, I love working from there. And I took you to lunch there yesterday. And it's really good because I just feel like I see so many other creatives working from there, it almost feels like a co working space. So I like working from there and getting dressed to go work there is really great. And yeah, working from a coffee shop, you know, just a couple of times a week is huge. And that's another thing is whenever it comes to having meetings and working from home, it can be a little awkward inviting your client into your house. So I like to meet my clients if they're local at a coffee shop. And I also like whenever I'm Skyping to have a pretty background for Skyping. So so it's not just creating a nice space for myself, but for my clients who have to see my space too. And then finally, I just want to mention that just because your home does not mean that it is your job to keep the house clean. So for me a big tip, whenever it comes to working from home, is to hire a housekeeper, someone to come in just once a week and clean the place that's can be a good time to go to a coffee shop. And and for me that it costs about an hour's worth of work to have a house cleaner come in every week, and I'm not very good at cleaning my house. So paying, paying someone who's really good at it to do it is huge. And then and then that's another thing is just because your home does not mean that you have to be at work from home mom, if you are or dad, if you have kids, you can send them to daycare. So that's been huge for me as sending my baby to daycare, even though I work from home. Because there's no way I could get anything done with him around. So yeah, those are like my big tips for working from home. Do you have anything else to add to that?

Emily Thompson 47:57
No, I just I really wanted to second second the house cleaner. And this is one that I have talked to multiple of like my mastermind groups or coaching clients or whatever it is always a topic that comes up. And so I just have to like take a moment say amen basically. Because it because that is such a huge thing. Whenever you are a creative entrepreneur, you're trying to build something. And you know, having your environment be something that feeds you is not going to feed you if it's dirty, unless you're just a person who thrives on like chaos. And there are people who were like that I'm not one of those. And whenever, whenever David and I decided to you know, take the grown up plunge and get someone to clean our house. So many things in our lives shifted because we didn't have to worry about you know, some of those those basic things that needed to be done. And not only that something else I want to throw in there because I know this is something that a lot of people a lot of people struggle with, is by you, you know paying someone to to clean your house for you once a week you're

Unknown Speaker 49:04
you're

Emily Thompson 49:06
you're providing for someone else and it really in a really awesome way that it's like having an employee but you're you're doing it for someone who who likes to help people like live cleaner lives.

Unknown Speaker 49:18
Yeah, let's

Kathleen Shannon 49:20
talk about this for a minute because I felt really awkward hiring someone else to clean my house like it just felt like like, you know that show on? Is it the Discovery Channel is like the world's dirtiest jobs. And it's like, is this a dirty job like it and how ethical is it? And so one thing that I found whenever it comes to hiring a house cleaner, is to not go with a company to go with an individual. And because companies oftentimes are not paying their house cleaners a fair rate or a fair wage, and they might be paying them you know, minimum wage to clean your house where As a house cleaner that comes in cleans my house, she's making, like almost as much as I do hourly. And so and she Yeah, like it's hard as a creative entrepreneur and you're creative for a living. So maybe you're taking photographs, or you're designing websites, or you're a coach or a consultant, or you're a nutritionist, and it feels funny to think that you just might feel awkward that someone else is cleaning your house, especially if you get like, I'm like, my I come from a very, like, middle class family. My parents never had House Cleaners. And so it just felt kind of against the way that I grew up, like, I should be able to clean my house. Oh, I know.

Emily Thompson 50:43
It's, it's super. So my mom cleaned houses when I was a kid like, and I remember going and helping her when I was a kid. So whenever it came to me deciding to, to do one, it was one of those things too, like, I should be doing this. But you know, yeah, like you are, if you're a coach, or an artist or whatever, there are people out there who really just love cleaning houses. And the same thing with daycare. Like, I

Kathleen Shannon 51:05
think that there's a lot of guilt around daycare. And I've written extensively about this will include my daycare posts that I've written in the show notes for moms or dads that are struggling with wanting to be stay at home, or feeling guilty about not staying at home and sending their kids to daycare or Mother's Day Out. And that has been huge, huge in my business I I think that a lot of the creatives that I work with feel like they can't afford daycare. And you should get to a point in your business where you can't afford not to have daycare or not to have a house cleaner. And by hiring those people to do those things, or even to mow your lawn. You're saving money by giving yourself more time to do what you're best at, which is probably not mowing your lawn or cleaning your house. Or maybe even taking care of your kid like I'm not the best at it. So I send him to daycare, no guilt.

Emily Thompson 52:03
Yeah, no, I think that's huge. And all of those things really lend to Linda working working from home, you have to you have to create a harmony in your home. unlike anything you would ever expect. If you want to work from home effectively. You know if your home life is crazy, because your dishes are never done or your laundry is never done or your your grass is going past your knees. Or you know you have a nasty like bathtub, like whatever that is. You're not going to feel inspired to to get any work done.

Kathleen Shannon 52:40
And that's a pro of working from home as baths in the middle of the day. That is like a simple luxury. Sorry, I forgot about that. But like, sometimes I love just taking a bubble bath in the middle of the day.

Emily Thompson 52:52
Yeah, yeah. So Kathleen's Kathleen's pros are eating and bags,

Unknown Speaker 52:58
eating and bathing,

Emily Thompson 52:59
you're never going to get a studio again, you're not going to leave those two things. So no, i think i think i think working from home is not something that you should ever, you know, feel less legitimate about. You know, Kathleen and I are both great examples of two bosses who have who've done the studio thing, and have found ourselves going back to working from home. Because there is no this is like this is like the natural working place. I think of independent entrepreneurs, especially in creative fields. But there can also be really great things that come from, you know, leaving the house and having studio space, it's just about finding what works for you, and making it work for you. Whichever one you decide. And if you are working from home, having that dedicated, dedicated space and time and creating those boundaries. I mean, like put tape on the floor around your desk if you need to and tell your kids don't to come past it, or maybe your real boundaries,

Unknown Speaker 54:01
maybe don't be putting tape down but maybe a rug.

Unknown Speaker 54:03
And it's like

Emily Thompson 54:07
you're coming to my house I'm going I'll like tape out your path places to it's going to be great. No, so having a dedicated office space and time is huge. And working from home doesn't have to make you feel less legitimate at all, if, if anything, I feel like it almost makes you more legitimate like human to be able to live and work in the same space. And you know, taking taking down the rules that come from you know, past jobs and needing to go to work and needing to have you know, traffic filled commutes that take you hours because you are choosing entrepreneurship or starting your own creative or not creative business. You can break all the rules and remake them in accordance to what you want and need to do what you need to do.

Kathleen Shannon 54:55
Alright you guys, we have a work from home cheat sheet available at love being bossed calm, and but be sure to let us know in the being boss Facebook group. If you have any other tips for working from home or pros or cons that you would like to discuss, we would love to hear your input there.

Emily Thompson 55:14
And if you guys like being boss, be sure to sign up for our newsletter at love being boss calm. We'll get episode worksheets, secret content and other goodies delivered straight to your inbox every week. Do the work the boss and we'll see you next week.

So I'm doing I'm sorry, somebody was coughing who's coughing? Oh, someone out that window.

Kathleen Shannon 55:58
I see. You're always making fun of me whenever we're recording the podcast and I'm like, oh, someone's breaking in and there's someone right there. So that's my neighbor moose coughing by the window.