Giving us an exclusive glimpse into her work from home set-up, IMAGE Editorial Director Dominique McMullan shares some at-home office essentials, tips for managing procrastination, and the pros and cons of hybrid working.
As so many of us can relate to, working from home while raising small children is quite the balancing act. For our own Dominique McMullan — who operates off a hybrid model — dividing work time from down time and business from pleasure is an absolute essential.
Since remote working became a more readily available option, the working world has changed completely. If you are yet to perfect your own at-home office set-up, we’re getting some tips from those in the know.
From daily to-do lists and a warm cup of coffee from her tiny blue cafetiere to blue light glasses and go-to lunches, read on for an insight into Dominique’s WFH routine, interiors, tips and tricks…
What are some absolute essentials everyone should have in their WFH set-up?
Good lighting. I find on a gloomy day it really helps my mood to turn on my little lamp and light a candle. Also a good selection of pens, a little notebook, a nice hand cream and a plant!
What do you keep to hand on your WFH desk?
A cup of something warm.
Have you decorated your WFH space with any photos, art, or music devices?
I have a photo of my eldest son – my youngest is one-year-old and I still don’t have any photos of him printed! Complete second child syndrome there! I also have a few little relics – a smiling Budda, a Portuguese chicken nativity and a little silver elephant. All have meaning despite being, admittedly, quite weird!
What keeps you motivated when working remote?
My to-do list is essential each day. I write down the three things I want to achieve that week and make sure to keep going back to them. It’s so easy to get swept away by emails and other people’s to-do lists!
How do you balance working from home with having young children?
I send them off to creche in the morning with a smile!!
Do you have a particular at-home coffee break routine?
Yes, I have a tiny blue cafetiere that I love (and is falling apart!). I make my coffee in that and drink it while sitting outside on my bench and taking five minutes to think in the fresh air.
What is your go-to lunch to make at home?
Oooh good question. Either a nice rice bowl, a veggie burger or something with eggs. It’s such a perk being able to cook a nice meal for lunch.
How do you break up the monotony during the day?
I try and do phone calls when I can feel like I need to move around, rather than a Zoom or an email. You can’t beat chatting to someone face-to-face but a phone call is a close second.
Do you have a go-to method of procrastination, and how do you get yourself back in the zone?
INSTAGRAM. I am awful for scrolling through Instagram, who isn’t these days? I block out half hours on my iCal and I get notifications when I need to start working on something different, that usually snaps me out of whatever I am procrastinating in!
Do you have any tips for maintaining posture and avoiding back pain or eye strain?
I think getting up and walking around every 30 mins or so is the best way to prevent any of that. I also occasionally wear Ambr blue light protecting glasses (when I remember!)
How do you separate business from pleasure when you clock off in the evening?
I am quite good at closing the laptop and being able to turn off. I kind of have to as it’s at that point I have to go and collect the boys and until their bedtime there isn’t a chance of any work happening!
How does it compare to working in the office?
I love WFH on some days, but other days I love being in the office. That’s the great thing about working flexibly – different types of work require (and benefit from) different environments. When I am at home I can get a lot of writing, strategic thinking and planning done. When in the office I can think creatively, I can brainstorm and complete small tasks through conversations rather than reems of emails.