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Great isn't it?
So today I pose the question, what does your home office look like?
Here is mine:
I have 2 Toshiba Satellite Laptops bought at Best Buy for $500 each thanksgiving day.
One is my fiances because I'm on the computer so much she had to get her own.
One is what I run my site on.
My home office is actually the dinning room of my apartment with all the furniture up against the wall and the dinning room table with all the computer stuff.
I had to buy a book shelf to hold all my computer/reserach books, thats the only piece of furniture I bought.
On one wall I have a whiteboard for brainstorming (I admit however that I commonly come up with my best ideas using the whiteboard pens while in the shower) and a tacky board for all my to do list.
All my hard copy record are kept in a $10 plastic file box.. although I never really use it.
My filing cabinet (rarely used as well.)
Mines my dorm room... though. So my accountant tells me I can't use it as a tax write off... Complete non-sense :) But then again I'm definetly not grossing $100,000 a month, just paying for college.
[edited by: Dpeper at 1:42 am (utc) on May 3, 2004]
as to the hardware, think retro state of the art ... as I'm sure it was a decade or so back, lol.
My 3 year old IMac with a Brother, black & white laser printer sits beside the computer while my Brother Intellifax 2800 sits next to the printer. My Cable & Wireless standard phone is to the right of the computer.
My patio is accessed by three sliding glass doors with a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea and all my orchids.
Orchid growing is my passion, I have about 200 of them of various species and genera. Sailing is my other passion ... and I get to be surrounded by both all day long!
My office is located in my living room/den which has a custom built sofa bed made out of solid mahogany, (I couldn't find anything I liked on the internet) matching coffee table with two chairs, two end tables and a TV stand.
The open area living room is adjacent to the open area kitchen ... so cold drinks are within 5 steps of my desk. I keep my remote on the desktop so that when a client calls I can press mute so they can't hear the TV.
My desk (complete with filing cabinets) is on rollers so that on particularly hot Caribbean days ... I can role the whole deal out onto the patio and work in the breeze of the tradewinds.
There are (at times) HUGE drawbacks to living in the Caribbean ... but the bonuses are equally large. To be surrounded by the perfume of my orchids, have a view of the sea all day long and work for myself at a job I love is something which I wouldn't trade for 10 million a year! I am more than happy to make a modest income to maintain my current lifestyle.
It will be better when I can afford to hire someone (part time) so that I can take weekends off. Working 7 days a week, 24/7 is not a high price to pay for the obvious perks ... but it would be really nice to take a little time off now and then. A holiday would be really lovely!
All in all, life is good ... but If I had to make $100,000 a month to be happy, I would be in very big trouble. ;)
This is slightly off topic, but I'll say it anyway ... while many people dream of working from home, I have to say NOT working from home has been the best move I ever made. When I worked from home I found it difficult to separate work from the rest of life. I found myself "working" at 11:00 at night, sometimes later, and on weekends. Working from home made it HARDER to spend time with my wife and son - even though I was physically "here" I was always down stairs working. And I made a lot less money.
Getting an office and promising myself not to do ANY work from home really redefined my business. I set hours and stuck by them, and today have a much larger office, 17 employees, and so on and so on. I go into the office 4 days a week between 9 and 10, and I leave between 3 and 4, and I take a lot of vacations. None of that was possible when I worked from home.
I know many of you guys probably have a different opinion on working from home, but I just thought I would throw in my two cents because it's not for everyone and some people don't always figure that out. Having a home life and a business life that are completely separate from each other and never cross paths has worked out very well for me. My customers don't have my cell phone number, I don't have to constantly check my e-mail, etc. I leave work at the office - if someone has a problem or needs to reach me, they call my office number and leave a message and I'll get to it when I'm there.
Work is what you do so you can afford to enjoy the rest of the time. When work BECOMES "the rest of the time", you're doing something wrong. I will never do business when I'm not at the office ever again.
Maybe I'm being a bit too philosophical but what the heck, I'm bored and there aren't any South Park re-runs on tonight.
I do my site for fun (really), its just a content site... I hope it will pay for grad school in 2 years.
Since it a content site I dont have customer service... just write when I feel like it, post when I get time, and check my adsense revenue...
I understand completely!
Two years ago, I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. I lived and breathed my business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because the office was in my living room ... I had no escape!
So I took an office in a high traffic area and I sat there for a full year ... which was the length of my lease.
I was just about ready to go stark raving mad as (during slow periods) I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs, champing at the bit , staring at the walls and wanting desperately to go home and get "stuff" done. Thankfully, the lease ran its course and I was able to move back home to the quiet serenity of my Caribbean hideaway.
Everyone has to find their own ideal working situation. For me (NOW) and only since having the "remote" office ... am I able to put things into perspective.
Although I am still very low tech, I now have an "off" switch for the phones which automatically turns off the ringer for my business phone and the fax machine. The answering machine takes over. My personal phone is the only one which rings after hours and doesn't ring during working hours.
Life is how you define it and, in the process ... how you allow it to define you. Do as little or as much as you want. Where you do it ... makes no matter as its all in how you structure your life!
I structured mine to save myself an additional $650.00/month for office rent which I didn't really need and couldn't afford. I accomplished the same goals by installing an on/off switch for the telephone and fax ringers and a strong determination to have a personal life! :)
The swithes cost me $49.00 plus instalation. I saved $7,800,00 in rent last year alone. So far, that has paid for two of my custom built, solid (7/8") mahogany pieces of furniture which will last a lifetime.
<added>So Mark ... are you speaking English? No really ... are you? Cause I have no clue what that last post was all about! I remember Pink Ffloyd and John Cleese ... but still not grasping your message!
[edited by: Liane at 4:24 am (utc) on May 3, 2004]
To my left there's tons of random notes and stuff about site design from me.
This is neglecting to mention the 10 or so cups in here, and random pop cans.
I made a small altar in a section of the bookshelf. (Got to get my serenity somewhere) Oh, and I got a new phone for the desktop... now that I have a desktop. Did I mention that I despise telephones? I should have. The best feature on that phone is the Hold button.
Until these changes last weekend, my desktop consisted of that sliding keyboard shelf that was (once upon a time) on the desk. With a monitor and keyboard in place, I was left with about 3 inches of desk space, right in front of the keyboard, and enough room for a mouse on the right and some paperwork on the left.
For all the changes, the floor is *still* my ashtray.
Liane sorry all was not clear :-)
Yes this is english for sure dear the letters are mine and all in the alphabet we both share as is 1234567890 repeat enter erase delete matter no matter time tick tock goes my clock but I lost that one!
You said * NOW * in your last message.
One of the great unanswered questions of humanity to which we all in some way attack question and probe is what is time?
Can we measure it are we repeating ourselves?
Does it have dimension is it GMT Swiss or Distention ..
Incidentally how much time have I got now, thats right just * NOW * thats all .. I have no watch now but my other tool a phone tells me it is 13:46 here "now" and I bet it is not the same where you are but that within 24 hours certainly 26 or 36 or 1,000 it will be the same as it was here now ;-/
The biggest connundrum of our lifes is this all there is? is there my dog, more room on that log, I seek answers best by question, quest, we share what we know for the same essential central reason EGO IPSO FACTO do I 1 me actually exist? ABC lanhuage is one solution I ask myself more often than I think of sex! It is true and no OT!
Dissipating for sure however :-)
Signposts repeat all the time, do not tread on that yellow line, grass neither damage cause, inhale Bill you will regret :-) me too sorry mite :-)
We have always to learn the rules of any endeavour before we can sublimely rise above the rules and break them.
There is no one posting in here or reading who has not broken something they knew as a rule or value at as an adult or child or old person or altzheimer ....
how will I know if I have it?
Sum of all there is to know at least for little me before I go? :-) when where how, and why indeed!
When I eventually shuffle off, mortal coil etc
(if you want your computer to translate that for you then check your search feature whatever you use NOW for someone called shakespere who was once fascinated by language in UK before Great Britain and future I know not what perhaps EU perhaps not, as now is Google in USA also Great and British at least for a day. because a master of any subject will come to know all there is to know I think #-)is that a goal to which I POSH push should?
that exam over :-) my biro still intact a fear defeated another comes along on on what else is there?</from mark_A>
It is official - I have every work toy I can use. Next stop : midlife crisis.
The only outstanding "want" I have, is a 42 inch HP wide carriage inkjet printer (signs for the conferences).
To my right, bookcase with lots of technical books, programming references, business references, etc. A filing cabinet (with laptop on top) and wing chair are by the window. Bird bath out the window frequented by blue jays, mocking birds & doves.
On around the room: behind me, on two long tables butted together in the corner, my son's pc, a spare printer, then my husband's pc in the corner. Next to his, some cubbies with different papers, labels, things to file, fax machine, scanner, and our big printer. Our internal server, assorted routers, siemens phone and lots of cables live in the corner.
This sounds like a neat, tidy arrangement, it is not. It's liberally seeded with assorted things needing filing, miscellaneous computer parts, stuff for ebay and the occasional stray toy brought in by the kids... among other things. But you can't beat the commute, down the stairs around the corner.
Custom build desk/shelving (oak plywood/trim, facing picture window onto street. Street name? Main Street, no kidding. Historic district. Town dates to early 1700s. Lot's of flowers out front due to my digging and wife's planting.
Oak roll top desk on other wall for personal business. Oak lawyers drop front cabinet for ... law books. I love wood: Oak, walnut, etc., preferably finished with just an oil. House is natural 10" bevel cedar sided, clear stain.
2 filing cabinets for paper. Would like to live without paper, but where would I put all the kids memorabilia? Gotta give them something when they move out.
19" flat panel Envision. 2 white box PCs 2, maxed out, KVM switched, ADSL. Linksys for routing to kids PCs. HP Deskjet printer. GE phone sys. HP scanner. HP fax.
High back oak/fabric chair on wheels so I can roll from desk to desk.
Accumulated junk now being subjected to intense remove, discard, give away process. (Anyone want a couple of HP servers? Looked cheap at first, until I found out that everything - everything - is custom and costs a lot, from RAM, HDD, HDD disk drive adapters if you want to trying using someone else's HDD, rack mounting hardware, etc. Never again. Whitebox for everything.)
[edited by: Webwork at 6:33 pm (utc) on May 3, 2004]
My main workstation: Alienware workstation running Gentoo Linux/KDE (2gb rdram, 338gb storage) and 19" CRT.
My browser testing toy: ProStar 4774 notebook w/ 17" WXGA+ LCD running Windows XP. This 10 pound gorilla has a 60gb 7200rpm hard drive, cd/dvd burner, and all the options. A neat side feature is the ability to keep coffee hot for 12 hours merely by resting the mug on the wrist area. It may be the world's first caffeinated heat sink ;)
A third Windows PC in the office is used for business administration tasks and browser testing.
A fourth Windows PC is used as the media center and handles all the media and video editing chores.
A fifth Windows PC is located in a separate home three hundred feet away and connects to the home office network via 802.11g.
Printer is an HP k80xi which works well for our needs.
I'm just geeky enough to dream of major near-future upgrades, but mature enough at 31 to wait until there is, ahem, a business justification for those purchases. Prudence be damned! :)
- desktop I built myself (AMD Thunderbird 700Mhz, though I've heard there are computers running at over 900MHz now)
- laptop (which come to think of it does run at over 900MHz, but mostly functions as CD player and radio since I live too far out anywhere to get any radio but internet radio)
- L-shaped desk with my essential books (and rock climbing, hiking and backcountry ski guides, and CDs taking up the space b/w the desktop and the laptop).
- backwall behind my desk is sliding glass doors. On a good day the neighborhood bear ambles through and tears through the downed trees.
- 1.5 mile walk to the mailbox, with views out over Yosemite National Park.
There are days I would still like to have an office separate from the house, but not at the price of living where my actual official office is!
I bought a piece of plastic laminate countertop at Home Depot and cut it to the right length. It fit the depth of the closet perfectly. That became my desk. I added a shelf above, and one of those chairs you kneel on tucked under the desk. I hung a light from the shelf, and taped all of my notes to the back wall. My Mac tucked into one corner. It was a sweet set up, and if I got tired of looking at it or we had a guest, I just unplugged the extension cord and shut the doors.
Webwork and Seanpecor, you both sound like you have enviable offices! Very nice.
Seanpecor, if you make enough money from the internet, and use the thing enough, an upgrade can be written off against your income tax. Sadly, tax season just passed though.
Comps & Stuff
1 iBook 500Mhz (unplug and take unfinished work home)
1 iMac 1Ghz (dunno what I use it for)
1 iPod (music and backing up sites)
1 Sony Ericsson t600
1 HP PSC 1350 (very slow at printing)
1 x Corner Desk
1 x Packing Table
Multiple shelves, all with stock
It's really interesting to read about the home office argument. I'm hoping to go it alone in the next few months, so I had though of working from home and then rent the current workspace and use it solely as for order fulfillment. Alternatively, I had considered renting the office space and doing it up a bit. Good or bad idea? Sitting in the darkness all day long sucks ...
I have a window, but always have it closed anyways. I'm just a little too big of a nerd.
I prefer electronic light, cause you can turn it off.
I always have a headache from the light that the white sky provides. Sunny days are nice, but only when I have sunglasses, and therefore don't get a headache. Certain lighting gives me headaches really easily, so I try to avoid that kind of lighting.
Because I get zero daylight, I get really tired and my body clock ends up all over the place. I live in Northern Ireland so for much of the year I'll get only a few hours daylight, that is after work and before. And most of the year it rains so getting outside isn't much of an option.
Wish I had a Carribean retreat! :)
That was meant as a joke. I don't think I'll upgrade though.
My office isn't great. I miss my old office. I put up with it though because of the backyard it has. I'm in Yosemite National Park. It's sort of the anti-office. My trade-off for being cramped for space is that I was able to work for a couple of hours the day before yesterday and then climb over 2000' up El Capitan later in the day. That's about as good as it gets for a guy like me.
Every time I get sick of telecommuting, it just takes a short climb, hike or ski to make me realize what the advantages are.