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Nowadays, there are a lot of job opportunities that allow you to have the flexibility to work from home either part time or full time. Although it sounds like a dream, for some it can be hard to find motivation without that strict office routine, while for others, they seem to be able to work better and harder!

We chatted to x5 successful women (Brooke Testoni, Caroline Walls, Kaity HamKelly Muller, and Talisa Suttonwho work from home about how they stay organised, what their advice would be for others thinking of doing the same, and also what the realistic pros and cons are..

 

CAROLINE WALLS / ARTIST

1. How do you find the motivation to get up and work from home everyday? Do you have a routine you follow?

 
As I now work autonomously for myself I find I’m entirely engrossed and passionate so it’s more of a problem switching off than procrastinating! I was lucky enough to have a real sense of self-motivation instilled in me by my parents ever since I was little so finding focus and drive when pursuing my own creative work has never proven to be a problem. As my work can be so varied from day to day there is no routine per-se but I always aim to get all of my emails out of the way by 9am so that I can focus on my creative work.
 

2. What x3 office hacks would you suggest for other women working from home.

 
- Surrounding myself with things I find inspirational is paramount to my working environment so I’ve created a mood board (or a mood wall in my case) that captures art, colours, fashion, destinations that I love and find inspiring to keep my creative juices flowing day to day.
 
- For better or worse I am a fanatical list-writer, so much so that I sometimes write down things Ive already completed just so that I can mark it off. I find lists allow me to clear my head and work through tasks methodically and efficiently.
 
- I like to allocate really specific hours of my day to the more menial tasks of running my own business such as emails and paper work, this allows me to get them out of the way and focus on the creative work that I really enjoy and want to immerse myself in.
 

3. What are the pros and cons of working from home

 
Having spoken with my peers who have a similar working environment, they often mention they miss interacting with people throughout the day but I’m fortunate to work with a number of local creatives on a regular basis, such as my framer and printers, so I’m often running around the neighborhood meeting with various people at some stage during my day. Working from home really works for me creatively speaking and allows me to create really efficiently when I need to or whenever I get the urge - it provides me with a real sense of freedom and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work from my home.

BROOKE TESTONI / RYLAN STUDIO + BROOKETESTONI.COM

1. How do you find the motivation to get up and work from home everyday? Do you have a routine you follow?

I have always been an early riser, so that has always worked in my favour. I always get up and take my dog for a walk. Getting out in the fresh air, doing some exercise and getting a juice always gets me ready for the day ahead!
 

2. What x3 office hacks would you suggest for other women working from home 

- If I want to be productive, I have to make sure I love the space in which I am working in. That comes down to the feeling the space gives me, the items on my desk and the ambiance.
- My desk is nicely styled (view the space here) and is situated in a light and airy space!
- To top it off, I always have my favourite feel good tracks playing.
 

3. What are the pro's and con's of working from home

Pros:
- No travel time!
- Being in the comfort of your own home all day
- No rent overheads
 
Cons:
- Having to welcome people in your home for meetings 
- Not being able to have that separation of your home life and work life
- Having all my work mess at home! 

KAITY HAM / MODERN LEGACY

1. How do you find the motivation to get up and work from home everyday? Do you have a routine you follow?

 Some days are better than others! Luckily working as I do it’s a job I enjoy and so motivation to work comes naturally most of the time, though of course it can be somewhat mood-dependent. Usually I will have shoots and projects scheduled ahead of time so this always helps to keep me on track, as I have my wider team as well as clients depending on me keeping organised. My routine definitely changes according to what needs to be achieved that particular week, however I like sticking to a basic schedule of starting with emails and any administration work in the morning and then moving onto more focused tasks of editing or planning into the afternoon – this helps me ease into the day, tick a few practical things off the list and then get into the more creative work as I move through the workday. 

 

2. What x3 office hacks would you suggest for other women working from home

1. Embrace the to-do list. It is a great psychological boost to actively tick things off a physical list, as well as help you keep track of anything small or urgent that could fall under the radar. Just ensure you keep listed tasks specific and narrowly framed – something that can be easily ticked off and deemed as “done” before moving on.

2. Make your workspace mobile. Keep a little kit of work essentials in an easily transportable case or bag that ensures you can work on the go, if only in different areas of the house if need be. These essentials will vary for everyone, however my little kit consists of things like a USB disk, camera card, card reader, headphones, pen and notebook to use alongside my phone and laptop so I know I will be prepared should anything urgent come up while I’m out and about.

3. Utilise your flexibility. Although I am a firm believer in scheduling your time to match an average work day whenever possible, it is still important to take advantage of the flexibility working from home offers when it comes to designing your schedule. Whether it’s giving yourself a day off during the week because you worked on a deadline over the weekend or into a few evenings, or simply working around some personal commitments that may crop up at seemingly inconvenient times, embrace the flexibility you have in scheduling your days and give yourself permission to design a schedule that works for you. 

 

3. What are the pro's and con's of working from home

 

The biggest pro’s of working from home are definitely the flexibility it offers and keeping overheads for your business low, with none of the rent expense of a traditional office space.

 The biggest con’s, on the other hand, would mainly involve the areas of productivity, motivation and stimulation. If you are not a great self-motivator and/or find working alone a bit draining or isolating, this can obviously have a huge affect on your productivity. 

Ultimately, it really comes down to the dual pro and con of being answerable only to yourself, so it’s a constant learning process with the notion of self-authority and how you can best work within this context.

 

 

KELLY MULLER / DIRECTOR OF KMC


1. How do you find the motivation to get up and work from home everyday? Do you have a routine you follow?

We've recently moved from Sydney to Lennox Head and I am currently solely working from home. I love my clients and I want to achieve great things for them - regardless of where I work, that is my motivation.  I try to start my days as I would if I were heading into an office. I wake up when my daughter does, try to sneak in a workout, make breakfast, shower and I'm at my desk by 9am. I recently read that Smackbang Designs founder Tess Robinson works in three hour blocks - that really resonated with me. So now I smash out 9-12 then take a break - exercise if I didn't fit it in in the morning, go for a walk, swim or even just sit down to make a proper lunch. After that it's another 3 hours, afternoon play with my daughter and then 3 (sometimes more) hours at night.

2. What x3 office hacks would you suggest for other women working from home

1. Create an office area you love to be in - it might only be a desk like mine but it's worth making it feel good. Instead of a standard office chair (which I know would be far better for me) I bought a rattan chair that I love and threw a sheepskin over it; I have my fave Lumira candles on my desk, a photo of my 'why' (my family) and I have an evolving moodboard to keep me inspired and motivated.

2. Have a large wall calendar visible so you can see deadlines / commitments / meetings / holidays all in the one space at the one time. It personally makes me feel more organised, less stressed and therefore, more productive.

3. Make sure you have natural light and good air flow. Being stuck in a single room can feel a little oppressive without any fresh air.

 

3. What are the pros and cons of working from home

PROS 

- I have greater flexibility. Whoever created 9-5 in an office was crazy! Everyone works best in different ways and I think more businesses should be encouraging flexible working hours. It's about results, not about the hours.

 

- I don't have an office dress code to consider when I get dressed in the morning

 

- I can get stuck into projects and tasks without distractions you often experience in an office environment

CONS

- I work with fast-paced and agile businesses and clients, and working from home means I am sometimes the last person to hear about any changes

- I feel more mum guilt working from home. My husband is currently looking after Sunny which means they're both at home for parts of my working day. I have always separated the two until now, so even though she's busy doing other things, I feel like it should be me doing those things with her

- I don't have the friendships or camaraderie that an office environment provides

- I can never 'escape' the office and go home as you are already there

- There is no one to see how hard I am actually working and the time I'm putting in. I sometimes feel I have to justify every minute I'm working.

TALISA SUTTON / CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF BADLANDS STUDIO + JOURNAL

 

1. How do you find the motivation to get up and work from home everyday? Do you have a routine you follow?

 

Working with my husband means we are there to motivate each other - I have found this really helps! We set an early alarm and definitely have a morning routine we follow before commencing our work day. The first thing we do is make coffee, and catch up on the news over breakfast. From there it's shower and get ready to go to work. Back when it was just me freelancing, I found making sure I was always dressed and ready to go is a great motivator. It's tempting to sit in your pyjamas all day, but it's not great for productivity!

 

2. What x3 office hacks would you suggest for other women working from home:

1. Try and separate work and home. This can be really tricky in a small space, but we are lucky to have a spare bedroom we use as our office. Closing the door when we are done for the day helps me switch off and relax back into home mode.

2. Stay organised - keeping paperwork, files and receipts in order, as well as maintaining a tidy digital filing system helps me stay on task. I also sync my calendar across my computer, iPad and iPhone to ensure I never miss a meeting or deadline.

3. Decorate your space - whether it's a home office or a corner of your living room, stay inspired and motivated by keeping your surrounds tidy and inspiring. I love the artwork, candles, books and greenery decorating my desk.

3. What are the pro's and con's of working from home

Pro's are definitely the flexibility, and ease of getting to work on time! You'll save money on food and transport and it makes day to day errands easier to fit in. Con's are it can be hard to keep motivated and stay on track when you're outside an office environment. It's very easy to get distracted and end up doing your laundry instead of working on a tough deadline!

 

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