Just Me

I’ve been working as a self-employed 3D Visualiser for just over a year.  Before that, I worked in the Northern Ireland Civil Service for almost 20 years. This is a pretty large organisation, and as a result, I would have worked in fairly large offices.  I mean, some of the offices had well over 100 people.

So yea, lots of hustle and bustle.

Now?  Now it’s… just me.

In all the excitement of making plans for my 3D takeover, daydreaming about being my own boss and celebrating this new chapter of my life, I never considered the life-changing effects of working from home.

The first 6 months were a breeze.  I was swept up in website design, logos, startup programs and marketing strategies, but the last six months have been…different.

I’ve become much more aware of the sense of isolation that comes with being self-employed and working from home.  My job doesn’t really require me to physically meet with clients.  I receive an email enquiry; I reply; the client confirms and I start the commission.  It’s pretty straightforward. Add the fact that I’ve no family commitments, and you’ve got someone who spends A LOT of time in her own company…every goddam day.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have any problems being in my own company.  And sometimes humans REALLY irritate me, but I do like to partake in meaningless chit-chat too.

I mean, a few months ago, I realised that if I hadn’t replied with ‘yes’, to the Cashier in Marks & Spencer, when asked if I wanted a shopping bag, I would have gone 3 days without speaking to ANYONE.

That’s not healthy, right?


For the first time in my life, I feel quite isolated and ‘removed’ from the world around me.

And I don’t like it.

I’ve become aware of a few co-working spaces dotted in and around Belfast.  One in particular has caught my eye.  It’s specifically for peeps who work in creative industries, so I pinged an email off today asking for more information.  It’s called Blick Shared Studios and seems to have a really nice vibe.

I can’t really afford to rent a desk 5 days a week, I’m not sure I’d want to either.  But I’m definitely up for renting a desk twice a week to help alleviate the feeling of isolation that I currently have, and to improve my sense of well-being.

Do you work from home?  How do you address the social implications?  I’d love to hear from you!



  1. Erik Thorsen says:

    Hi there Anita,
    Wow – am I ever late to this particular party (summer holidays now behind me, and all sorts of other things have been going on since then). By the way, how strange that there haven’t been a ton of reactions to this particular post? It’s a very interesting subject, I’d say. Anyway, here goes:
    Full disclosure: I’ve worked from home as my own boss for more than 15 years now. Doing fine – and I ‘feel comfortable in my own company’, most of the time – but I’m also married, and that probably helps too (i.e. I have someone coming home to me every evening, who I can gripe – or gush – to about my day. Still, it became clear at an early stage that it would (also) be very important for me to have/maintain my own social life in order not to go bonkers. So here are a few of my ‘strategies’, that have served me well over the years:
    1. Find a regular activity outside the house and exercise it religiously. I go for a swim almost every morning (pool is a stone’s throw from where I live), and after my swim, I chat a lot with the other ‘regulars’ out there. Very important part of my day.
    2. Guitar lessons every Wednesday-evening. I’ll never be any good, but the banter and ‘networking’ aspect are invaluable. It’s also really nice to activate different parts of the brain. Being creative in a completely different way, as it were…
    3. If your housing situation allows it – and you’re not allergic – I can highly recommend a cat or two. Incredibly social animals that keep me company (in their own, very discreet manner) throughout the day. And excellent, often highly entertaining company, at that.
    4. Pub quiz every Tuesday-evening. Totally indispensable, if I’m honest (and not just because of the beer).
    5. Like you, I’m seriously considering finding an office-space outside the house. Most of the places on offer where I live are prohibitively expensive – but recently, I’ve been in touch with another free-lance architect who has offered me a ‘share’ in his very modest office space at a price of just over 100 Pounds per month including WiFi subscription. I’m very seriously considering taking him up on that.
    That’s it for starters, I think. Good luck with all the stuff you’re working on.
    All the best,
    P.S: Hope the SketchUp seminar went well?


    • anitabrown3d says:

      Hi Erik,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a considerate reply. I really appreciate it! Yes, the tumbleweed has been drifting somewhat, from I posted this blog! I’m not entirely sure why, as co-working spaces are on the up and Entrepreneurial endeavours are as popular as ever.

      I agree, being married and having company in the evening gives you a break from being in your own company all day! Unfortunately (or fortunately, whatever way you want to look at it), I’m footloose and fancy free, so the days (sometimes) can seem a little long.

      Your tips are excellent! And I have started to keep a routine of popping out for a Latte most days, even just for the exercise. I tried the co-working space but didn’t like the vibes from the one I trialled, as most people sat in silence with headphones on all day (I’m not joking!), so it kinda defeated the purpose of being there, as I found myself sitting in silence. I’m going to shop around and keep looking for a co-working space that fits my personality better. Did you go ahead with the shared office space in the end? Interested to know how that has worked out for you.

      The SketchUp courses have taken over, Erik! Which is why I’ve been a little absent around here! I’m going to provide a little update via a blog post soon, I promise!

      Hope all is well with you!



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