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Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.

While some find that working from home stifles productivity, others say it increases focus. Hate it or love it, it’s time that we all come to terms with it. Whether it’s your first week or you’ve been going a month strong, your everyday habits are bound to take form in the objects placed within your reach, down to the amount of trips you take between your workstation and the refrigerator. Here’s a peek at a day-in-the-life of friends and family from the Highsnobiety world as they power through social distancing one Zoom conference at a time. Maybe you’ll take away a thing or two to boost your own productivity.

Emily Oberg, Owner, Sporty & Rich

What went into creating your home workspace setup? 

I just moved in this past weekend, so I’m working from my living room until I find a desk — I’m searching for the perfect vintage one, which may take a while. It’s a simple setup: rug, sectional sofa, chair, and coffee table.

Was there a period of trial and error to get it just right? 

No, it was pretty easy. I love decorating and I know exactly where I want things placed.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without? 

Water and my Pantone book.

How do you stay productive at home?

I make sure to have a routine. I always work from home, so I’m used to it by now. I get up, take my vitamins, have some fruit, drink a liter of water, do my workout for the day, then get to work. I FaceTime my boyfriend around 1 or 2 p.m. (he’s in Paris and we got separated during the border closure). I’ll make myself a nice lunch and work some more. I may do a second workout, depending on my mood. Then I’ll cook dinner or just have some light snacks and go to bed.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?  

I can’t watch anything while I work since I write a lot, and I find it too distracting. I do listen to music, either jazz or something relaxing. No rap. I probably haven’t listened to rap in over a year. I just hate it now for some reason!

Pants or no pants during a video conference call? 

I wear workout clothes all day, so probably leggings or shorts!

Tyler Joe, Photographer/Director 

What went into creating your home workspace setup? Was there a period of trial and error to get it just right?

I try to only have the essentials around, or I get easily distracted. Computer, hard drives, and tea. I have an iMac at my desk, but I also have a laptop so I can move around, because I can never sit in the same place for very long. So I actually never really am at my desk. I split my work time between my desk and any of my three couches. Now that I think about it, I feel like each place is more like a station. I’ll edit heavy video at my desk on my iMac, answer emails on my white couch, edit photos on my gray couch, and my green chair is a wild card.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?

I always need a cup of green tea!

How do you stay productive at home?

It might sound unproductive, but I need to be doing different things to stay productive. I’ll do a small chore between projects to amplify the idea of accomplishing something: dusting, watering the plants, vacuuming, etc.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?

I tend to “listen” to shows, just to have something in the background. But it has to be comforting; if it’s too interesting, I won’t do any work, and if it’s too boring, it may as well not even be on. I need a show that I know every line of, so I know what’s going on without actually having to pay attention to what’s going on. I used to have The Office on in the background, but I think I’ve seen every episode of every season more than three times last year alone. This year I’m switching to Avatar: The Last Airbender. I really only watch anime in my free time, but I can’t have it on in the back because I can’t read subtitles as I work. So yeah, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been pretty successful for my productivity lately.

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

LOL, depends.

Naomi Otsu, Illustrator/Graphic Designer

Tell us about your home workspace — what went into creating this setup? 

I try to keep my desk to my computer, water, and tablet. I do have a couple of memorabilia that I change in and out. It’s nice to have things that make you smile.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?

My tablet and a large glass of water.

How do you stay productive at home?

If I really want to get things done, I’ll put my headphones in and music on. I also try to stand up and take a break here and there, when I can. It takes a lot of self discipline to focus in a space that you also rest in, a skill I like to say I’ve proudly built over the years freelancing.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work? 

Complexion radio if I need non-verbal music; Reply All, The Read, and Call Your Girlfriend for podcasts.

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

Pants. Always.

Herbert Hofmann, Creative Director Commerce & Head of Buying at Highsnobiety

What went into creating your home workspace setup?

Working from home has never been my thing, but it became a thing this past month when I tried it again. Now I’m happy that I figured out how to do it. I like to change the spot where I work throughout the day.

I love to change places, depending on where the light is. I like to move from my kitchen table to the couch to the working table, and most likely back in between. I’ll start working out — all the gyms are closed — while wearing sneakers from my collection that I would never wear on the street.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without? 

I like to have a notebook and pen with me — ideas and notes on the screen sometimes make no sense. It is helpful to make little drawings, too. Some water, chewing gum, my laptop, and my phone are all I need.

How do you stay productive at home?

It works pretty smoothly. Working in the office and having many people around is often more distracting than being by myself. A weird thing is this constant hunger I feel at home. I’ll be skinny-fat in two weeks.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?  

I’d love to be able to listen to podcasts or the radio while I’m working, but that distracts me too much. I put some classics on, like Roísín Murphy, Rufus Wainwright, or the new Four Tet album, that cheer me up and don’t lead my thoughts in other directions. Hearing the washing machine in the background is gold, too.

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

I wouldn’t put them on just for a call, but I do both.

Leo Gamboa, Senior Global Collaborations Manager at Reebok 

Please give us an overview of your home workspace — what went into creating this setup? 

My workspace is pretty simple. I jump from desk to desk, depending on the mood and time of day for lighting. I bought a stainless steel desk from a restaurant depot years ago and made it my workspace of choice. Keeping a clean workspace is also key — less clutter for better concentration.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?  

I normally need pens, paper, chargers, and, most importantly, coffee.

How do you stay productive at home?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. No TV; classical music helps me focus. But I would rather work from an office, if possible.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work? 

Classical music and Blood Orange are my usual favorites.

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

Sweats or shorts.

Hendrik Juergens, Brand Director at Highsnobiety  

Tell us about your home workspace — what went into creating this setup?

If I’m not in the office, I usually work on-the-go and not from home, so this is just my living room table as it always was more or less, now with the addition of my laptop, tea cup, and honey pot.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?

I’m happy about my stock of incense. It should last for a bit.

How do you stay productive at home?

The default is that I’m more productive, at least for now. There’s no disturbance to your flow when you’re alone at home.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?

My friends from Keinemusik Crue put together some perfectly mellow yet upbeat tech house/afrobeat/melodic techno type of radio shows. It’s the ideal background and tunnel vision soundtrack.

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

Depends on the call.

Omar Quiambao, Design Director at Commonwealth 

What went into creating your home workspace setup?

Space at home is limited, so I tried to keep it simple and functional with a few visual cues for creative and design inspiration. There wasn’t much of a trial and error period for setting up a WFH desk; the only error would be the space prohibiting me from getting work done. 

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?

I can’t work without some type of tool to write down notes or ideas, whether that’s my laptop, phone, or notepad. With so many aspects to the job, I can always switch focus, depending on what tools I have access to. The only other essential would be a glass of water. 

How do you stay productive at home?

I prefer not to work at home, as it’s a space I try to dedicate for time with my family, but obviously in these times of crisis, as an entrepreneur, productivity is key to staying in business. Getting on calls with my partner and team help to keep me on task. 

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?

99 percent of the time, I prefer to work in silence with my thoughts. 

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

One of the things I need to do while working from home is to be fully dressed as if I was going to the office — so yeah, pants on for a video conference call.

Taylor Okata, Consultant & Stylist

Please give us an overview of your home workspace — what went into creating this setup?

As a freelancer, I actually tried my best to not work from home in the past. I found it helpful to leave the house regularly to keep up a productive workflow. I’d work out of my agent’s workspace, a client’s office (per shoot/project), or a shared workspace. Now, I work at my little dining table and keep my setup very minimal — it helps me focus when everything is organized and tidy. I also have a wardrobe rack set up for remaining samples and anything I have to shoot or can photograph at home.

Are there any desk essentials you can’t work without?

I can’t work without my speaker, AirPods (for calls), a notepad, and a candle. It’s also essential to have coffee and a good pair of house slippers.

How do you stay productive at home?

I chat with fellow creatives, friends, and family, regularly. I make sure to have music playing. I read a lot and continue to moodboard and create pitches as though our workforce is still functioning.

Do you listen to music or watch shows while you work?

I don’t typically watch TV while I work, but recently I’ve had the news on in the background to stay up-to-date with the current pandemic. I always play music while I work — it changes depending on my mood. I’ve recently been listening to Megan Thee Stallion (Suga), 070 Shake (Modus Vivendi), Orville Peck (Pony), Pop Smoke (Meet The Woo 2), Tame Impala (The Slow Rush).

Pants or no pants during a video conference call?

A full look always, haha. I created the habit of getting properly dressed every morning, even if I have nowhere to go. It helps to keep me sane and prevents me from becoming too complacent.

 

Words by Staff