Working from home with Eleanor Pendleton, Sarah Harris Gould & Jaimee Lupton
Name: Eleanor Pendleton
Occupation: Founder & Editor-in-Chief, GrittyPretty.com
Where have you set up your new home workspace & why did you pick this spot?
I live in a two bedroom apartment on Sydney's Northern Beaches. We recently converted our office room into my new baby's nursery so from now on, my current work from home space is my dining room. I like it because it gets a lot of natural light and I'm able to keep an eye on my son Banjo in the bouncer when he's awake.
What's your strategy for staying productive while working from home?
I've always been productive working from home (no Netflix or trips to the fridge for me), however, now that we're in national lockdown indefinitely I'm putting much more of a focus on setting a routine otherwise it's easy to feel overwhelmed or have less work-home balance.
My current routine is:
- Wake up, shower & get dressed (I'm choosing to wear activewear most days and put my sneakers on – there's something about wearing sneakers that instantly makes you feel you're ready to tackle the day!)
- Go for a walk around the block and put a load of washing in the machine on the way out
- Have a coffee and tune in for our team's virtual coffee meeting - a video call where we simply catch up over non-work related matters.
- Go over my to-do list and Zoom video meetings for the day
- Ensure I take a proper lunch break, get some fresh air, cook something or do some quick house work (I find a tidy home means a calm mind)
- Write tomorrow's to-do list and switch off at the end of the work day by having a hot shower, popping on a face mask and doing some mindful meditation when I get into bed
Talk us through your workspace essentials currently?
If you have a job that can be done from home, you don't need much – just a computer and wi-fi internet. Since the impact of COVID-19, I've also started journalling in my An Organised Life Gratitude Journal and writing down what I'm grateful for each day. A pandemic like this has certainly shifted a lot of priorities into the forefront for a lot of people and I find by writing down what I'm grateful for, I'm able to keep a positive perspective.
What are you loving the most about working from home?
Being able to spend so much time together with my husband and 10-week old baby. It's so special!
And how about the most challenging? Do you have a strategy to overcome this challenge?
Definitely working too much or getting overwhelmed. Like others, it's easy to get social media fatigue or anxiety from what we're all seeing in the news these days. I try to limit my news intake so the anxiety doesn't overshroud my work, which is to keep Gritty Pretty surviving through these uncertain times.
Top tip for managing a team remotely?
- Communicate openly
- Provide confidence & clarity
- Stay connected via video conferencing and encourage a daily routine or structure
- Ensure the day-to-day banter isn't lost. A meme, a GIF or a WhatsApp group can go along way – be mindful of the fact that because your team may no longer working in an office together, a lot of those casual conversations can be lost. They're really important to ensure a team feels connected and that level of comradery through what is undoubtedly an unsettling period for everyone around the world. We introduced our Morning Virtual Coffee for this exact reason.
Photo of Eleanor by Caroline McCredie / House of Lita
Name: Sarah Harris Gould
Occupation: Founder & Director of Harris Tapper
Where have you set up your new home workspace & why did you pick this spot?Our dining room table was an obvious choice for me. It’s a casual, functional space with a large sliding door out to our garden and gets flooded with sunlight all day long.
What's your strategy for staying productive while working from home?I’m slightly neurotic with my lists in my diary. They are always a big part of how I stay productive and this hasn’t seemed to change in isolation!
Talk us through your workspace essentials currently?Nespresso with a splash of cream, daylight, some good tunes and comfortable clothes.
What are you loving the most about working from home?My husband, Harry, and I are constantly bouncing ideas and opportunities off one another. It’s something we’ve always done but being at home together makes this a bigger part of our day which I love.
And how about the most challenging? Do you have a strategy to overcome this challenge?Figuring out how to run Harris Tapper and be the best mother I can be is a lot more challenging in isolation. So far I’ve been working when my nine-month-old, Ophelia, is sleeping because I like to be as present as I can be when she’s awake. Harry and I then tag-team if either of us have any urgent work we need to do throughout the day. Challenging, but no complaints, I know there are families in much harder situations that we are.
Top tip for communicating with your team remotely?A morning video call. I think it’s important to keep up the contact and keep your team motivated and accountable like you would under normal circumstances.
Name: Jaimee Lupton
Occupation: Founder of MONDAY
Where is your home workspace set up & why did you pick this spot?I don’t have an office or desk in our apartment, but I use our large oak dining table or our Simon James couch. I like the table because I have room to spread everything out – notes from the week that’s been or ahead, call sheets, MONDAY samples and work-in-hand documents. I’m a very visual person so love being able to see all the bits and pieces in front of me. I’m normally on the couch if I’m doing any long conference calls.
What's your strategy for staying productive & organised while working from home?
Great question. I have a few I follow:
- Before I sit down I make sure I have everything I need – pen, book, laptop, water, snack so I don’t have to get up and down all the time.
- I turn my phone upside down and put it on the other side of the table. If it’s sitting next to me I’m forever looking at the MONDAY Instagram and reading reviews from followers – it’s a rabbit hole I’ve had to learn not to get stuck in during the day. But at night, that’s where you’ll find me!
- Any documents or old samples or shoot props I get rid of - “If in doubt, chuck it out!” has always been my motto, from my wardrobe to my home office. If I don’t think I’m going to use something I would rather give to a friend, recycle or dispose of it.
- I follow a concept I learnt from time management guru Wendy Cole back in my PR days. Start your day with the thing on your to-do list that you dread the most. Once it’s been completed you’ll be in a great mood and able to get on with your day in a positive mindset.
- Fresh air – I always open a window. It’s amazing how much better you feel by the end of the day – no headache and feeling fresh!
What are your workspace essentials currently at your desk?Always a notebook; I’ve always adored my An Organised Life notebooks. Always! My Mac, my trusted water bottle from Lund London and MONDAY prototype samples for upcoming lines. Having prototypes in my environment helps me to make subtle changes that I pick up on over time! Oh and a candle – Diptique I love the Gardenia scent so much so this that’s what we mirrored the MONDAY scent off or NUDESSE – they do a beautiful soft pink candle.
What do you love the most about working from home?So many things – I seem to get so much more done. Anyone in my office will tell you I’m a very social person. Some might say I’m easily distracted, but I like to think I’m inquisitive. If something is going on around me – no matter what it’s about – I need to join in on the conversation! At home there is none of that. It’s just normally, me, myself and I, so I focus and get much more done. My team has done an exceptional job launching the brand in the middle of the current isolation. The focus has been incredible!
And how about the most challenging? Do you have a strategy to overcome this challenge?Don’t laugh but probably the fridge; snacking more often in the home office than when I’m in the actual office!
I’d also say face-to-face time with the team – a phone call or ZOOM conference call is never the same as being the same room and bouncing ideas off eachother.