The Pros and Woes of Voice Over Actors in Pajamas

 

The engagement in the voice over industry has skyrocketed in the last 10 years with the help of different innovations in the digital realm. The technology involved in the VO and related industries like animation and video games has opened a plethora of new opportunities for voice over talents. And because of new technologies, bricks-and-mortar recording studios are no longer a requirement to be able to deliver quality voice over.

Talents no longer need to slip out of their yoga pants or pajamas and suit up for the day. Technology has created an open workspace where you can work virtually anywhere in the world – from inside your closet, on your dining room table, your basement, and even in your hotel room while vacationing in the Bahamas.

You would think that it would be automatic for all freelance voice overs to set up their own studios at home once the equipment and technology became available as they practically work autonomously. However, some still hesitate in jumping in 100% to homebased work life.

Working from home sounds great in theory, yet 81% of talents who have chosen to be home-based admit there are downsides to setting up camp in their home. Like everything else in business, you have to learn the pros and woes before finally deciding to keep the pajamas on all day.

Pros

Woes

Flexibility

It allows you to work during your most productive times and create a workflow that is most effective for you.

Slips into Slackness

The lack of structure may tempt you to slip into slackness. If there is no self-discipline, your productivity can seriously decrease.

Savings

No doubt in the long run you will be saving money from not renting studios or office space; incidental and overhead expenses are shared between house and your VO business

Initial Investment

The initial cost to set up your own home studio can be a burden to your finances; for you to create a professional business, you need to invest in quality space or the least quality equipment that could rival any recording done in a professional studio

Work-Life Balance

As you manage your own hours and productivity, working at home will also allow you to manage the time spent with family and friends giving you a better work-life balance

Distraction

If you do not create barriers between home and work space, you may lose the ability to control the distractions happening at home

Social Network

Out of necessity, you can become savvy in various online communication tools. You can be creative in communicating with other talents and clients in the industry, and navigate through different technologies to better market yourself

Isolation

Oh, you may say that voice overs are solitary creatures anyway, however working at home can be lonely. It can limit your “real” human interaction especially with those in the industry

As you may have noticed, some of the cons of working at home can be avoided if you have the following:

  • Balance
  • Discipline
  • Control

You can be successful with working at home if on the onset you have set up personal guidelines that would help you maintain balance, discipline and control, so that your work day does not end up blurring together with your home life and vice versa.

Remember you are a professional and that means despite working in the comforts of your home, you should treat your work space and time as you would when working in a bricks-and-mortar studio or office.

Here are some tips to think about in order to maintain balance, discipline and control, and not slip into the woes of working at home:

  • Create a work space away from the hustle and bustle of family activities
  • Keep your work space professional and away from distractions like non-work related apps or sites, and even away from items in the household that can tempt you to slack (like television, bed, comforter, games, etc.)
  • Create a reasonable schedule on how you want your day to unfold, including your breaks, time with the family, exercise, admin work, time to audition/record, etc.; change it up every so often so you still have the flexibility yet structure to keep you focused
  • Do not disturb – ask family members to respect the hours you have allotted for work
  • Dress for work… but you said I can keep working in my pajamas? Though not a requirement, dressing up can help you separate your home life and work life
  • Make time to get out, interact and collaborate with your peers to avoid the feeling of working in a bubble

The decision to join the fold of talents who have decided to set up their own home studio should come from careful weighing in of options. In the end, the goal is get the work done, giving you the most benefit and success, regardless of where you work.


From your experience, what are the benefits of working at home? What are the challenges?

Emma Jaimeson

Emma is a voice over and marketing fanatic. When she's not talking to the top voice talent and agents, she's putting her thoughts down digitally and disseminating the information globally.

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