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For years and years I haven’t gone to work.
Working from my home office means I simply get out of bed, saunter 10 steps to my computer and work the day away in my pajamas. This laid-back routine is often interspersed with doing the dishes, laundry and a bit of weed pulling in the garden.
While I love my home office, there’s always been a part of me that has missed going to a ‘real job’ and having ‘real co-workers’ and a ‘real office.’
It’s not that I don’t love the comfort of my pajamas (all day long), it’s just that I’d occasionally like to wear ‘real clothes’ (like maybe pants with a zipper) and stand around the water cooler talking about important stuff like what movies my co-workers suggest I watch or supper ideas I can steal.
After 19 years of working from a home office and being sure that I would NEVER return to a ‘real office,’ a strange and wonderful sight came into view last week. I happened to drive by a beautifully renovated building while on summer vacation in B.C. It was the vaulted ceiling and floor-to-rafter windows that caught my attention. Then my eyes went inside to the turquoise velvet couch and the industrial-style chandeliers hanging from the large loft area.
Next I saw a sign that lit my imagination on fire, ‘Ground Floor Coworking Space.’
I couldn’t stop thinking about that turquoise couch for the first week of our summer vacation in Cranbrook, B.C. When it came time for me to get back to work, I made my way to the location of the couch and peeked my head in the door. The lovely office administrator immediately recognized me as a curious stranger, and a potential customer, and gave me a tour of the massive co-working space that houses offices rented by mortgage brokers, web developers, investors and non-profit organizations. It also features cubicles, tables, couches and chairs for people like me—office-less nomads.
I immediately fell in love with everything about the workspace—the coffee maker, the ice machine in the fridge, the luxurious bathroom (with a shower) and the sunlit loft. I’ve worked in spaces like this before on vacation, and know they can be pricey ($20 an hour and up), so I didn’t allow myself to get too excited before knowing the pricing structure. As the lovely Elaina (who is now my co-worker—spoiler alert) told me that I could occupy any space in the loft and main area for $57 per month, I said, ‘Sign me up!’ in a tone that should have made her realize I would have paid 10 times that just to have her as my co-worker.
For the first time in nearly two decades, I have an office.
I happily pack up my computer in the morning, bid farewell to my vacationing family and go to work.
I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to sit on that turquoise velvet couch and work on a story or write my weekly!
I get to stand by the water cooler (well, the ice machine in the fridge or the stairs to the loft) and learn about my co-workers, their jobs, their lives and their city. I get to ask for advice, I get to learn some new things and I get to see ‘real people’ in ‘real clothes.’
I have even traded in my pajamas for a new ‘work’ wardrobe that consists of cardigans, blouses and, on occasion, pants with zippers.
It’s a whole new me...one who FINALLY gets to go to work.