The Home Office – My Sanctuary

This blog post is about what routines I have in the morning and what environment I like to work in, along with some suggestions and ideas.

I’ve written similar posts before; about how to keep warm and beat January and what physical venues I like to work out of in Central London but this is focused on what I like to have around me when I work at home. It’s becoming increasingly popular for self-employed and paid employees to work at home, either permanently or for several days a week. I would be interested to hear what your ‘home sanctuary’ consists of.

Some say you should (if possible) have a separate space to work in, from the rest of your house/flat. I agree. The problem is, my dining room table is a beautiful place to work. It’s light and it has a lovely view of the garden.

Dining room and garden
A lovely space to work

 I don’t have the distraction of being able to see or hear family members – so that’s not a problem. Although the cat does say hello from time to time. I have a spare room with an office/desk space but it’s not as nice and whilst it has a window (I have worked in offices without any windows before) the view is of a fence. So it’s tricky to decide; nice garden view or keep a work/living room separation and work in the office room….

Office Space
Office room with a view of… a fence.


The truth is that I vary it. Like most things, variety is the spice the life and whilst I mostly working in the office room, it feels like such a treat to work at my dining room table, looking out at the garden. I also like to work outside of the house occasionally to keep perspective and ensure working from home always feels like a luxury.

Then there is a small corner of the office room that I have been “allowed” to be creative with. It’s photographs that might otherwise be put away in a cupboard, drawings that my partner or I have been given, tickets, general memorabilia and of course, the scratch map of the world to remind me how big this world is and to get out and explore it.

My creative wall

I surround myself with a tidy desk but by the end of the day, it needs a little spruce up again. When I start tasks, I get really involved and therefore when I go to eat lunch or a snack, I’ll often keep the plate by my side but everything gets tidied away when I’ve finished work in a symbolic “yay, I’ve finished for the day” celebratory tidy up.

Some people are early birds and love to get cracking with work straight away; others are most productive later into the evening. I’m a machine first thing in the morning but don’t ask me to work late into the evening, I’m useless past dinner time.

Some like printers and filing systems; I’m streamlined – everything is stored online and I rarely print so I don’t have a printer. I do have a stationary pot though – which has personalised post-it notes in. A leaving gift from a former employer was post-it notes printed with “Marry Me, Kirsty”. Apparently, I often said around the office, “If I could marry a post-it note, I would”. I do love them. The extra sticky ones are my favourites.

I don’t work with music on otherwise I would just sit and sing…or dance, the whole day away.

I do take phone calls but then I work with time tracker software (Toggl) so I just pause it while I get the door or take a call.

I’ve never found motivation a problem. A friend once said he could never work from home because he wouldn’t, well, work and he also likes and needs colleagues around him. I can work literally anywhere. When there is work to be done, it doesn’t matter where I am as long as I have the internet, my laptop and power. I love the extra hour I get from time I would normally be commuting – that is a real bonus of being a VA. Make sure you have hobbies and friends though, otherwise you’ll never leave the house!

That’s it. Job done.

Here are some lovely home office space ideas from House Beautiful – a few of them are so tiny and cute.