From Shared Space to My Own Space

Transitioning from a corporate office space to working from home has been great—a millennial’s dream. Instead of having to leave for work in the morning and battling rush hour, I have the luxury of getting up and going downstairs to log into my computer. When I first discovered I’d be working from home, I imagined peace and quiet with my dog nuzzled close by. Coming from working in a small cubical surrounded by others, this seemed peaceful. Unfortunately for me, that wasn’t my first 6 months’ experience at Lantana.

The best office mates: Khloe, Bella, and Marco
The family that works at home together…gets irritated with one another.

During those first months, I was living with my family, and other family members worked from home, too. My mom worked from home three days a week and my grandmother worked from home all week. At first, I thought this would be fun – we’d have lunch dates and midday walks. Psych! Instead of lunch dates, I got to hear all the latest gossip about Belinda from last nights’ high school basketball game. All I could think was, I’m going to be fired if someone overhears this during a call. I tried to find solitude but found no place for quiet and alone time for thinking. I would try everything from ear plugs to working in my room with the door shut.

My brother on the left, probably asking me to drive him somewhere.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family but working in close quarters seems a bit much. My younger brother joined the mix during his school breaks, early release days, and one or two sick days. All those equated to loud music, requests to “take me to the mall,” and the sound of Madden 2k 20 at a high volume. Clearly Madden 2k 20 was more important to a teenager than his sister doing her work. Could a girl get any peace… clearly not!

I felt like I tried everything, but to my surprise, one thing worked—taking over my mother’s home office. Thank you, Mom! Her office was secluded and an open space that could fit my work supplies along with hers. I would work in her office during her office workdays, and my room when she was home. One night during dinner, I decided to ask everyone for quiet time during work hours, and to my surprise, they apologized—that’s huge—and agreed to tone it down. We had a long talk about noise levels, and everything started to get better. Seems that communication really is a major key to life. After that, my stress went down, and my work performance went up. SCORE! I learned an important lesson from this experience, and it motivated me to get my very own space. A place where I could set up anywhere and feel comfortable.

Closing day on my new house!

Since those first months, I’ve moved into my own home and I feel complete. I can experience peace and quiet everywhere in my house. I can sit wherever I want and not have to worry about hearing others’ conversations or getting asked to be dropped off at the mall. Where some might feel lonely or closed in, I feel grateful. Building my office has been my new challenge, but it’s something I can call my own. Working from home alone might not be for everyone, but it works for me.