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March 24, 2020

Notes from the home office: Suzie Keen

InDaily's arts editor Suzie Keen has partially worked from home for years. With this insider knowledge, she shares with CityMag a guide to staying sane while holed up in a home office. (Hint: A canine colleague helps.)

  • Words: Suzie Keen
  • Picture Above: is missing one crucial element. Scroll down.


As someone who regularly works from home, I’m lucky to have a pretty good set-up – including an espresso machine and a four-legged office assistant who is a little lazy but deals efficiently with any breakfast crumbs that fall under the desk.


If you’ve got tips, tricks or a working-from-home story to share, reach out via Instagram Story (@citymagadl).

The biggest challenge for me is not the lure of daytime TV, but the tendency to get so absorbed by work that I forget to take a break from my computer. The distraction of office banter and face-to-face meetings are things we take for granted – whinge about, even – until we’re actually forced to self-isolate.

So here’s some tips for working effectively at home, while also staying sane:

1. Stick to a regular start time and finish time, even though you don’t have a train to catch or peak-hour traffic to deal with.

2. Always try to leave the house for a lunchtime walk (assuming you’re not in complete lockdown). It makes your brain function better.

3.  Write a daily to-do list on a post-it note each morning. If nothing else, it’s extremely satisfying applying ticks to each task.

4. If you use a laptop, invest in a full-size monitor and keyboard. Ergonomically, the laptop set-up is not ideal for long periods of work.

5. Phone people instead of relying solely on email or other online communication. It’ll make you feel less isolated. It’ll also stop your voice getting rusty.

6. Stop. Get up from your desk. Stretch. Repeat (at least every couple of hours).

7. Stock up on good coffee beans. But don’t hoard.

8. Pat the dog. She’s not just your best friend, she’s also your best colleague right now.

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