Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Back to Work: from Home-based to Office Cubicle

By Lisa Sansom on Sep 06 2011 • Filed under Business

Entrepreneurs who go from home-based to onsite office face adjustments. (Photo)It’s been an interesting couple of months since I last posted for Entrepreneurial Woman magazine in early July. Since that time, I have moved twice and transitioned to a position that has me working full-time hours on a client site. Needless to say, there have been some positive changes, and a few interesting mindshifts. Here are a few of the differences that I have noticed:


I now have to commute into work. I mean, I have to go outside the house. My previous commute was seven steps down into my basement. Now, I actually have to get in the car and drive. I’d almost forgotten which was the gas and which was the brake pedal. Well, not quite – I still did the occasional grocery shopping run, even when I was working out of my home basement. But with online shopping, a dedicated work-from-home entrepreneur doesn’t really need to get outside on a regular basis, let alone use the car.Now I do. Which brings up the next point…


You mean I don’t have my very own driveway to leave the car in all day? Hmph. Sheer awkwardness. How did we evolve to the Internet, quick-rising yeast and Louboutins and I still have to drive around the block several times looking for parking?


Ok – I don’t actually have to wear a suit every day, but I do have to think about what I am doing that day and pick my clothing appropriately. This also means make-up every day, doing my hair nice every day, and wearing appropriate shoes. I don’t think my wardrobe has enough professional variety to show my colleagues a different outfit every day of the week. What was I saying about all that online shopping?


With the money I’m now spending on parking and gas, I figured I’d better save a few pennies and actually pack my lunch. What a change this is from the “just open the fridge and see what’s hiding in the back that needs to be used up” strategy I had before! Either I pack my food (and heavens forbid I should be extra hungry or suddenly get a craving for something I didn’t pack) or else I shell out $15 for a day’s worth of caffeine, sugar, fats and maybe a bit of protein. No fresh fruits and veggies in sight – at least, not for a reasonable price! That $7.00 salad would cost me about $1.00 in ingredients at home!


The main reason that I agreed to take a full-time onsite job was the people. I have been lonely – as many solo entrepreneurs are – working from my home basement. The blessing, however, has an unanticipated dark side – people actually want to talk with me. Used to be I could just put my head down, blast through a whole bunch of work, send out emails and drafts and proposals, and wait for others to get back to me. Now? That behaviour is considered “anti-social” apparently. Who knew? I’d better go back to kindergarten to learn how to play nicely with others.

Although I write all of the above with tongue planted in cheek, there is some truth behind the levity – there is a definite difference between working in my home office, which I have done for seven years (a professional eternity), and working with actual co-workers in an actual workplace. The irony is that my business has been all about helping leaders be better leaders, helping teams be better teams, and helping individual contributors be higher-performing. Guess it’s time to actually put into practice much of what I teach to others!

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