How we make working from home work for us

March 22, 2021
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As residents of Melbourne (save one very lucky New Zealander!) we’ve become especially familiar with lockdowns – and everything that comes with them – over the past 18 months. The result? Our working-from-home game has gotten pretty damn strong. And though we’d much rather be hanging out together in our cosy office digs in Collingwood, it helps to know we are able to adapt seamlessly each time the stay at home orders return, sans too many meltdowns (though these are very much encouraged if need be - we’re in uncertain times!) So here's a peek at how we keep the Brunch machine ticking away when we’re all WFH.

The home office

When it comes to home offices, none of us are real sticklers for anything too prescriptive. For some, the laptop gets plonked down wherever they can find space among children, housemates and needy dogs. For others, it's more about emotion than ergonomics; we like to be comfy when we work, whether it's on kitchen tables, couches or even the floor.

Paint us a picture of your WFH set up, folks...

Christa, Digital Marketing Manager: I’m 50/50. Professional home office in the morning and couch slob in the arvo. It’s all about balance.

Patrick, Senior Copywriter: We’ve got the spare room set up as a study, so I bunker down there with the heater on full blast. More often than not, there's a 20kg red heeler x corgi sitting on my lap, trying to convince me that he's a cat.

April, Client Partner: I'm all over the shop. I use the entryway table as a desk but I'm also likely to be on my bed, laying on the floor, or doing laps of the kitchen when I'm on the phone. Seriously, anywhere.

Kip, Co-Founder: I'll clear a space on the dining room table and set up shop. It's a constant battle for space with my wife’s Okay Lady puzzles.

That's where we work – here's how we work, and what our non-negotiables to make it through a day are:

Char, Co-Founder I have to wear a different pair of tracksuit pants during the day to the ones I wear after work. I'm a director, so I can’t be a complete slob.

Emma, Wine & Social Content Manager: Coffee, lots and lots of coffee. My V60 brew has come a long way from all the practice. And making time to get up out of my chair and step outside for some fresh air does wonders!

Patrick: I do everything I can not to fall into the trap of going straight from my bed to the desk, no matter how tempting it is. I'm lucky to live quite close to the beach and try to get in a decent run or walk most mornings. I'll often do another at lunch, then rely on listening to something inspiring like Ashanti's greatest hits to get me through the rest of the day.

Sigourney, Customer Experience & Culture: I'm just attempting to maintain some kind of routine! Staying active (lying down with my camera off totally counts as a zoom workout) and putting on real-life clothes every few days.

Now a topic that we can (and do) talk about all day: food and booze. Sandwiches are a perennial favourite, so it's lucky there seems to be plenty on offer in our local neighbourhoods. And for the all-important knock offs, we apparently run the gamut of wine, beer and cocktails.

Char: We drop by Nourish for sushi on a daily basis, then after work we usually take a walk to The Moon and pick up a nice little sangiovese or pinot.

Christa: Hector’s Deli and Kelso’s Sandwich Shop get a pretty heavy rotation during lockdown for me. 

Pat: You'll find me at South Melbourne Market lining up for two böreks whenever it's open. This Israeli joint, the Left Handed Chef, has been doing these amazing falafel pitas and schnitzel sandwiches during lockdown, so I'm there whenever the markets are closed. Boozewise, I've been going to Cloudwine Cellars because they've got a really cool selection of wines, or I'll head to Westside Ale Works for a few takeaway cans or to fill a growler.

April: Aphro & Wolfe toastie’s and coffee from Industry Beans have been essential. And to get sorted on the wine front, I make myself a six-pack of our clients' wines from the Brunch Bottle-O – lucky us!

Sig: My lockdown days have been fuelled by the epic salad sandwich from Burnside. That's what it’s actually called and trust me, it lives up to its name. After 5pm (or 3pm in lockdown time), its margaritas from Hotel Jesus because they have that takeaway marg recipe perfected. Get the mescal for a smoky edge, or the Hotel Jesus marg if you’re more of a classic. 

Kip: It's coffee and a morning bun at Rat the cafe for me. After hours? A tall can from Tallboy and Moose.

And finally, the nitty gritty; how do we manage to continue collaborating and do our best work as a team when we can’t see each other face to face? To be completely honest, we were kind of born for this. Brunch began during Melbourne’s first lockdown, so we were straight out of the womb and working via Slack, Zoom and our holy grail project management system, Monday. We learned to adapt quickly, and at this point, it feels like second nature to work together, but apart. Good work only happens when spirits are hig  though, so let’s open the floor one more time and ask how we stay connected as a team.

Emma: Having chats constantly on the go to send little bits of happiness throughout the day goes a long way. Geez that sounds corny! But it’s true.

Char: I’ll Facetime someone and we’ll just weirdly work in silence as if we were sitting next to each other, then occasionally ask each other questions. We seem to be more productive that way.

Christa: Slack banter, memes and surprise Uber Eats vouchers.

April: I think we're just cuties that check in with each other! We’re not scared to just pick up the phone and call each other. And we keep reminding each other that it won't be forever, and that we'll be back in the office soon enough.

Hear, hear! Let’s hope so. But in the meantime, feel free to take whatever inspo you can from our WFH ways. Or take our food and bev recommendations, at the very least. After all, we are the experts.


The Brunch team xx