Most of the time I work at S.O.H.O.—Small Office, Home Office.
I don't receive 13th month pay or health insurance or a sack of rice. I have no Kris Kringle during Christmas. I miss the jump-up-and-down joy over non-working holidays that suddenly sprout during the week. I buy my own stapler, envelopes and toner. I pick up stray paper clips because, hey, when you're paying for your office supplies those clips can dent the budget. I suffer the commute and long lines to file my income tax, get a cedula, claim registered mail, photocopy documents, pay my IBP dues. I'm my own janitor when the cup of coffee crashes to the floor.
Before I junked law for writing, I had my own secretary to spurn cold calls, make restaurant reservations, assign a messenger to pay my credit card bills, tally my expenses, or find a spare safety pin while I frantically hold on a skirt that unraveled. I had the entire office machinery and budget behind me, so smoothly run and accommodating that even golf lessons (over which I chose diving instead) or Japanese language lessons (Bengoshi desu!) came for free.
I should've had a harder time adjusting to going solo.
I love working from home.
I avoid office politics, run-ins with colleagues, and the obligatory participation in some ghastly Christmas party program. I am allowed to deduct certain expenses from my gross income and lower my taxes. I can drop anything I'm doing when The Coach needs me. And when I'm gnashing my teeth editing a particularly horrendous article, I take a break without guilt: TV, a story, a household chore, a trip to the grocery or the Starbucks hidden inside Cybergate.
I don't have to wake up too early (read: before noon). The most of traffic I encounter is when the sounds of altercating drivers below intrude into my reading or when the turtle pace of cars lining the Guadalupe Bridge catches my eye.
Tackling emails in my nightshirt, without having to brush my hair or teeth, is also pretty neat.
When I crave company, I log onto Twitter to check what my friends are doing. It's my version of the chatter around the water cooler: consultants decrying their clients, new music discovered, reading junkies finishing a book, a touchscreen eee PC being sold.
Every now and then, friends come over to the house and work—fellow freelancers who share a procrastination gene. The mood is relaxed, even with the doom of deadlines, and we put up our feet. It is like working with officemates you are fond of. (There is no such word in American English, but, yeah, I’m not about to edit that.)