Working from home is one of the best things about being a freelancer. It’s a privilege not many are afforded in traditional, corporate-type roles. A crucial part of setting up a work-from-home business is cultivating the ideal work space, but getting there can take some trial and error.

One of my goals for 2018 was to find a suitable co-working space to use at least two times per week to break up the monotony of working in solitude at home. While my search for the ideal co-working space continues, I moved my office upstairs into one of the guest rooms in an effort to increase productivity and create more of a separate space for my work.

Moving my office has benefited me in two big ways: 1) I now have a space that I can call my own to do my work, 2) more separation from the rest of the home (aka clearer boundaries).

Previous to this, my office was located on the main floor in our den (or bonus room), just off the front entrance of our house. As functional as it was in the beginning, there were two main disadvantages to that space: 1) I shared it with my husband, 2) the kitchen was too accessible.

Sharing a space, if required, is not necessarily a bad thing. Because my husband has a normal corporate job, he is rarely in the space to begin with. But in the evenings, weekends, or days when he was working from home, his working style proved to be an unwelcome distraction. (He talks to himself… a lot. And we have differing tastes in working/focusing music. While I enjoy instrumental piano or jazz, he prefers Kpop ballads/acoustics and I just cannot when it comes to music with lyrics, especially when I’m trying to write.)

And the kitchen being right there—great for refreshing water or coffee, but not so great when I’m puttering back and forth constantly hunting for snacks (or procrastinating). I’ve probably spent more time in the kitchen on some days than in my office doing actual work.

Now that my space is non-shared, upstairs, and far enough away from the kitchen that it’s a nuisance to keep going back and forth (stairs, I tell ya), I’m able to focus and block out husband ramblings and his music choices.

It’s not perfect, but the space is a work in progress. I would love some more practical shelving units and a larger desk, but cultivating the ideal work space is about finding the appropriate flow and making changes as required.

Fellow freelancers, how have you cultivated your ideal work space?

About the Author Cindy Cheung

Freelance technical writer, copyeditor & proofreader, and designer based in Calgary, Alberta.

3 comments

  1. My current “office” is actually just a desk in my bedroom which, while cosy and sometimes nice, can be distracting. There is an empty room next to mine (that used to be my brother’s, who has since moved out), which has a much more spacious desk. It seems perfect to try out – and if it is more suited, well, I’d be tempted to turn the room into a proper office!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! My bedroom actually has a large window and a “nook” space that gets plenty of sunlight, which would be perfect for a desk. But I would get too distracted wanting to nap in bed! Have you tried the empty room yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, next to a window would be lovely, but that’s so true about the napping! I have tried the empty room, which was quite nice – especially when I then worked in my bedroom and realised how claustrophobic mine is. Might have to work in the empty room more frequently!

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