November 20, 2012
We’ve talked before about the pros and cons of the growing telecommuting trend. But what happens when you’re suddenly a full-time telecommuter, not by choice, but by circumstance? We chatted with several office goers in the New York City metro area (including a few of our own from Herman Miller) who found themselves having to work from home after Hurricane Sandy struck the region. Now that their routines are getting somewhat back to “normal,” we asked them what they learned — and found that their combined experiences offer a few gentle reminders on how you can try to find the balance you need to successfully work from a home office (in less extreme situations, we certainly hope!). Read more
January 27, 2011
I came across these images of writers on Unplggd last week. It’s not often you find such beautiful images of people at work in their homes. The lighting reminds me of a Rembrandt but the subjects, all bloggers, are thoroughly modern. I immediately emailed Gabriela to see if we could post them on Lifework. She agreed. So here’s a selection of the series and a short interview from the New York-based photographer.
1. How long have you been working as a photographer? I like to think of my experience with photography as a puzzle where I’m constantly adding new pieces to form a collective whole. I started in high school, where I would spend most of my afternoons slaving away in the darkroom, jamming to my Discman. When in college at Wesleyan University, I began shooting for the school newspaper and working as a darkroom assistant. While studying abroad, I broadened my knowledge adding more pieces to the puzzle. I moved to Mexico for a semester and was introduced to the color darkroom. In São Paulo, I learned the history of photography from an old Brazilian master. In Salvador, Bahia, I turned to documentary work. After college I moved to Sao Paulo and it was there that I decided to pursue a career in the field. From that moment I have completely invested myself in that pursuit. After working with several acclaimed Brazilian photographers I made the move to New York and started again from scratch. It has now been three and a half years that I have been living as a freelance photographer in the city.
2. What inspired the blogger portraits? I blog and I read blogs. A lot of them. Blogs have become my go-to source for information; they feed and comfort me. Today, bloggers are widely respected within their industries and have become our new decision makers as they showcase, analyze and filter information for us.
While it is heavily debated how modern technology can isolate us, there are undeniably many upsides to this online evolution. I believe bloggers are connecting us, bringing us closer. In some ways, bloggers are helping create a reverse wave in our technological age by forming an authentic exchange between blogger and reader. Bloggers allow for an interactive platform, a dialogue that allows for both online and offline relationships to form.
It is through our screens, these beacons of light, that the world opens up and we become literally linked to one another. I began photographing bloggers with this idea in mind, giving the viewer a peek into their intimate worlds by using their screens as the sole light source.
3. You’ve worked all over the world. Tell us about your favorite shoot? Ohh that’s a tough one! My favorite shoots are the ones where I come out of them with a new friend. Just yesterday, for example, I was sent down to Vero Beach, FL for an assignment shooting a couple who runs a boot camp and this morning we have been sending facebook messages and texts non-stop!
4. What draws you to portrait work? Since I began photographing, I have always insisted on being in front of the lens, becoming part of the construction of my images. Photography has become my therapy, an exclusive dialogue between myself and the camera where we push each other to a point of exhaustion, both emotionally and physically. My work reveals this intimate process which I invite the viewer to partake in. In my portraiture, as I approach other subjects, I take this comfort with me and try to recreate the same intimate setting. This process from subject to intimate confidant is what drives me to keep creating.
5. Who would you most like to photograph? I hope to have the fortune of my family allowing me photograph then until the day I can no longer pick up a camera.
March 23, 2010
Less distractions and no commute were the two of the reasons people like working from home, according to a new survey released from Microsoft. The Microsoft Telework survey, which covered 3,600 workers in 36 cities nationwide, found that people were more productive and efficient when working from home. Now we just need employers to catch on. The survey also found that only 15 percent believe their company supports flexible work arrangements. Via Techflash.
Image above of Leonora Oppenheim‘s London home office (with a Herman Miller Celle chair) via TreeHugger.
Balance, Design, Technology
March 18, 2010
The faster the network connections, the better people can work at home and on the move. Google thinks more speed for more people is the answer. It’s planning to test a network that will deliver the Internet over 1 gigabit per second fiber connections “in one or more trial locations across the country.”
Holland, Michigan, where Herman Miller’s Design Yard facility is located, is one of the communities vying to be chosen. From now until March 26, residents can nominate the city and make the case for why it should be chosen. All you need is a Gmail account. Here’s hoping that Holland will be chosen (and that you’ll help by nominating the city).
February 10, 2010
The Wall Street Journal just ran an interesting piece by Richard Greenwald on the rise of freelancers and consultants. “The implications for the American workplace are profound. Imagine one in four workers, of all collars, working on a contingent basis. Whole career paths and professions have shifted from stable full-time jobs with definable career ladders and benefits to almost completely contingent work forces that shift from project to project.”
It’s fascinating and Greenwald offers some very good advice, including the following – “…successful consultants say that having a work space separate from your living space is crucial. Clients do not want to have an important phone conference interrupted by a nagging two-year-old, a TV in the background or the sounds of street traffic. Most freelancers I spoke to have a space in their home that is solely for work—a bunker, as it were.”
I like the idea of a bunker. If you’ve got any bunker-like work spaces send them in – we’d love to see them.
The home office above is from Steven & Chris – Decor on a Dime series.
January 28, 2010
One of the greatest perils and perks of working from home is the potential for procrastination. It’s an issue I battle with from time to time—but sometimes I’m all too happy to admit defeat. Like during the Australian Open when one can wake up in the morning, brew a pot of coffee with Mexico Santa Cruz beans from Ristretto Roasters, and settle in for few prerecorded hours of fierce volleying between Nadal and Murray. The net result, if you will, was getting a creative charge not only from the intensity of the first two sets before injury ended the match, but Nadal’s natty color scheme of Aster Pink, Orange Blaze and White.