Working from home can seem like a simple move…until you do it. At Herman Miller we’ve sent 12 staff home – to work! We wanted to see first hand how they made the transition. More on that little experiment later. Designer Carin Castelnuovo-Tedesco made a similar transition when she left her 750sf office and set up a virtual studio that she runs from a sunny upstairs office in her Los Angeles home. I talked to her about the big move and discovered there are definitely some ups and downs.
How long have you been working from home? For exactly 4 weeks. After having managed a full-service in-house creative department with up to 8 designers for 17 years I went from a 750sf space to a slick 150sf space.
Why the move? It was really inspired by my dream of owning my own business when I was older, and guess what….I’m older. The transition to owning my own design business was new enough, and starting out from my home made perfect sense for a number of reasons - including economic and convenience. Now I’m employing some of those same designers and creating a virtual design studio that’s convenient for all of us, because it’s in each of our homes!
What obstacles have you faced? The first is dog barking. I’m used to having my dog by my side, it seemed natural that she would be by my feet in my new home studio. But on my first conference call she was distracted by someone walking past, and let out a series of loud barking howls. Now before a scheduled call I walk my dog out to the backyard, it gets me on my feet too. Another obstacle, remembering to break for lunch – no one walking past my office talking about where they are going, eating, or if I’ll join them. The last thing is training my family (that’s a polite way of saying my mom) that I don’t answer the house phone when I’m working and that just because I’m at home doesn’t mean I have time to chit chat about endless subjects.
Do you have any tips for someone thinking about working from home?Shower and get ready for work before you sit down, it’s a phsyc thing. Let your significant other (in my case, husband) know that they are about to get squeezed out of your precious free time, but it’s a temporary thing until you get into a groove. Invest in a proper comfortable desk chair!