Let's talk about the challenges of working from home

I'm writing this post while in my pajamas, hung over, and having a little "hair of the dog" after the great time I had at my birthday dance party on a Sunday night. And that right there, is pretty much the best testamant to working at home.

Photographers, independent designers, freelancers… I know you feel me! Working from home is awesome. But can we talk about the challenges of being self-employed and working from home and what we can do to combate those issues?


The steps I took to become a work-from-home parent

Every so often someone will ask me exactly how I became a work-from-home parent, and the truth is what you expect: there wasn't one crystal clear moment in which everything lined up and OMG WOW! all of a sudden I was a parent who worked from home. I had to take serious steps to get there, and I take even more serious steps every day to stay here. SO HERE WE GO: I'm gonna break down my particular path for you.


Snaps for the week

When I come out of my fog long enough to realize that it's Friday, I remember that the Offbeat Empire meets on Google+ to discuss what's happening on every site. We suggest potential cross-posts to each other, talk about mechanics of the sites, and Ariel updates us on Empire-as-a-whole business. At the end of the meeting, Ariel asks us to share anything we're especially proud of from the previous week. We then snap over the video in long-distance congratulations in lieu of high-fives.


The deep value of gathering with remote staff

I've worked with folks via IM and email for over a decade, and I've always been like FUCK YEAH REMOTE WORKING. It's so awesome that everyone can work from home, in their locations of choice, without having to deal with commuting or offices or childcare or anything else. Remote working is awesome and allows me to have an AMAZING staff that I could never assemble all in one city.

But in all my loving of remote work, somehow I forgot that OH YEAH: it's really fucking awesome to actually be in one place at one time. I'd met many of my Empire staffers before last fall, but mostly just in one-on-one situations…. I met up with Stephanie and her family when they were visiting Portland last year. I swung by Rockethaus in Des Moines, Iowa on a trip to visit my mother-in-law in Iowa City. But never had these staffers met EACH OTHER, and never had we been able to hang out all together in one place for a weekend.


When you work remotely, social media isn't just about wasting time

A few weeks ago I was loosely involved in a conversation about Internet usage of people who work from home. I say loosely because half the conversation was spoken in Spanish, which I most definitely do not speak, and also because the conversation only touched on this topic for a few minutes before it switched to something else. Basically, it was brought up by someone that a lot of people she knows who say they "work from home" seem to spend an awful lot of time on sites like Facebook and Twitter while "working."