Silence is a Distraction

My business is a home based business.  That is to say, I don’t rent office space and can perform my professional duties in just about any space where I have access to my laptop and internet.  The vast majority of the population would envy such a flexible work environment and I feel very fortunate.  But unlike most, I prefer not to actually office from home.

I must be careful however.  I need to be very mindful of which preposition I choose when I tell people that my work is conducted from Starbucks.  If I tell people “I work at Starbucks,” they often imagine me in a green apron shouting imaginative compound adjective phrases that end with –achino.  I must remember to tell people “I work from Starbucks.” or less commonly, “I work in Starbucks.”  The truth is, I get my best work done here.

Surely it doesn’t need to be Starbucks and I hesitate to plug the nation’s leading coffee chain, particularly since I’m not a consumer of coffee either.  I venture to say I might represent the nation’s most imbalanced ratio of time spent inside coffee shops to the amount of caffeinated beverages consumed in one.  I don’t drink coffee or tea.  I happen to favor the smells, and I must say, I’m enamored with the coffee shop ambiance.  But it might take me 6 months to plow through a giftcard to one!

And it’s in this very ambiance that I do my best work.  I thrive on the buzz that comes with other people conducting their own business along side me.  In much the same way that others need an office environment to encourage productivity, I too need the noise of commerce around me.  I’m distracted by the silence that comes with officing from my own apartment.  Is it a challenge to take a phone call while lattes are being concocted behind me?  Alas, it is.  Another reason why email is my preferred method of communications.

Nevertheless, gone are the days of walking into a coffee shop, or a park, or a museum, or a library, or a bookstore, or a hotel lobby and wondering – “don’t these people have jobs?”  Because if they are anything like me, they are, in fact, at their jobs.

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