In 1990, I was one of two people responsible for writing the “Telecommuting Plan” at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.
Little did I know then how much “telecommuting” would change my life.
In telecommuting I saw the perfect solution to many issues confronting society (and my own life). Chief among them is what I always strove to achieve:
A BALANCED life to work ratio: Too much time at work (or time spent commuting) is not good, too much time at home is also not good.
Life BALANCE is the key.
With telecommuting, one could get work done at work a few days a week, then work at home the rest of the week and get even more work done…..yes, productivity increases when you don’t have to spend commuting 4 hours a day in the car, or train, getting to a central work location.
But what happens when you work at home ALL THE TIME?
In my case, Lori is standing at the study door talking. Or I have to pick up dog poop, or I have to cut down a branch, or I have to mow the lawn, or I have to……OMG, stop, I need to work.
The balance is not there.
And what about adult interaction (other than with family)? Lunches with Clint, meeting Dwight Yoakam (I did!), having a beer (I never….), laughing with coworkers, and of course working….that interaction is GONE working exclusively at home.
COWORKING = BALANCE for the entrepreneur, freelancer, independent, consultant, start-up. When I spent my work days in our local coworking space, I found the BALANCE I needed to stay productive. I was in the company of adults who are not family: We brought in snacks, we laughed, occasionally went to lunch together, and oh yeah, we worked.
Then, when the day was done…..I went home.
Working at home is great….a few days a week. Working at a central location is great….a couple of days a week, but, commuting sucks the life out of you (on a society level too: gas, pollution, traffic, etc).
COWORKING is the perfect solution: Close to home, but be at work.