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Working from Home by Adam Venton

Last year, audio producer Adam Venton cut the corporate cord and went freelance. In a series of posts he shares practical experiences from this new working life and how it dovetails with his growing family.

Today, he explores the realities of working from home – the dream and the unforseen.

With the outbreak of Coronavirus across the globe resulting in isolation and potential workplace disruption, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to write this post. Many businesses already allow remote working to an extent (some more than others), while others are a little more traditional in that they want their workforce “where they can see them”. As someone who works from home full-time, I’m going to look at some of the positives and challenges that working remotely can bring. 

3 years and counting

I’ve been working from home full-time for 3 years now and, on the most part, love it. Previously I worked in a studio in Bristol, which was also a first-class environment; we had a small private studio space each, a kitchen area, and a pool table – dream scenario for audio producers, despite my lack of pool playing skills! So I’ve been luckier than most over the years that’s for sure.

Like most audio producers, whilst I was working in company-owned studios, I had started building up my own workspace at home, which I continued to add to and improve over the years. Upon leaving my Bristol-based role and joining The Mix Group (based overseas in Miami) in 2017, my home-studio became my full-time workspace. 

The Dream – with unforseen challenges

Working from home full-time was always the dream scenario for me. At least in theory. No commute, no dress code, no-one looking over your shoulder (although I never had that to be fair), more time with the family, and the freedom to do whatever you needed to, as long as you completed the work required.

I was super excited and had many grand plans. I’d walk the dog on my mid-morning break, go to the gym on lunch, or have a lunch date with my wife (also a freelancer). All of these things were, and are, of course achievable and DO make a huge improvement to you work-life balance. I’m happier, healthier, and feel like I do have a balance across my life. However, there were some unexpected challenges that I hadn’t thought of.

The most obvious was focus. Being in your home environment can bring many distractions, whether it be going to make a coffee (every 15mins), social media, whatever… but with no-one keeping you in check, it’s easy to procrastinate.

Personally, I got through this stage by using a reward system; I’d reward myself upon completing a certain task by getting a coffee, or something like that. After a few months focus wasn’t an issue, but it did take a concentrated behavioural change to achieve it.

I think this is also the biggest concern for businesses when considering allowing employees to work from home. In the end, it comes down to trust. Do you trust your employees to get the job done, despite distractions?


This one blindsided me a bit. One thing I’d never accounted for when dreaming of working from home was the lack of social interaction. A few months in, I was longing for those moments around the pool table, or kettle, that I’d had previously with colleagues.

Don’t get me wrong, I saw my wife much more (obviously a plus), and had football keeping me active and sociable outside of work, but I missed that social aspect within a working team. Being able to nip to a friend’s studio next door to ask their opinion, or to vent about a poorly written script… I missed it, big time. 

I spoke about this recently to a friend of mine, fellow producer Denzil Lacey – who also works remotely from home, and has had similar issues. Since then I’ve made a conscious effort to reach out to other producers in my position more often, whether it be by phone or most likely Skype.

Turns out it’s not just me who feels this way, which was reassuring. By chatting via Skype in particular it’s created a more team-like environment, and while it’s no replacement for physically engaging with people, it definitely helps. It’s still a challenge to this day, but something that I’m working on, and will continue to talk about – something which is incredibly important these days in regard to mental health.

Better family life – and a new arrival

Adam and Zac in the home studio

My wife and I had our first child in October and working from home has enabled me to be on hand to help in all aspects of his early life, which has been amazing.

I always wanted to be a hands-on Dad, and working from home has made that an achievable reality. Being able to nip downstairs and play with him, or change a nappy, do a feed, whatever… none of which would be possible if I was in an office 9-5pm.

I feel like a have a much closer bond with him by being here at home than I would if I was getting through the door at 6pm every day. Not to mention that when I’m having a tough day, seeing his little face light up when I walk into the room melts and relaxes me every time. I’ve definitely gone soft!

I’m now fully self-employed as a freelancer too since leaving The Mix Group in August 2019, which enables me to dovetail my working schedule with my wife Michelle.

Adam and Michelle at an event sponsored by some builders

For example, if she’s got a full-day booked on a Friday, or a Tuesday evening match to report on, I can move my work schedule around to accommodate and look after Zac (our little boy) as needed.

This gives us a whole new level of flexibility as a family, which is crucial to us as we have no family nearby who can help with childcare. There’s probably another blog post on that alone, but my point is working from home has improved our family life beyond recognition.

An opportunity, not a problem

In summary I really think that businesses – whatever their sector – should see this current situation as an opportunity with regards to remote working, rather than a problem. Society has been moving towards it regardless.

This Coronavirus outbreak has just fast forwarded the process. As long as you trust and know your staff, there is no reason to not give it a try. All of the above are reasons as to why it works for the employee – and are all reasons as to why their productivity with actually IMPROVE as a result.

But there are also business advantages in the long term; less office space needed (and all the overheads that come with it), smaller carbon footprint due to less commuting, and most likely a higher staff retention. A happy workforce, in my experience, is a more loyal one. 

I’m certain there are many many more detailed blogs written about the business implications, advantages and disadvantage, so I’ll leave it there – after all, I’m an audio producer not a businessman. The above is based on my personal experiences and situation. Feel free to agree, disagree, or share your opinion in the comments below.

Adam (Michelle & Zac)

There will be more posts from Adam within Earshot soon, and you can also see them and hear his work on his personal website at