Welcome to the new normal. Work meetings (and happy hours) are via video chat, FaceTime dates with friends are essential for sanity, and pets are happy (albeit confused) that their humans are suddenly home all. the. time.
While our team is so grateful to be able to work from home, some of us weren’t fully equipped for the transition. We live in different square footages but even more so, we have different needs when it comes to creating an effective work environment. In addition, when isolation doesn’t end after work hours, we felt extra pressure to create designated work areas to simulate some kind of normalcy. (Check out today’s first post if you need help creating yours on a budget). So after sharing photos of our setups with each other and discussing what has worked for us so far, we decided you guys might want to peek behind the curtain and see where EHD is working for now. We tried to make them pretty, inspiring, and functional while working with what we’ve got. So without further ado, take it away Emily:
What’s working for you? HA. “Working from Home” with two young kids. As you all know we are up at the mountain house and seriously feeling lucky to have this house and the forest behind it. But working, shooting and writing while trying to be with the kids (and teaching! Ha!) is both really fun, and highly challenging. Right now I’m sitting up there in the loft, trying to write this while listening to Birdie scream about how she all of a sudden HATES cuties as a snack and that her brother took her piece of paper that is “very special to me” – a phrase that all parents know so well, and if you aren’t a parent trust me. The second someone touches a Child’s ANYTHING, it could be literally a rock they found, it’s all of a sudden “so special to me”. I’ll fill you guys in later on what our days are looking like and how we are juggling it all, but I think it’s safe to say that I need to do most of my work in one of the bedrooms where I can close the door, not this beautiful loft space where I can hear everything and am far too available to them while I’m trying to write….Or buy some noise-blocking headphones 🙂
The good news is that Brian and I are working together so much more, creating fun DIYs and craft projects with the kids that we will show you. It’s actually super fun to do it together as a family. Stay tuned for some of that coming your way soon. So technically that is where I’m working right now, but I might have to move this desk into a bedroom with a door that locks 🙂
What’s working for you? Ironically, a week before we started WFH I put that desk up on Craigslist since it had been sitting in my storage for the past 4 months. I had previously bought it to use in a potential project but ended up holding on to it since the price was right and it felt like my old-man-library-style. Having a real desk (aka dedicated space) made all the difference for my mindset, work productivity and especially my back. But what really worked was getting into a routine to “set up the day”. I make my bed to avoid naps later in the day, get my tea, open the shades cause we all need more vitamin D these days, light a candle, toss the phone to the side and take a couple of deep breaths. Of course, I wanted a nature photo nearby so I could pretend I was there at any point in the day. Also, a pretty piece of art is not a bad thing to look at when staring off in the distance trying to get creative. Most importantly, doing a 20-minute midday yoga flow helps to get moving and reset to keep motivated for the rest of the day.
What’s working for you? At the beginning of last week, I was working from my kitchen table and found myself getting distracted easily being in a communal space and it didn’t feel like me. Towards the middle of the week, I cleaned off the desk in my room (which had become more of a storage space) and made it the most home-y I possibly could with baby’s breath (even dead, there is something so beautiful about them that I adoooore!!) I then lit 3-4 candles all over my room and turned on my disco-ball lights. My desk is also surrounded by notes from my friends over the years and a wall with concert tickets and polaroid images all over, so that made me feel extra comfy and has me feeling some sunshine during this time at home 🙂
What’s working for you? We’re lucky enough to have a room we can use as a dedicated “office,” but Mac is the one with a real desk and set up. Originally I was working on a plastic folding table, but while we were organizing the garage this weekend I found my vanity table from our old bedroom, and I decided to use it as a desk for the time being! I hung up a few pieces of unplaced art (a drawing by Mac, a painting by me, and a little vintage one I just put up with putty), threw my pens in a ceramic cup I’d made and had sitting out, and moved in a little friend to sit on the sill. Now I feel like I have a legitimate office corner.
What’s working for you? I think I’m EHD’s only fanatical member of #teamnodesk. IT’S THE WILD WEST OVER HERE. Just give me a comfy chair (this one is vintage from Junque, who I wrote about last week!) and my laptop and I’m good to go. I am very lucky to have an apartment layout that’s very conducive to working from home (i.e. my bed is several rooms away) and a personality that’s conducive to isolation (only child syndrome, I knew you’d come in handy one day!!!). That said, I’ve loved taking some time to get reacquainted with my record collection and playing vinyl all day has given me a reason to actually stand up (which is great because otherwise, my skin would be coalescing straight into this chair — it is THAT comfy). If you have a record player that’s gathering dust, break it out! There’s something really soothing about the drop of a needle, especially when it’s drowning out the sound of the Jack in the Box drive-thru next door. (Another tip if you want to feel like everything is TOTALLY normal: consider living next to what has recently become LA’s hottest Jack in the Box, complete with a drive-thru speaker whose decibel level competes with a jumbo jet landing. You’ll never feel alone!!!)
What’s working for you? This is my WFH set up in my fairly empty, soon to be MOTO-ed studio apartment. There are 3 things that make me sane while working here: 1. making to-do lists in my handy dandy notepad, 2. drinking fun Nespresso pods (I stocked UP, guys). Lastly, 3. I recently cut up some fruit and put it in my water (not pictured since I tried this for the first time this morning) it is keeping me MEGA HYDRATED and it makes me very happy. 10/10 recommend.
What’s working for you? Not pictured: the 4 liquids that accumulate on the coffee table over time (water, coffee, green juice, sparkling water), a half-eaten yogurt, handfuls of chips on a paper towel (because bringing the whole bag would negate the number of times I stand up per day), and two notebooks (because one isn’t enough??). By the way, working from your couch is not illegal. I checked. Plus this one makes my whole life complete. I started day 1 of quarantine at my dining table and I hated it. My back hurt, I couldn’t get comfortable, I wanted to scream. So I did what any adult would do and moved to my favorite spot in my apartment. Immediately I became so productive and 10x happier. I’ve worked in about 14 different positions on this couch and that alone gets my creative juices flowing. It also helps that I have flowers to stare at, a candle burning, and my favorite book of poetry in arms reach to take a peek at when I need a break from my computer screen. I should probably also mention I am an introvert so quarantine is going great for me. I thrive in isolation (cc: Caitlin).
What’s working for you? One thing I did which was pretty out of character for me (which I realize is sad), is that I covered my “desk” wall with happy photos of friends and family. I call it my “Happiness Wall”. I think because I typically see my loved ones a good amount, I don’t feel the need to have photos up all around of them. But now I am 100% by myself for the long haul. So despite my FaceTime chats, it helps me feel more connected to see their faces and happy memories plastered all over my “desk” wall. Also, I realized I need to get that cool polaroid printer Emily recommended over the holidays because most of my printed photos are at least 5 years old. The rest are just sitting on my phone, trapped! I also want to say that while my banquette is great for dining, sitting on solid flat hardwood was wreaking havoc on my back. So I put on some gloves and a bandana around my face and went to grab my real office chair. It’s a bit more crowded in here but I am on day one and I already feel so much better. PS. Fragrant jasmine is my favorite thing in the world and just suggest you grab some sprigs if it also grows wild by your home:)
So oddly enough, even though isolation now is at the forefront of our day to day lives, there is a sense that we are truly all in this together. Connection, however you can harness it, is so important and we hope to provide that platform here. So, now we’d love to hear from you. What does your work station look/feel like? How are you adjusting to this new normal? Let’s connect xx