To follow up on last week’s article… three more things I don’t miss about working in an office!
Being a freelancer or small business owner is NOT for everyone. But I do think it’s important to recognize what your best working style is (which will likely change during your lifetime!). That’s why I think it’s important to identify what you do enjoy—and what you dislike—about the work environment that you’re in, so that you can alter accordingly and figure out the right path that works for you.
So without further ado, here are three more things that I don’t miss about working in an office:
1) Working set hours.
I was lucky to have some flexibility in when I could come to work and when I could leave (since I could start my day anywhere between 8am and 9:30am), but I did not like that I had to take my lunch break in the middle of the day, and that I had to work from one time to the other. If I’m doing really great work, sometimes I don’t want to stop! And if I’m on a roll, it’s a shame that I would be forced to either stop for a lunch break, or else forgo my break altogether.
Likewise, afternoons are not my most productive time, and I hated how sluggish I seemed to work in the afternoons when I knew I could’ve done better work if I’d had the opportunity to break up my day and work more in the evening, for example.
2) Relying on other people to get the job done.
Of course, this still occasionally comes up as a freelancer, but not nearly as much as when I had coworkers! I’ve had the great fortune to work with many wonderful people over the years, but it was frustrating when I wanted things done a certain way and had to wait on someone else, or if that other person just didn’t do what they were supposed to. Then it becomes awkward, uncomfortable, and leaves me in something of a predicament if I’m the project manager.
3) Determining who is in charge of what and who answers to who.
Middle management is a necessity in many workplaces. The problem becomes too many cooks in the kitchen! When you have a lot of middle managers and a lot of interns, it becomes challenging to identify who is working on specific items in which projects, as well as who has the final say in decisions.
That’s what I like about being a freelancer: I have the opportunity to be very candid with my clients (“I would do this X way, because…”), and it is very clear as to who will make the final decision on things. Some clients prefer to let me take things and run with them, and others prefer to review things and have the final say; neither one of these is right or wrong, but both of them enable everyone to know who is the final decision maker.
I like that meetings with clients are discussions where we can talk about why one party would want to do a task one way and another party might want it done another way. So much of it comes down to clear communication!