Welcome to the third of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the work from home opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations from working remotely.
Our third interviewee is Chris Spooner. If you are a graphics/web designer and haven’t heard of Chris then you have obviously lived under a rock for the past 4-5 years. Chris has become extremely popular due to his excellent tutorials through his fantastic Spoon graphics website before venturing into Line 25. Furthermore he now runs his a hugely successful gaming channel on Youtube. All in a days work for Chris.
What inspires me about Chris is not only his skills within design but his grasp of social media and site promotion. Chris gets it. This has been evident through his ability to leverage his Spoon graphics followers into other website ventures. It would be hard not to call Chris an entrepreneur. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to catch up with Chris this past week and ask him some questions on his businesses, working from home and of course the all important work space.
I’m a designer from Sheffield, UK who runs two fairly popular design blogs on the web: Spoon graphics and Line 25. Over the years as the popularity of these blogs has grown I’ve been able to not only go into self employment, but more recently I have been able to cut down on my freelance work to work as a full time blogger.
As a self employed designer I work for myself from home and take on every role required to bring in revenue, from customer service rep to accountant.
I usually play along and fuel the fire when I joke about being in retirement or take an afternoon off to go out in the sunshine.
I tend to do the majority of my work from my home office, but I have the most trouble when away on holidays. Often there’s no Internet in the places we’re staying, so keeping on top of my Internet businesses becomes a little tricky. Thankfully my server setup is reliable enough for my sites to tick over when I’m not around.
There’s a never ending list of positives around working from home. Overall it’s just the freedom I love. I don’t have to join everyone else in their daily commute to and from the city centre. It’s basically like being in retirement and spending my time on hobbies.
I use our spare room as my little office. It’s important to have a specific place where you can go to concentrate. For some this might be a local coffee shop, but I definitely enjoy dwelling in my little cave.
Here’s an old photo back when it was nice and tidy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/
In the past I’ve tried all kinds of productivity apps, but I always find myself just relying on a pen and paper to get things done.
Test the waters beforehand by freelancing on the side. Before I went into self employment I was working on a range of projects in the evenings and weekends outside of my day job. This gave me a great insight into how the freelance life would be.
Absolutely. Often there’s no need to get people together in an office working environment. It seems many companies do this out of tradition, but employees could potentially be much happier and productive if they had the opportunity to work in their own environments. These days there’s plenty of communication methods available to keep track on what’s happening with a project, which are usually faster than a face-to-face meeting.