Concluding our series of indispensable WFH wisdom.
Illustration by Marie Assénat.
The transition from working in a bustling office to a quiet kitchen can be a strange one, so we reached out to our stable of contributing writers (all of whom have well-established home-working routines), asking for their advice on how to make the most of working from home. Here is Part Three.
Let’s be clear that working from home, in my case, means an apartment in Manhattan. It’s not a house in the country, where I see myself surveying the grounds each morning with a dog by my side, admiring the gardens before sitting down to write in a library of generous proportions. No, alas, it’s not that at all. But I do like a routine and a certain amount of order. First things first: make the bed and make coffee. That’s a good start, and an even better start is with a giant cardigan over your pajamas and some good slippers. The longer I can go without looking at my phone the better, but unfortunately that's usually not very long.
I like to write in the morning and I like to read too. So I’ll take a shower and dress properly, as if I'm going out. If you can write in a dressing gown I envy you. You probably dash off evocative love letters and the occasional piece of risqué fiction. Congratulations. I am more earthbound and need to be grounded. Since this is Drake’s I feel we can speak very specifically in a sartorial sense. Cords or twill trousers, brown or olive or some neutral color that looks like dead grass. An oxford shirt tucked in—for some reason the tucked in aspect of this makes me feel like I’m really getting down to work. I could never write with an untucked shirt or with bare feet for that matter. A knit tie is good but not mandatory. Then I slip on loafers or maybe desert boots. A cardigan if the weather is cool, like something a grandfather would wear.
I like a clean space, and one with flowers. Something that feels like you’re ennobling everyday rituals. I think it can be hard to work continuously, so I take deliberate breaks and read a book that feels like a true escape—historical fiction or an old biography—then I can focus afterward more easily. If I’m writing a book it usually involves some pacing—I have to move, man!—and that's not always ideal. But these days the world feels less than ideal. So we have to be a little kinder to ourselves, and everyone else, for that matter. If you’ve made it to the end of the day you deserve a scotch or a gin at 6pm, and nobody could blame you if you rounded the 6pm down to 5pm.