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Is it better to work from home or from a workplace

Is it better for a graphic designer specifically to work freelancing from home or AT a business, for a business? What are the pros and cons to both? I know this is the career field I want to enter, but I'm not sure what the best way to go about it is. Thanks! #design #graphics

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Aishwarya’s Answer

Hi Julia,

It depends on various parameters and individual's preference.
However here are some of the guidelines you can follow to work from home,
1. Maintain Regular Hours
2. Create a Morning Routine
3. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
4. Schedule Breaks
5. Take Breaks in Their Entirety
6. Leave Home
7. Don't Hesitate to Ask for What You Need
8. Keep a Dedicated Office Space
9. Maintain a Separate Phone Number
10. Use a VPN

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Josh’s Answer

I'm not a designer, but having worked in engineering for many years, I have a few general observations. First, I agree with Theresa about understanding yourself and how self-motivated you are. I'd also add that if you are going to work from home, you need to be able to create an effective workspace for yourself that has the tools of your trade available in an environment where you can concentrate and get work done.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, I think. The above advice is great for someone established in her field, but I would not recommend trying to work from home while you are getting into the field. Working together with others in your field -- in a workplace setting -- is a really important way for you to learn from other, more established people. Learning in school is one thing, learning how to be a designer or engineer or whatever as a job involves more skills and understanding how to be effective "in the real world". I think you would find it hard to develop effective work habits and that you would be less effective as a designer if you didn't spend at least some time working directly with others in a workplace environment. Once you develop some experience and confidence, you could consider going freelance.

There is one more point to make. In your question title you talk about working from home versus a workplace, but in your question you ask about working freelance. You should understand that these are different. You can work for a business at their workplace or -- if they allow it -- you can work from home. Freelancing means that you are self-employed and you work on contract with a variety of customers or businesses. You can freelance from home or, in some situations, you can be a freelancer who works directly with a customer/business at their workplace.

Freelancing is an entire topic by itself. Being self-employed and living contract to contract, where you are only paid when you have found a project to work on is very different from being a salaried employee at a company.

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Paula’s Answer

I have really enjoyed working from home the last few years because it’s quiet, I save commute time, and I find I am generally more productive. That said, I know people who have tried working from home full time and hated it. They felt isolated and missed the spontaneous office interactions. Some also had difficulty separating their work life from their personal life and found they were working far too much.

As others have pointed out, knowing yourself (your personality – e.g. are you an introvert or extrovert, your ability to self-motivate, etc.) is key. For those who do decide to WHF full time, I strongly recommend 1) having a designated office space that is separate from other room in the house, and 2) establishing and following a routine.

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Theresa’s Answer

The first questions are: what do you know about yourself? Are you self-motivated? Can you put boundaries around your time and focus on your work when at home? You get the idea...

If you can, you would probably do just fine with this set-up. Even so, it is recommended to make a regular weekly connection in person with the people you are working for. A lot can happen face to face as not everyone communicates well via emails or even phone calls.

Either way, the best to you. Knowing yourself is primary.