Homeworking is more popular than ever, but that doesn’t mean everyone is after, or able, to recreate the office environment. Some are at their creative best sitting on the floor, the TV blaring in the background. Some find their focus at their mum’s house, in their childhood bedroom. Some drift from space to space, chairs and sofas, mixing it up, seeking an ever-changing view. Different things work for different folks, and at times we also find ourselves making do – I look back non-too-fondly at the year I made the best of a tiny £40 Ikea desk in my lounge, under a window showing me the back of another building.
I’m always curious about where and how people work – particularly freelancers, remote workers, those that make, or make-do. So I set my team the challenge of revealing their set-up in one photo, warts and all, and telling Chester a little bit about the story behind the space. We’ve got a lovely, talented, dedicated team of artists, writers, graphic designers…and beyond at amble…and every single one of them definitely tidied up before these photos were taken. What a bunch of liars.
Josephine Holman – My home office
This is where I worked on my degree when I was studying. Today it’s where I write, work from home and sometimes read. It’s also where I make minor sewing repairs and long phone calls.
I always light a heavily scented candle, I love the cosy feeling it creates. I also need an enormous mug of tea and usually radio 4 on as quiet background burbling. Bertie (my Chorkie dog) will usually join me either on the futon next to the radiator or on my lap, which makes typing tricky.
Bertie is my biggest distraction but also the best part of working from home. But I also get distracted by the window and what’s happening in the garden, especially when it’s raining.
I always think I’ll like working in a coffee shop but I get too wrapped up in everything going on around me and struggle to keep a single idea in my head. If I’m not here then I’m either travelling or at my work office but I get a huge amount done on trains which is a close second favourite place to work.
In this space, my favourite part is the blue triangle on the wall, it really shapes the space and creates a little desk zone to work in. I also really appreciate the clean lines of the paint and it reminds me of the fun time we had decorating.
I love my home office space but I do have a grand designs style dream workspace in my head that I would build if I could. I love books and studied literature at University so I would have a round library room with a desk, comfy chairs and an open fire. There would be a spiral staircase in the centre leading up to a viewing platform covered in large floor cushions under a glass dome for nighttime stargazing.
For now, I’ll just look out the window and light a candle.
Rob Turner – In The Shack
This is my Shack at home, where a cup of tea, a dark room with the desk lamp on, lots of the space on the desk, the heater on, and chilled music in the background are essential. My Dad’s lifetime collection of LP’s is the best thing about where I work.
If I’m not here, I’ll be On the dining room table in the kitchen, or I make an effort to walk into town to Storyhouse.
But this is where I do most of my freelance stuff. I like to draw freehand, and scanning the illustrations onto the MacBook, instead of making my work entirely digital. This is also where I cut out interesting designs/patterns/artwork that I find in magazines and stick them together in one book. I use it for inspiration and getting the creative flow going.
My biggest distractions are Youtube and Spotify. Sometimes the guitar.
A loo of some sort would be nice, so I don’t have to walk back into the house all the time. It’s more frustrating when it’s cold and raining outside!
Rob has contributed some wonderful illustrations to the last few issues of amble magazine. You can check out his website and get in touch here.
Sophie Stafford – The cosy couch
This is the lounge in my new home; cosy couch and even cosier cushions! I need Magic radio in the background, fresh PJ’s, a good cup of tea and my two kittens perched by my side for a little comic relief in my writing breaks. My kittens are also the biggest distraction; naughty little buggers Winnie and Diggs climb all over the laptop, nudge my hands for a fuss and collapse in a heap in my lap half on my laptop!
I love the light of my living room in this space, that and the calming tunes of Dido always promotes the best working environment.I create my amble articles in this space and also add to my personal website – all my published work and blog pieces. Obviously the occasional snooze and a good book too.
I work Full time at Lloyds Banking Group! If I’m not working on an amble piece or at Lloyds, I’ll be working hard in the kitchen. My boyfriend and I loveeee cooking! One day, I was to create a cookbook based on all our recipes that have emerged from our mistakes.
My perfect work set up would be a completely waterproof laptop that could survive a couple of hours in the bath. Having a bath with bubbles, salts, Lush bath bombs and candles creates the most relaxing and thought-provoking atmosphere. If someone could create a laptop that could perch in the bath, I reckon so much more work would be done! Obviously this bath needs to include self-reheating water and some sort of oil that could fix the prune-like body, remerging hours later.