By November 7, 2011 Read More →

Home offices – the reality

My home office - Paul GravesLast week Paul Graves sent me this photo of his home office desk in response to the tidy ones he sees on my home office pages, and wrote this about his attitude to home working:

I love seeing all the home office pictures on There are some lovely, inspiring places that people work. But I don’t get too depressed about them as I’m convinced they have been ‘photoshopped’. I can tell this, not because I’m a computer graphics expert, but if you look carefully none of the pictures have random bits of lego or old envelopes lying around!

‘I’ve been an IT homeworker for about 18 months. Within about 3 days of setting up a simple office in the spare room my desk had become covered in clutter. As I look at it now almost all of it doesn’t need to be here (particularly not the swimming goggle?!)

But as long as I can get to the keyboard and see the screens the junk doesn’t bother me. I do a clear out when I reach project milestones and certain paperwork isn’t needed anymore. There are a few glorious days when the desk is clear. Then the surfaces are quickly filled, with generous help from the children.

‘I like having everything neat and tidy. But I love working from home more. I get flexibility in my hours, and I see my family far more that I did before, so I’ll cope with the mess. And I’ll tell myself all the wonderful pictures of other people’s home office must be just too good to be true!

I think Paul brilliantly sums up the reality of working from home. I have no children to help me accumulate clutter, but even so it’s not long after a major clearout that there’s stuff all over the place again.

I prefer to think of it as evidence that my life is a busy and productive one, full of connections to interesting people and happenings. I’m sure yours is too, but I hope you’ll also enjoy the beautiful spaces I pin to my Pinterest board. And please keep on sending those home office pictures, photoshopped or not!

Posted in: Home offices

21 Comments on "Home offices – the reality"

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  1. Wendy Tagg says:

    I can really relate to this. On my desk right now:
    – pair of headphones
    – some odd cables
    – holepuncher (dusty)
    – shopping list (yesterday’s)
    – highlighter pens
    – pencils and pens
    – stapler
    – coat hanger (?)
    – freebie private eye CD that came with last saturday’s newspaper.
    – pages for filofax (next year’s)
    – post its
    – Ian Rankin novel (finished)
    – sketchbook
    – a couple of printouts

    So it is cluttered with the past and the future and that’s fine by me. I’ve never been keen on the sterile feeling clear desk. It seems too controlled and too empty to seed creative or problem solving thinking. Although those fancy home offices are attractive, I wouldn’t trade. Except … for the one hanging from the tree.

    • judy says:

      Thanks, Wendy, that’s a fascinating list! I’m thinking perhaps I should have a competition for the oddest item to be found on a home office desk, as a way of balancing those perfect workspaces 🙂

  2. Wendy Tagg says:

    Oddest item – that is actually to frightening to think about 🙂

    • judy says:

      Mm, could be an eye-opener! By the way, I see from your list you are another Filofax fan. My pages are waiting to be slotted in too.

      • Wendy Tagg says:

        Oh yes – and until recently, I was concerned that I was been too ‘old school’ but I have recently seen some of the young’uns using them too – because they like the level of organisation it gives.

  3. What a cool post. I love the way Paul mentions how he sees his family more and that so long as he can see the screen it’s all worthwhile.