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!