Today's blog features Sam's workspace as part of my Home/Work project. I visited Sam at her home in March to photograph the clinic and office in her home.
What type of business do you run?
My business is supporting women who have experienced trauma connected to pregnancy and birth. That includes supporting those with fertility issues to fall pregnant naturally or with the help of IVF. I help women and their families to overcome miscarriage or recover from a traumatic birth or the loss of a baby.
When did you start working from home full-time? What made you decide to work from home rather than in premises off site?
I started working from home after the birth of my daughter 4 years ago after previously having my own premises in our local high street. It made financial sense because I would initially be returning to work part time and I wanted to simplify my business and spend more time with my new born daughter.
What do you like best about working from home?
I love the freedom of working from home, I can hang some washing out between appointments, prepare the evening meal or take our dog out for a quick walk. When I’m working at my computer I have a lovely view of my garden and my dog is often curled up at my feet.
Are there any difficulties in working from home?
The downsides of working from home are how easily you can be distracted! Not by house work of course, unless I’m putting off a particular boring task and then the washing up can look really attractive. It takes discipline and the setting of firm boundaries to successfully work from home something I am still practising. My clinic room is just mine and is often a welcome refuge, a place of calm and tranquillity. My office space however doubles up as a playroom for my daughter so it’s quite common for my desk to have the odd cuddly toy or my little pony complete with ribbons and plenty of glitter competing with the keyboard and paperwork.
The other thing I have found difficult to adjust too is the lack of interaction with other people. I am often supporting women who are in a highly distressed state, I miss the light relief a conversation with colleagues about what was on TV last night can bring. So it’s important for me to connect with colleagues and other business women to enjoy the mutual support they bring that can be lacking when you work from home.
What is your favourite feature of your workspace?
My favourite feature of my workspace is the amount of daylight that floods both my office space and clinic. My clinic used to be the garage and so I have a garage door sized window that floods my room with light in the morning. My computer is in a room with a triple aspect looking onto our back garden which faces south west so even on a cloudy day I can sit by the window and soak up the natural light boosting my vitamin D and helping me to stay focused on the less exciting, but still important desk work.
Home/Work is my current project documenting people who work from home. 'Home' is a recurring theme in my work - I am fascinated by our interactions with objects and spaces, particularly our homes, and with the number of home workers on the increase I thought this would be fascinating to investigate.
According to the Office for National Statistics, "There were 4.2 million home workers in January-March 2014, or 13.9% of those in work. This was the highest rate of home working since comparable records began in 1998." Visit www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/characteristics-of-home-workers/2014/sty-home-workers.html for further information on these statistics.
I am hoping to photograph the workspaces of lots of different people, working in a wide range of industries, but all of whom work from their home or within the grounds of their home. I am interested in how people create these workspaces and how the lines between home and work are defined or blurred. If you work from home and are interested in participating in the project please get in touch!