Some days there is nothing like waking up, stretching out, watching your dogs cuddled nicely on the bed, your lap top open and ready to conquer the world when you stop and wonder, why on earth would anyone want to drive into the office today? Â One of the benefits of owning your own business is that you can define your work life and your work place. Â With the age of Twitter and Facebook, social networking allows you to be everywhere and anywhere and “work” can take on a whole new meaning.
With the price of office space on the rise and companies moving towards telecommuting options, and as employees continue to struggle with work life balance there is a need to find alternative and creative ways to re-define the traditional “work space”. Â Have laptop will travel? Â Virtual offices can be anywhere and can be anything. Â When I factor the only thing I have to do on days that I don’t want to travel into the office is get up at 6:00 am, crack open the computer, adjust the cover on my bed, and start pounding away at the keyboard.
Take this morning, with my dogs still asleep on the bed, I have written three blogs, posted jobs for my clients, updated my website, responded to countless emails and even caught the headline news from online sources without so much as straightening the sheets or fluffing up the pillows on my bed. Â My bed, has personally always been my sanctuary. Â As a kid I loved to play with hand made paper dolls all from the safety and security of my throne, my bed. I sometimes made interesting “blanket castles” from ways I would creatively rearrange the bed covers, creating nooks and crannies that became the living room or bedroom for my paper dolls.
Reaching adulthood and rising in the ranks of corporate America, I graduated to the corner office with the terrace, flat screen TV and fancy leather sofa. Â Today, I have perhaps the best office in all of Southern California on the 18th floor overlooking the Pacific ocean where I can gaze at sail boats floating past my window and stare out into the endless blue ocean.
But there are still times, like now, when I love to sit comfortably cross-legged on my bed, as I listen to the soft snoring of my puppies curled up in small white fur balls, and I think of my paper dolls and blanket castles and figure not too much has really changed. I still crave the comfort and security from the world around me in the safety of my bed. And the best news is that I can accomplish so much work from the peaceful sanctuary my own little corner in my own little world. Welcome to the 21st century workplace!
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Thanks for the post.
Seems like with social media and high tech phones we are creating our own little office spaces wherever we go or are planning to go. Traditional office spaces will most likely become a place to socialize or turn into apartment buildings. I wonder what is ahead in the next century!
In my experience, bringing work into the home can be a terrible thing. It is definately a good idea to write blogs, be social, etc, but the “bed office” can quickly lead to not being able to relax when at home. Personally, I have been more successful when I switch off after leaving work. No blackberry, no email checking, just offline to spend time with friends and family. I do a lot of career counseling and advising others about the trap that is working from home.
If you own the company, it is a great freedom to be at home, but if you don’t you miss out on collaboration with co-workers, are not in control of your personal brand in the office and often must work harder for the promotion.
Not to rain on your parade, but I thought I would introduce this perspective as well.
Dear Lisa, your article “My Bed is my Office” caught my eye this afternoon on a stressful day where we had to carry out a series of layoffs in our office due to the continued economic downturn. Your article took me out of myself for a few minutes and brought me to a “happy place,” thinking about paper dolls, cozy dogs, and fluffy comforters.
Way to go!
I know these are difficult times and you are doing a warriors job in helping transitioning employees-been there, not easy. Glad to have given you a smile today just the same. Thanks for connecting.
nd thank you for your kind words – I needed them today. look forward to more articles by you -keep it up! 🙂
Hi Lisa, read your article on your bed, and so appreciate it. I do the same things, often not leaving the house until about 10 when all that stuff gets done. I love my freedom. 🙂
Read your article. Agree that should be way more telecommuting, laptop office, home office, etc.
When I graduated from school, I thought the era of physical commuting would have been well in the past by now. I see changes in that direction, but no major shift yet.
We definitely have the technology. And there are so many benefits – way less pollution, road accidents, time lost, space and time consumed …. The list goes on and on.
But something is holding us up. I’ll grant that communication is more effective face-to-face. But phone, email and IM are pretty good. And while “Go To Meeting” is still not as good as 15 people together in a room, the asymptotic curve of quality is steadily approaching the point where virtual is close enough to physical.
So grant that ideal virtual technology is only 60-80% of the way there. So why aren’t we working just a day or two per week in the office and the other 3 days at home?
The stock answer has been to date that “corporate culture” hasn’t evolved. Sort of like the corporate “Fuddy – Duddys” don’t “get it”. But my generation “gets it” and we are becoming the corporate VP’s, PMO directors, etc. So why aren’t we all working from home a significant amount of time yet?
Another point re: corporate “Fuddy-Duddy”‘s not getting it – it seems irrelevant. Home or mobile workers are cheaper – the corp needs to provide them with less – space, A/C, parking lots, etc. And that savings goes right to the bottom line. What CFO. young or old, is not all over something like that?
What is your take on why the transformation is taking so long. It has worked for independent, freelance work really well. (kudos to you in your work!) How can one make it happen for almost everyone in an 100-person application development department of a large corporation?
Your thoughts? Suggestions?
James R. Bailey, PMP
I just got out of bed and went to my office. It’s a short trip — downstairs. Working at home is probably the biggest luxury in my life. My house is my office, my studio and my playground. I don’t have to go “out” to eat. I have a refrigerator nearby. I don’t have to go to a park to decompress. I have three-quarters of an acre, trees, horses in a pasture across the way. An oasis. I have worked in offices and know the difference. There isn’t a boss to crack a whip or criticize me. There are people who think that is their major function in life. One of the best fall-outs of this depression is that some of these large companies are failing — freeing the slaves to go out on their own and discover — we hope — small businesses where they can develop their talents and make contributions to the world that are satisfying to everyone. For years I have been bemoaning the rise of the WalMarts and the demise of the mom and pops that have been helpful and kind to us along the way.
Way to go Lisa. I’ve found if you move away from your normal routine and environment, you produce better results. Thanks for writing such an uplifting article. I’m sure as you walked back into your office on the 18th floor, you felt renewed and a lot more refreshed.
I urge everyone to think where you can take a break to enjoy the freedom to work outside your normal environment. In the park, on the beach or in bed, it only makes a difference to you and your outlook.
Again, thank you for a well written article and title that shows thinking “outside the box”.
The kind of thinking we all need to do more often during these economic times.
Posted by Deborah Stefani