It has been roughly 7 months since COVID shutdown numerous corporate offices around the USA and the world. Recently, Starbucks said their corporate office employees won’t be returning to work in the headquarters until the summer of 2021 and maybe even beyond that. Perhaps you thought it was going to be a short work assignment in your spare bedroom and now it has become a prison sentence.
Now, as a self-employed photographer, I know what it is like to work from home and I’m here to give you a few tips. I have an extremely messy home office that is organized in a delightful chaos theory manner. I have a desktop computer, file cabinets, boxes, postage stamps, and empty coffee mugs in this man cave. Over the many years I have been working in my home office, I have developed a “Must Have Item” list that makes working at home a much more enjoyable experience.
Must Have List:
Cat: Your cat should sleep on your desk (preferably right on your keyboard) to keep you from using your computer at all. The cat should just lay there, draped across your desk, with its tail in your face.
Dog: Your dog can be located in your office or in the backyard. The dog must bark at EVERYTHING. A leaf that falls from the tree? The dog must bark. A squirrel running along the top of the fence? That dog better be barking at it! Your phone ringing? The bark will wait until you answer the phone and then the dog should bark repeatedly.
Printer/Scanner: This wonderful tool should fail to communicate and work with your computer at all times. Hopefully, you’ll get so upset that you purchase a second one. Once the second one actually works, then the first scanner/printer will magically start to work again. That’s until they start talking to each other and decide to strike and both won’t work at all.
Kids: You need at least two and they should fight as much as possible. Bonus points if they start arguing during a Zoom or Teams Meeting when you are the featured speaker. And why the hell aren’t you doing their school work for them since you are now the teacher as well?
Neighbors: Hopefully your neighbors like to mow their lawn every other day and your office window is right there so you can listen to it. Maybe you will be lucky like me and have your dog go crazy and bark uncontrollably at the mere sound of the lawnmower starting up. Even better if your neighbor likes to mow at odd hours….7 am and then 8 pm the next day, followed by the 12 noon mowing for no reason whatsoever.
A Bar: After everyone and everything drives you nuts, it is nice to have your fully equipped bar (or just a nice fridge stocked full of beer) handy.
Good Luck with the next 18 months….you are going to need it!