At the start of the pandemic I worked at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. When they sent everyone home to work, the parent company Harvard Pilgrim Health Care invited us to send in photos of our home offices.
I found it challenging to assemble and share a photo of my space. First, I was busy working. But also, every attempt at settling myself into a space that felt good and comfortable seemed to result in another round of tweaking. The sun was causing glare if I sat here. The space was too cramped if I sat there. The wifi was better on one side of the room than the other owing to the router being upstairs …
I’d worked from home lots up to that day but I’d always perched at the kitchen counter on a stool. With the kids at school all was quiet and that arrangement worked. But the pandemic brought everyone home at once, the kitchen now had teenagers rummaging around in the fridge and talking loudly on face time with their friends between classes.
So, I retreated to a spare bedroom that faces the north west of our old farmhouse.
I finally settled on a spot that works, popped a couple of plants onto my desk and brought a comfy dining room chair in to sit on. Together with being able to work in pajamas or yoga pants if I want to, this arrangement has proven very agreeable.
Likewise, everyone in our house has settled in. My son Tristan, taking engineering classes from his bedroom at the University of Massachusetts, has created a desk space that features a keyboard and speakers to accommodate his passion is making/producing hiphop beats between classes.
My daughter Inga, a sophomore in high school, has created a desk on her vanity. If you knew her, you’d know that’s absolutely perfect. 🙂 Importantly, along with being a highly motivated makeup artist, evaluator of personal care products and skin care expert, she’s an athlete, social justice activist, and a serious student, too (lest I misrepresent my beautiful daughter as shallow, which she is not).
My husband Jon, an entrepreneur and emergency physician, had an office that was not well organized (it was a mess), had a pile of framed diplomas collecting dust behind a door, and boasted the ugliest area rug ever created. Inga and I, sick of looking at it, went out shopping when he was at the hospital one night and got him a new carpet, replacing it and organizing his desk and surrounding space before he returned from his shift.
We had a lot of fun rummaging through the box and picking 5 frames to hang that we know are the most important to him.
It’s certain that if we had never descended into months of working from home during a pandemic these personal work spaces would not have come to be. I would never have appreciated how cool my son is–sad to say, but I think it’s probably true. Or that my daughter would want to be able to monitor her appearance throughout the school day.
Actually, I might have been able to guess that. 🙂