Have you ever worked in an office environment, with a team?
Ask anyone who goes in to work five days a week what the best part of their job is, and the majority of people will say that it’s the colleagues they work with.
Most of us have challenging roles, and nothing peps a harried worker up more than sharing their trials, tribulations and successes with those around them who are in the same situation.
Peer Group Benefits
Having a peer group at work brings all sorts of benefits.
It helps people to reduce stress by sharing anxieties or divvying up the workload. It lets people sound off to others who understand them and their situation, and it provides much-needed support when things are tough.
Better still, most work colleagues will share your personal successes too, celebrating marriage or the birth of a new baby, or your birthday with enthusiasm.
Even if most of us would not choose to socialise with our colleagues outside of work, or you can’t imagine sitting down for a coffee with most of them fifty years from now, they are still a lovely part of working in an office environment.
So, when people decide to run their own on-line business, one of the key benefits they lose from the office set-up is this camaraderie and shared vision.
Hits You Hard
They miss out on being able to go in to work each morning, picking coffees up on the way, and chewing the proverbial fat with people who share their work-related interests. This loss of social networking can hit many people quite hard, as they realise that they won’t get the support and friendship which comes through working in a corporate role.
When I first made the transition from an office based job to working for myself, the thing which hit me hardest was the potential loneliness of my new career.
I’d go in to my office (a bedroom at home) each morning and feel a bit isolated, and there was only so much I could share with my wife about work before she got a bit bored with me talking to her about it all. I felt initially as if I would never be able to replace that great feeling of working with a group of people each day that I genuinely liked, managing a team and sharing my work highs and lows with people who felt the same way.
However, after a few weeks of online networking, something magical happened. The advent of Skype meant that I could have conversations with like-minded people about my new projects, or support customers with video conferencing or telephone calls each day.
My e-mail inbox started to flood with conversations, and my Skype messaging box was forever lighting up with new conversations. People contacted me from all over the world with advice, or asking for help, or simply greeting me as I sat down to work each morning.
This proved to me that, far from being a lonely business, working from home can be as full of interaction as heading in to the office each day and being surrounded by a team of people. OK, so the interaction is virtual, but it’s no less valued or fulfilling for that. I’ve learned that there are even points when I need to ‘hide’ from my network of home workers in order to get things done, as the temptation to Skype all day instead of actually applying myself is very high most of the time!
My network of peers, friends, customers and colleagues grows every day, and along with that comes a real sense of belonging right here, in the blogosphere. I have learned that I never need to be alone as long as I have this shared connection with other people who have a similar interest.
Never be afraid of making the jump in to an on-line business for a living, because of potential isolation. If anything, the main thing to learn is that it’s OK to switch your Skype off from time to time, to focus on earning a living!
Have you escaped the nine-to-five and experienced similar?
Please share your views in the comments below.
I didn’t miss the 9 to 5. Maybe because all I could remember is the pressure from working that much. But I could be able to agree that Skype is a great tool. I used this when I want to get a client before. And social network is also useful to get in touch with my former classmates.
I understand the pressure of the corporate world. I used to thrive on it…sometimes!
Great topic! 9-5’s are what we grew up to be “normal” and the means of having a stable income. I know what you mean about the coffee breaks and even the occasional smoke break. There’s definitely parts of the office job that I miss like gossiping and asking “How was your weekend?”. However, the connections that I’ve made online are global and the only thing I can’t do are go on coffee breaks with them. But I think I can live 🙂
Yeah…coffee breaks now have to be virtual!
And yes…I can live without them.
As someone who works a “9-5 job,” I can see how one might miss the camaraderie that comes with office jobs. That being said, though, I think working for yourself has someone pretty obvious benefits, too. Also, not all of the connections formed in the office place are necessarily beneficial. Working for yourself would allow you to avoid such deleterious relationships, for the most part at least.
Very true! Some relationships at work were just not wanted but you still had to work with them. I was fortunate…I didn’t have many of those.
It’s been a pretty long time for me, but I can safely say…no I do not miss it, not even an itty bit. lol
Not even a tiny, little, itty bit?
I do miss the camaraderie of a good party when we successfully finished a big project. Those times were good.
I haven’t escaped the 9-5 yet, but I’m sure when I do, I will not miss it. 🙂
I assume from your comment that you plan is to escape!
There are certainly perks to working at home; I’ve spent many a year doing freelance work from my home office, on laptops at coffee shops, etc. At first it can feel incredibly luxurious, especially if you’ve always felt a bit socially awkward. However, if you continue this for too many months in a row without regular office meetins/conferences/whatever, the days can start running into one another and the effect can be quite negative. As with most things, a balance is necessary.
I agree..a balance is necessary.
Us home workers need to get out more!
Well team work is always great and you can get help of different smart minds on specific topics, plus sometimes you can also discover new innovative ways to finish same work with the help of others.
Very true…that is one of the things I miss most. We have a big project or problem and a we put a team together to resolve.
Dear Andrew –
I sometimes miss the comraderie of the people I worked with.
What I don’t miss of the 9 to 5 is the NINE part.
I never had time to relax with coffee and read the paper before I had to leave for work.
I also don’t miss all the interruptions.
Id you work from home you can turn off the world and get something done.
I never had time for coffee in the mornings.
Now I go to the gym and have breakfast with my wife before I start work. Lovely!
My experience (and that of a lot of people that I know) seems to be different: most of the jobs in my past that I’ve hated was specifically because of a/several coworker(s).
It just goes to show you that the people you work with make all the difference in the world when it comes to job satisfaction…
I was lucky in my corporate career…I’ve worked for some great bosses.
I don’t miss the 9-5’s because now I can wake up as I wish and work as long as I want (depending on my mood). There are downsides to it like the basic human interaction, but meeting someone new online that lives thousands of miles away, is just as amazing.
You do have to be disciplined though…you can’t sleep all day …every day!
I do some internet marketing, but I do still have an office job because I just IM for a hobby. Anyways, an office job is what you say, you can interact with people and build relationships. I’m glad to hear that you can manage relationships with people online but I know for a fact, I’m bad at that…
What makes you say, you are bad at managing relationships online?
I never did like working 9-5. It wasn’t mostly because of the “time”, but the office setting. While I love to have co-workers and my boss around, I didn’t like the unnecessary gossip that is the norm in offices. Of course, I don’t involve myself in these chit-chats, but I somehow end up in their conversations – and this usually results to misunderstandings. They say I said this and did that, which is of course, only rumors and not definitely true. I don’t like fighting with co-workers, so getting to work at home is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.
mmm…office politics and bitchiness…don;t you just love it?
Good on you for leaving and now working from home.
True Andrew, when working in a team we come across different experiences. No doubt the experience of working independently without being accountable to anyone is a glorious feeling but the workload is pressing. On the other hand, team spirit is a great strength which helps us overcome difficult tasks.
Now I work from home, I do miss the team spirit.