As many of us are learning at the moment, working from home takes a lot of getting used to. Especially if you're used to being in the office, with everything you need around you to carry out a productive days work - without too many distractions. Working from home however, throws up quite a few challenges. It could be children wanting your attention, or household members forgetting you're actually trying to concentrate on a really important piece of work when they ask you to mow the lawn (talking from experience!) or another regular distraction - perhaps a certain dog wanting to sit on your desk in front of your screen, so you can't see a thing. Surely we've all had this right?
Over the past week or so, we've had a little sneak peek across social media at each of our teams' workspace from home, and challenged people to guess which workspace belongs to which GEL member. Now we can finally put a name to each desk space, working out who the neat and tidy ones, from those that possibly find calm amongst the chaos that are their desks (cough... Mark and Elisha). Wait that's giving too much away... read on to find out if your guesses were correct.
The first desk we saw was this very minimal, tidy space with a nod to travelling with their NY mug sat there. Now if you guessed our very own Creative Director, Carly Smith - you would have been correct. We think it was the orange autumn scene that gave it away, don't you?
Next up was another organised workspace, with many hints of pink across their screen. Their obsession with stationery is hinted at here, but you should see their desk in the office! You can't beat sharing your workspace with a unicorn now, can you? (Some members of the office disagree with that one). Anyway back to the photo, if you guessed our very own Katie Read, Account Manager - you would have been right again.
Up third with the award for most minimal space of the lot, is this desk (or possibly coffee table at this height). We think the fact they managed to sneak themselves into the photo in a clever way, slightly gives the answer away. Or maybe you guessed with the splash of green in the space? Welcome to our very own Managing Director, Graeme Leighfield's office from home.
Now is where it starts to get a little hectic... One big give away - a certain doggo posing for the camera (where he sits on a daily basis) and multiple references to Cacti. Anyway, this workspace can only belong to one member, and that is our Junior Designer, Elisha Gorton.
Now with only two members left, you must have narrowed it down by now. If someone was to get distracted from work at any desk, it would be this one. Just look at all the things you could be doing; watching the fish, or the lava lamp, or playing Xbox (you can't hide that remote from us!) This is the spot where you will find our Senior Developer, Mark Haunton trawling through pages of what can only be described as "the Matrix" on his screen (scripts of code really).
Last but not least, is the workspace belonging to our Full Stack Developer, Jamie Haines. A black coffee ready and waiting to fuel him through the day and not to mention, the endless supply of sweet treats. Now we definitely need to take a leaf out of Jamie's book. A secret sweet stash back in the office. The give away we'd say, is the bike torch and cycling glasses - we all know about Jamie's passion for cycling.
Hints to keeping you and your workspace in tip top, productive shape:
Keep hydrated. Whether it be a mug of tea, a strong, black coffee, a hot chocolate with all the toppings, or the healthier option of water or herbal tea - keeping a drink at your desk is super important. Even set an onscreen reminder to pop up, if you have a tendency to forget to hydrate. Got to keep that mind sharp if you intend to carry out a productive days work.
Snack supply. There is nothing worse than sat at your desk with your tummy rumbling, day dreaming of the next thing you're going to eat. Keep some snacks with you at your desk to keep you fuelled for the day ahead. Maybe even some sweet treats like some of our GEL team. Not too many though... bouncing off the walls with a sugar hit definitely won't help you reply to the list of emails in your inbox.
Take breaks. We should take our own advice here, but taking breaks are super important to stop you working yourself into the ground. Giving yourself a rest can help you come back feeling revived and refreshed to smash the rest of your work for that day.
Keep your tools in order. Anything you're regularly using (for example your keyboard and mouse), make sure they are fully charged. There's nothing worse than spending 15 minutes wiggling your mouse trying to find the cursor, to then realise it ran out of battery right in the middle of a piece of work. With the digital software and tools you use on a daily basis, make sure they are up to date and you're logged in - you don't want to be missing out on important communications between your team and clients. For more information on just some of the tools we have been using to keep GEL working from home, take a look at a previous article Staying productive from a distance.
As you can see from each of our desk spaces above, we all have different ways of keeping motivated, productive and inspired throughout the day. Some of us have managed to accept the copious amounts of dog fluff across their keyboard, where others couldn't bear to have so many things around the space in which they are working. No matter which category you fit into though, as long as your space and routine works for you, that's all that matters.