The Business of Being Creative Double-Take: working from home vs. a studio space

I launched my business, Katie Williamsen Web & Social Media Consulting, LLC, in January of 2016 while working a 9-to-5 in a traditional office setting. Although I enjoyed my day job, I wished my schedule had more flexibility. When I went full-time in August of that year, I loved having the ability to schedule my day and work at the times I had the most energy. On top of that, working from home was a perk for sure! Now that I’ve been working from home full-time for almost nine months, I’ve found that it really works for me. I’m not going to lie, I can certainly fall prey to distractions, but I love having the flexibility to work early in the morning and then head to a 9 am yoga class.

Katie’s take, aka 5 Reasons I love working from home:

  1. No commute. Early in my career, I lived in Chicago and commuted over 1 hour each way to get to my job. What a waste of time. Now I can spend that time talking a walking the dogs or hanging out with friends.   
  2. Flexibility. I can set my own schedule. I can build in time to go to yoga or lunch with my mom. I can keep my mornings open for client work and schedule calls in the afternoon. You 
  3. No dress code. I’ve always worked in offices with dress codes, so getting to wear whatever I want each day is pretty great. Plus, you save money on clothes. (Side note: I do recommend putting on real clothes everyday to make you feel more human.)
  4. Lunchtime. I hated packing my lunch every single day when I worked in an office. Now I can throw together  a fresh salad, smoothie or whatever I feel like each day. It feels like a true lunch break when I can spend a bit of time cooking and enjoying it.
  5. Increased creativity. Instead of working in a generic office or cube, you get to work in your home office. You can dress it up any way you like. You can also listen to music that you like or really do anything to get your creative juices flowing!

Questions to ask yourself before deciding to work from home:

  1. Are you organized and able to keep track of your own schedule?
  2. How do you feel about working by yourself?
  3. Do you have a dedicated space to work, a computer, fast internet and anything else you might need to do your job?
  4. Are you comfortable with technology? (You don’t have IT working at home.)

Joanna’s Take, aka get me out of my house PLEASE:

When I first went full-time freelance, I did everything out of my 320 sqft studio apartment and it was insane. I was constantly moving stuff for shoots, destroying my kitchen, sleeping next to a pile of drawings… it was really intense. When I moved to Seattle, I signed a lease for a loft that was significantly less money per month than my old SF apartment. I committed to sharing a studio space with Cassandra from Coco Kelley because it was 2 blocks away and both my rent and my studio space were still less than what I was paying in SF. While I was house hunting, I was open to having a studio space in my home, but ended up purchasing a very small house, one that’s way too small to work from — and I definitely tried! Last summer I worked from my living room for about 3 months, but it was not ideal. I needed a separate space, so I ended up finding one in my new neighborhood and I’m so happy I did.

Basically, having a separate studio space ended up converting me forever. I absolutely love being able to put in a full day of work and then leave my laptop behind, come home, and do whatever I want. I’ve found that it’s very easy for me to slip into ‘work mode’ even if I’m supposed to be unplugging at home. I have to be really strict with my boundaries to prevent this from happening and having a separate space that is not in my home helps immensely. Plus, it’s really nice to have a space where I can make a mess and than leave it at the end of the day!

Which of these options have you tried and what’s worked best for you? We’d love to know!

ps — if you’d like to submit a question, shoot us an email at!

photography by Meghan Klein.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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