Our Co-Founder, Reika, gave us a sneak peek into her home office, perfectly timed for some start of the year inspo! Read on to check out Reika’s top tips for working from home and how to curate your perfect home office.
How did your home office come together and what advice would you give others looking to set up a space dedicated to work?
“Try to give your home office an ambiance that resonates with you. My office at work is busy and can get a high volume of documents through it, so at home I like to keep my workspace very clear. I have reminders around me of things that I love – a candle (we’re not allowed to burn them in the office as they set off the smoke alarm!), inspiring quotes & pictures and some of my favourite collectibles I’ve purchased on holiday.
I had a custom built desk to maximise the space, filling all the nooks and crannies with files and draws, so that I can keep a clean line. Even my printer has a built in drawer to help streamline my workspace. I was fortunate enough to be able to turn one of the spare bedrooms into a home office, so I selected a space that was away from the pace of family life so it doesn’t impact on visitors and family. It also means it’s interruption free when I need to hold Zoom or phone meetings.
I’m also mindful that when I work from home, technically my home becomes a workplace for health and safety legislation, so by ensuring my office is clutter free, I am eliminating any potential for trouble. Simplicity is the key! I am intentionally simplifying many aspects of both my business and personal life in 2020 so it’s a space I’m naturally drawn to and love to be in.”
How do you get in the right mindset for working from home?
“I start early. I’m usually back from my morning exercise by 6 or 6.30am at the latest – I love to catch a good sunrise! I then spend the first hour running through any messages from overseas suppliers or contacts that may have come in overnight. I’ll also use this early morning time to scan through anything interesting on LinkedIn, online newspapers and the company social media accounts – this ensures I’m across everything and that I don’t get distracted later in the day.
In actual fact my home office helps me to lead a mindful life. I love the fresh air – french windows open and breeze blowing makes a nice change to the office air conditioning.
I start every day working from home and I have one day a week I devote to working from home. This makes me feel guilt-free on the weekend to separate my time and get out of the house & office and restore some balance into my life – it doesn’t always happen but that’s the plan!
I usually finish my day working from home too. I think sometimes my team just assume I’m going to the beach! That’s okay – they can think that! Occasionally I might just do it! I know I would have their blessing – perhaps I should listen to them more… after all, one of the mantras that I stare at daily is ‘Be Kinder to Yourself’. Finishing the day at home enables me the headspace to ensure all my messages are returned, without last minute interruptions. I can usually knock off a few project tasks to boot much more effectively too.”
What are your “rules” for working at home?
“I generally work on single tasks at home so I find I’m productive and can get to the finish line faster.
I don’t hold onto things I don’t use, which helps me to be organised and clutter-free. My office at work is where I tend to hoard and make sure I’ve got copies and samples galore!
I allow myself to get through the laundry and organise a nice dinner. I think when you’re pushed to get things done, it’s important to have a break for a few minutes every hour and these provide the perfect break. I work long hours, so I allow myself not to feel guilty about pausing. There are many more interruptions in the office! In actual fact, I sometimes use the washing machine cycles as timers – by the time this cycle is finished I will have done a/b/c…
Working from home does enable me to extend my hours, but also affords me the ability to work at the time and pace I choose and that suits me. I’ve long encouraged employee flexibility and I’m not afraid to model it.
The most important rule though, is to have my pooch Bella with me. She’s also our office dog – so she’s well used to me at a desk! She’s always blissfully quiet, however if I slave away too much on my computer she gives out a little bark or comes and lies across my feet – a sure signal that may day should be over! She also knows exactly when it’s lunchtime and when it’s 5pm – how do dogs have such amazing body clocks?!”
What tools and apps do you utilise to collaborate and keep up to date with everything you need to be across?
“I keep all my important documents at home but everything is in secure cloud files. Sometimes it’s nice to come home and view the important documents and really drill down over the financial history.
Dropbox means that I can work from anywhere, and all of our accounting and computer systems are cloud based, so there is no reason to fall behind. We invest in state of the art systems, and this gives everyone in the business the opportunity to access their work.
I also love Zoom and Slack to stay connected to my team, no matter where I am. Plus Trello is perfect for collaborating on projects in real time.”
What’s your favourite bit of your office?
“My boards with photos of our team and clients at various events and my candle that says ‘Leave a Little Sparkle Wherever You Go’ that was given to me by one of my team members.
I still like to turn the pages of a book when I read, so I have a great bookshelf full of books which extend me to keep learning.”
Who do you look to when you need a dose of inspiration?
“My library, my friends and my team. Sometimes I will stop and pull out a book – read a little section or review my highlights. I’m a member of a learning organisation called Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) – it’s a learning organisation and most of the books I read and inspiration that I draw on comes from this remarkable group of business owners who so readily share their experiences and mindsets. There is a rich pool of resources at my fingertips right there and working from home affords me the luxury to be able to benefit tenfold.”
Do you have any questions for Reika? Ask below in the comments!