Emma (@thecrapflat) is a content consultant and creator who works from her stubborn but endearing London home, she refers to as the 'crap flat.' As the city hovers a second lockdown due to COVID-19, Emma designs her workspace and routine to adapt to a new normal.
Here's how Emma gets it done:
On her work routine:
On a standard day, I take a shower, make a coffee, and even go for a walk if the weather is nice. Next, I do that thing that people aren't supposed to do, which is check Instagram and email first thing in the morning. After an hour or so, I get to work.
In my day job, I work as a content consultant. From copywriting to developing brand bibles, my work is about finding the ways brands can express themselves while still remaining authentic. I am very process-driven and before I write anything, I ask myself: Who am I speaking to? What are they doing when they're reading this? As a writer, you need to be able to place yourself in the minds of different people. It may sound boring, but it's essential for me to have that information first.
Depending on the project, I try to block out time in my day while also tuning into 5-10 minute breaks. I make sure to move away from my desk because when you're doing something creative like writing, it's easy for the words to just turn into spaghetti. I'll typically make myself a cup of tea or go for a bit of fresh air.
On packing for the day:
In the main compartment, I also have my hairbrush, hand sanitizer, face mask, and an apple, because who leaves home without snacks?
Lastly, I have my notebook with me at all times for those tasks and ideas I have on the go.
On designing her workspace:
When designing my office, I turned to local cafes and interior design accounts for inspiration. The area we live in has loads of cafes with beautiful and minimal interiors. From there, I discovered my love for a neutral color palette and for a white and grey aesthetic for my own place.
My workspace has always been designed to prioritize function. The unique saddle chair we have is fully ergonomic and adjustable to different body types. The wings of the chair hold your upper body and help you sit up properly, it's my absolute favorite thing. Our desk is also a standing desk so that my much taller boyfriend can move it up to his height if he wants to stand while he's working.
I designed my interior in a way that's not only functional, but also minimal enough to easily stow away clutter at the end of each day. I like to pack everything I have until I'm left with the purest version of my work environment.
As an introvert, I need my space to be this kind of safe cocoon away from the world when I get home. If I've been out for an event or a meeting with a client, I love that I can come home to this calm sanctuary that just envelopes you. Whenever I think about decorating any space, I always start with the feeling first. That philosophy has served me well so far.
On the biggest challenge of working from home:
Oh man, my mental health has been a challenge throughout all of lockdown, particularly with work. It's taxing to keep focus on what feels normal when the world is in a terrifying state. I manage my mind by putting more structure into my day and having a list to get through to prevent myself from thinking on the sofa for hours.
On habits for productivity:
In the mornings I journal to clear my head for the day. I do this so that anything that's been nagging at me is out of my head and on paper. From there, I jot a list of things I want to get through that week so I can check things off as I go. There's nothing more satisfying than finishing my to-do list.
Since sharing my workspace with my partner, I've become less regimented with work. We've developed a system where I spend the morning working on the sofa and then in the afternoons, I switch to the office space. It's quite intense for couples living in small spaces, but we've found new ways to compromise and maintain our productive workflows (all the while still liking each other!).
On what she's looking forward to:
I've spent so long trying to focus on how I can benefit from lockdown and the balance it gives, there's almost a danger attached to imagining a future beyond this new normal. But if I could choose one thing, it would be to travel again.
My partner and I would love to go on a hiking trip to local nature spots just outside of London. When I pack for travel, I can pack a luggage like nobody's business, but carry-on is the tough one. I ask myself: How much can I carry? How much can it weigh? When I saw the ISM bag, I knew it was going to be perfect for that.
For workdays or weekend trips, you'll always have easy access to your water bottle and a safe place to put your laptop. I know that no matter where I go next, this bag is going to make such a difference than having to race around with multiple tote bags.
I'm looking forward to getting out there, feel a different sun on my face, and just get to grips with the world once again.