Who knew work from home would be added to the repertoire of our ‘new normal’ playlist? As we face the pandemic, for many, their homes have become their place of work, and that means finding ways to make it functional and stylish. We asked a few women how they have styled the sections of their home dedicated to work.
SHANTELL HILL-AFONSO ADDS PERSONAL TOUCH
Shantell Hill-Afonso always had a work desk, but COVID-19 made it necessary to get a printer and light. “I’m always working before and after work, so for the last 10 years, I have had either a home office or work desks,” she confirmed with Flair. Getting the ball rolling before dawn, toiling beyond midnight and putting in weekend duties at home, all before the pandemic, the brand manager for Sunshine Snacks Jamaica made a smooth transition to working in her home office full-time when the lockdown first took effect, “I quite enjoy working from home. It’s more productive for me to some degree, especially with meetings.”
Her desk, which was given to her by a dear friend, is from Germany. The expandable work table is more than 20 years old and holds sentimental value, since it has been her trusted sidekick throughout her professional journey.
Aside from the table and printer, Hill-Afonso has also incorporated a personal touch by adding pictures of travels to the mix. The world traveller and explorer at heart said that these memorabilia helps her to think back on the fun she had, especially when going through reports or brand planning. “They also provide an opportunity [to] hope that soon the spaces and places I hold dear will be open and myself, along with others, will have a chance to visit or revisit.”
ANJELL BRYAN’S OFFICE MAKEOVER
Anjell Bryan was also right at home with having a workspace in her humble abode. But when her company advised her to work from home full-time due to the spike earlier this year, she decided it was time to spruce up the section. “I would be spending much more time in the space, so it should be my little haven; one that is uplifting, inspires me to create and problem-solve, encourages me to show up more for my community online and improves my overall productivity.” Gathering inspiration from Pinterest and a home office makeover on YouTube, she got started.
The corporate queen and coach went for a pristine white look, with gold and rustic brown tones. The main shade, she says, illuminates the room, making everything light and airy. Gold adds sophistication and opulence, and she is rooted in the motivation highlighted on wood, “I purchased some wooden signs with the words ‘Faith, Pray and Love’. It is on my bookshelf right across from my desk. As I go through the day, I glance up at these words, which are consistent reminders, especially on rough days.”
Additionally, Bryan has added a personalised Bluetooth speaker, which she uses to play music and keep her energy at its highest level. “My vibe is very chill, unfussy but intentional and classy. I think [my] space captures these qualities perfectly,” she asserted.
KIMBERLEY HENRY-ATKINSON’S WORKING CLOSET
Unlike Hill-Afonso and Bryan, Kimberley Henry-Atkinson created her home office space late last year out of necessity. Since working full-time from home, it seemed like a feasible move for the young professional. To get the home project under way, she and her husband purchased some items and repurposed a few things.
From their apartment, they were able to construct two offices: a main one in the living room and another in the bedroom. “Working from home in a small apartment made me find new spaces and corners I never gave a second look,” she said.
Tucked away in the living room within a closet, the work area is compact and features a desk built to fit its new home, a television that indicates the office’s location and a ring light for meetings. Her husband even got her strip lights that can change to suit her mood. Most days, she is feeling the bright yellow.
For Henry-Atkinson, her home office gives her a purpose to take on the day, “I never thought an office space would make sense in a closet, but it works. I spend hours there, and I get a lot done.” And it is very convenient when she needs a break; she can just chill on the couch.