At the beginning of 2020, I started working from home full time after landing a graphic design role with a 100% remote company and starting my illustration side-hustle whilst also doing graphic design on a freelance basis for companies who need assets like banners, GIFs, and video edits.
This was a transition that I was excited to make as I had struggled with office-based lifestyle since graduating from University in 2017, and I was keen to take control of my own life and career, without having to deal with office politics and work dramas. Over the past two years, I haven't had the best desk setups in jobs, my two most recent jobs didn't even have a window near my seat and were in quite bland surroundings, which have been proven to affect employees mental health. Naturally, I was really excited to set up my own working space at home when I had decided to leave office life behind me, as it was now in my control to create an effective work environment that works for me and keeps up my own motivation throughout the day.
My home set up
My desk is a fold-out table that I bought from Wayfair, originally to use as a convenient dining table but I realized that I wanted a desk that I can fold away at the end of the week when I'm finished with work. I live in a 1 bedroom flat with my boyfriend in West London, so saving space is key and this fold-away work area is a massive help. It also helps create a good break from work for the weekend, it's always really easy to work too much when you're a remote worker because you can work at any time of day as your not restricted to standard office hours. A fold-away set up means that on a Friday evening I can pack up most of my work gear and not think about it too much for a couple of days. I also tend to use an old foldable chair that I upcycled, another big space saver that allows you to pack up your desk at the end of the working week. (I do tend to cover the chair with various cushions and blankets throughout the day!)
I like to keep my desk space really minimal, a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind! The essentials are usually out; diary, notebook, a pen or two and my tablet for my illustration work. I will get my second screen out if I know I'm working on a big project, but in general, I like to keep it simple and tidy.
I'm a full-on plant mum and my flat is full of plants - I can't get enough of them! House plants are said to help deter illness, assist in breathing, clean the air and boost healing. But most importantly - they help you work better! A number of studies revealed that working in the presence of plants can improve concentration, memory, and productivity. Being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention by up to 20 percent! Not to mention they make for a calming oasis, I move my plants around the house a lot but always have a few sitting on my desk. (With a couple of obligatory candles, of course!) I even like to keep the avocado plants that I'm growing from stones on there as there is something really calming about watching them gradually get bigger throughout the week.
I have all of my space set up in the bay window of my living room, for me, this is the most important part of my work from home set up. After having no window at all in a few jobs in my career, I was so excited to be able to have a workspace that was flooded with natural light, which is actually really important for workers overall. Studies have shown that workers who are exposed to natural light more in their day; Get better and longer sleep at night, are overall healthier, happier and far more productive.
If that isn't enough to get you out of that dark corner in your bedroom, then what is!?
Stay safe! Wash those hands!