Daylight pours through a large window as Meagan Perry sits tapping away at her keyboard. The subdued lime green walls seem to expand the relatively small home office space. And while the laptop perched on the wooden desk means business, a bright blue yoga mat reveals an accompanying sense of relaxation.
“The great liberation of working from home for me is that I don’t have to get up early in the morning,” Perry says with a smirk.
“I’m really not a morning person, so I can start at 9:30 if I want to. And I have to tell you, it’s improved my quality of life by about one hundred thousand per cent.”
Perry’s past includes a six-year stint at CBC Radio in Toronto. Her eventual move to the Yukon led to a position at the Yukon News and then a job as a communications officer with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
But just over a year ago, she decided a change would do her future some good.
“I didn’t really like being in the office environment. I liked what I was learning and I often liked what I was doing and the pressure was high and I really liked that, but I kind of always wanted to be doing my own thing,” she explains.
“I just wanted to have a bit more freedom and also the ability to take on projects that my employer wouldn’t necessarily prioritize. Like I could say, ‘I want to do this documentary’ and I could go and do it and just make those decisions myself.”
That is how MAP Communications Consulting was born. Perry combined her skills in journalism and communications to create her own venture providing writing, podcasting and planning for clients.
She admits it wasn’t an easy decision. But she wanted to further uncover the passion within her profession.
“That’s always been a big part of my work – that I really like to enjoy what I do. I mean, you spend eight hours, 10 hours a day doing it, so you want it to be something that actually interests you.”
Perry’s biggest investment to transform her home into her headquarters was the Apple computer that connects her to clients, along with a variety of software, sound equipment and Internet applications.
Beyond MAP Communications, she dedicates her time as executive producer for the rabble podcast network at www.rabble.ca – a not-for-profit progressive journalism site.
And with so much on the go and a constant flow of creativity, she often struggles with calling it a day.
“If I go somewhere, I feel like I should always bring my tape recorder because I never really know what’s going to happen,” Perry says, as she selects another audio piece to stream from her computer.
“I never really know if a sound effect is going to be useful or maybe there’s someone there who I’ve wanted to interview for awhile and maybe I can just do a quick five minutes with them.”
With time she’s learned to stop answering the phone when sitting down to dinner and concentrating on camping during trips out of town.
Going back to a traditional office setting is not out of the question, but Perry says it’d be temporary at best.
“I feel like I’ve built [MAP Communications] up to a point where people know what it is and I have a few people coming back to me and I think that would be hard to leave.”
And a growing clientele isn’t the only pleasing part of being home-based.
“You know it’s going to sound really stupid. It’s that I save so much on coffee,” she says, bursting into laughter.
“And lunch out and stuff like that and it seems so petty. I want it to be something more about my heart or my soul or spirit. But it’s not really, it’s because I save money on coffee.”
PHOTO: MORGAN WHIBLEY [email protected]