We’ve eliminated our home office in favor of a more flexible arrangement that allows us to work efficiently from anywhere. Today we’re talking through the motivation behind the decision and the new setup that we’ve been loving so far!
The variability of our work has always been a refreshing aspect of this career. One day, we’re hunkered down in front of our laptops, writing, editing and emailing all day. The next day, we’re in our work clothes, covered in sawdust and barely even cracking open our computers. Over the course of 2020, we found ourselves wondering if we still needed our dedicated office space (below) when we only spent a day or two each week fully utilizing it. The answer? Probably not!
The thought of transforming the space into one that our whole family could use grabbed us and didn’t let go, so here we are! Our massive table-turned-desk as well as the rolling chairs and filing cabinets that went along with it have all found a new home, and now we’ve got ourselves a blank slate.
WFH = WFAnywhere
For us, working from home has always meant working from almost anywhere in our home. Even when we had a dedicated office, Kim and I found ourselves working from the living room, dining room, backyard, front porch and even the kitchen island on occasion – often to escape the feeling of being tied to the office. And now that the office is gone, we haven’t missed it once! Now, our ‘office days’ generally begin and end at the dining room table, but could find us working from anywhere that feels inspiring and productive.
The location of our dining room is the physical the center of the home, which makes it the perfect place to setup for a day’s work. Like a lot of dining rooms, ours is on the first floor and sits between the living room and kitchen. This gives us direct access to the best A/V system in the home to keep the music flowing throughout the day. Our laptops are also able to mirror to the television if we need a larger, more collaborative display.
On the opposite end of the first floor, we’re directly adjacent to the kitchen, which allows for frequent coffee fill-ups, easy pick-me-up snacks and quick lunch breaks. Catfish’s treats are also nearby. She gets lots – lots! – of treats, naturally. It sounds ridiculous, but not having to walk down a flight of stairs and to the back of the house to top off coffee is… luxurious? As an added bonus, we’re much closer to the front door, which means accepting packages or answering the occasional doorbell is that much easier.
The Floating Office (aka the Floffice)
While we’ve bid farewell to the formal office, we do need a place to stash the office-y things associated with being productive. We shredded all the old files we no longer needed or have digitally (which was most of them!), and we better organized our kitchen ‘junk drawer’ to hold pens, post-it notes, tape, a measuring tape and all the miscellany used throughout a work day. And the dining room fauxdenza that formerly held our candles, vases and decor items has been shifted to perform floating office storage duty! A couple of bins and baskets hold our laptops, chargers and doo-dads.
We still need to print things occasionally, so we purchased this REALLY compact printer that fits perfectly inside. (Can’t recommend this printer enough!) At the end of the day, we put all of our things away in anticipation of using the dining room table to eat together as a family. The setup is working flawlessly so far and we have zero regrets.
What’s Next for the Former Office?
It’s almost impossible to believe, but Lucy turned 3 this week! She’s growing like a weed, and she’s at an age where she could use a bit more room to move and burn off energy. The former office will shift to be a fun, playful space where she can be her silly self. We’re working toward a final design that will include a dedicated art space, a cute play kitchen, a cozy chair, and of course a lot of plants and soft surfaces to keep the space bright, open, and flexible. Until then, the former office looks like this:
It feels so freeing to lift the rules we’d once set in place for this house. Now, we’re watching the dominoes fall as each space shifts to meet the needs of our growing family, and we’re remembering to use – and love – every inch of our home.