Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Blog Hop: Home Office

Viva Carlos had a great blog hop yesterday that I wanted to join in on, since working from home has been the unexpected bright spot in the absolute shit show that is 2020. I felt like I had blogged about my office at some point, but apparently it wasn't for the office blog hop, it was for one about horse decor -- since I didn't have any in my house, just my office, that's what I wrote about. Of course that was 3+ years ago, and I'm not with that agency anymore. I think I shared some pics of my new office from my promotion last fall, but considering I spend like no time there now, let's talk about my home office!

My agency was pretty quick to mandate us working from home (if possible) in mid-March. Back then, not knowing how long it was going to last, I wasn't super excited about the idea of spending a ton of money on a new home office set up. So I improvised.
First up - my antique vanity. I didn't want to work in the bedroom (where it lived previously) because I already have issues with insomnia). So I pulled this out into the living room. I figured that would be fine for a few weeks. There's my garbage old laptop, lol. And a spectacularly crappy chair we got God knows where. 
After about 48 hours of trying to work solely on the laptop, I bought a second monitor, a new mouse, and keyboard. Oh and a different chair! (a saddle stool). I did eventually upgrade the laptop too, because that blue one kept trying to die on me. 
Once it warmed up, I did consider trying to work from the tack shed.... but alas, the wifi extender struggles to reach that far. So. Next best option?
Eventually once it became clear the WFH thing was here to stay for the near future, I moved my workspace into our spare bedroom. You may recognize it from my DIY ribbon display. This is the view to the right of my desk. 
To the left of my desk, we have a dog bed that hosts various noodles throughout the day. They like to take turns keeping me company. 
In June, I broke down and bought a new more ergonomically sized desk for me. DH also bought me a new office chair for my birthday, because the saddle stool started REALLLLLLY doing a number on my back. This was the day I set everything up (so artificially neat, lol). A few things have changed since this photo (namely stacks of papers as we get closer to my program's charitable campaign haha). 
A photo taken yesterday after I finished working for the day. To the right is a display of old soda bottles (DH) and there are more in the cabinet to my left. You can see the dog bed too. I do attempt to tidy up at the end of every day and have a "for tomorrow" stack. 
This is my view on the left wall - when the horses are out, I can see parts of the front paddock and dry lot from my window! This used to be where the antique restored pew we had lived, but we moved that out to the living room and it works way better out there :) plus it makes this room feel more open and pleasant to work in!
I really, really like working from home. Every hour when my activity tracker reminds me to walk (when I was at the office I would do a lap around my floor), now I walk down and check the mail, or walk out and throw Jack another flake of alfalfa. When its not blisteringly hot, I take my morning walk and do laps of the driveway :) the kitchen is only steps away for my lunch or snacks! Instead of hustling into my car to get started on my hour-long commute, on days I don't ride I sit and enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch.

I truly don't know how long I'll be able to continue WFH -- my agency seems to be erring on the side of caution in terms of bringing people back, so aside from a weekly trip in to check my mail and occasional in-person socially distant/masked meetings, this will continue to be my normal for a while. I'm very grateful to be able to do this, no matter how long it lasts. I don't think there has been any reduction in my productivity (in fact, I'm taking on some new duties at work), so hopefully I'll be able to keep this up for a long time :) While I certainly do miss some social aspects of being in the office all week, I wouldn't trade this extra time with my horses and dogs for anything. Plus ya know, I can wear jeans and grungy t-shirts and slippers instead of dress clothes! haha

I don't know if it's lucky or not, but since he has moved back to an institution, DH is "essential personnel" at work, so he still goes in every day. I like to roam and walk while I'm on conference calls (which is relatively often), and he likes to do everything at volume level 100, so I'm realllllly glad we're both not trying to work from here. One day he did stay home to do some work remotely and I pretty quickly banished him out to the garage (it has wifi and is heated/cooled, so really not a bad place to work lol).

In retrospect, when we built the house, if we had had any idea that I would have the chance to work from home (no option in my last job, or most of DH's jobs), I definitely would have set the house up a little differently and made space for a dedicated office, but all things considered, this has worked out relatively well. Although if the WFH becomes permanent, we did discuss an office addition lol.


  1. Your space is so cozy and happy. I love it. Surrounded by so many of your favorite things throughout the day can only help productivity.

    Aww bummer on the saddle stool not working out for you! I've had a nearly identical one for several years now and oddly its the only thing my body has liked lol.

    I also LOVE WFH. It's been so so so amazing for all of the reasons you state. It's wreaking havoc on my idea of "fashion" though lmao

    1. Thank you! And yeah, I really, really wanted to like the saddle stool. But on top of the significant back pain, I started getting tingling and numbness in my legs. No bueno. I did keep it and I'm not opposed to swapping it in to sit on occasionally, but it can't be my full-time chair.

      You're so right about the fashion though... and I haven't worn regular makeup or jewelry (aside from my wedding band) in ages. I had to go in for a meeting the other day and I stabbed myself in the eye with mascara and after about an hour the earrings made my ears hurt!

  2. WFH is my jam and I hope that it is a more dedicated option for people in the future, I feel like my work-life balance is so much better and that my job satisfaction is as well!

    1. I've kind of run the gamut on my feelings about WFH since March -- I think in a perfect world I would do it three days a week and go in the other two, or maybe a four days at home one in the office split... I do crave that social interaction I get at the office and over the phone/Webex just doesn't cut it for me all the time. But I definitely LOVE not having to commute, my dogs not having to be crated all day, the fact that I can feed my old man hard keeper a lunch meal, etc etc :)

  3. Looks like such a nice space! I love the ribbons on the lattice - looks great! WFH is an interesting thing, for sure. I've been at home since the end of March also. The work clothes vs "house" clothes and no commute has been awesome. I went out to a friend's farm yesterday and put on a "nice" tshirt. lol

    1. Isn't that the truth? Literally any time I leave the property I "dress up" (which is just something not stained and full of holes lol) because it's so novel! The downside is that I spend most of December-February buying a ton more "professional" clothing and now it's just... sitting in my closet. Hopefully it still fits if I ever need to go back to the office more regularly....

  4. Great space! I like your new desk! I love working from home and adamantly don't want to go back. My company got sold a couple weeks ago, and it's getting... interesting? So not sure if I'll have to worry about going back anyway. Ha.
    Isn't it great being able to peep out at the horses more or less whenever you want? I definitely do not miss driving back and forth every day!

    1. Yeah the new desk is a MASSIVE improvement in comfort for me! There was just way too much stuff crammed onto that vanity top and it was so clearly not designed for that, ha.

      Yes, being able to see the horses whenever I want is great, and I do NOT miss the nearly 2 hours a day I spent commuting! It's nice to be able to allocate that time to riding, or even to just relaxing with a cup of coffee. Anything besides my commute that usually left me filled with tension and road rage LOL

      Sorry to hear about the new owners of your company, hopefully things either settle down or you find somewhere better to go! :)