No one likes a know-it-all. When we ran out of dishwasher tablets, Jack claimed that washing up liquid in the machine would do the same job. I tried to warn him against it but an hour later I walked into the kitchen to find him up to his waist in bubbles with a look of total surprise on his face. I could have said 'I told you so.' I could have reminded him that I predicted this exact situation less than an hour ago. Instead I shrugged, turned around and left the bubbly idiot to clean up his mess.
For the last few months Jack has been trying to convince me that we should convert our bedroom into an office. There had been several clues that our previous setup had been problematic. Jack was forced to work in the dark study downstairs, squinting by candlelight like a Dickensian villain as he stooped over the less than practical Victorian bureau. A bureau that was too small to house me as well so I was forced out. I did however have a slightly brighter outlook working in the dining room with a view of the garden but given that my desk was the dining room table, it contained exactly nothing that I needed. I had to go to Jack's office to use the printer, to fetch a stapler, to get every single thing that I needed every single day, and then I had to put it all back again at the end of the day. Added to this the fact that Jack and I are physically incapable of working without each other (a ten minute solo trip to the post office will contain at least three phone calls) we spent the entire days video-calling, texting and visiting each other's offices. Like I said, several clues. But apparently the detective life did not choose me.
A few weeks ago however, we went to dog sit for Jack's parents. For two whole weeks we shared an office and lo and behold, it was the most productive two weeks we've ever had. It finally dawned on me... Bubbles may be onto something.
Having finally won me around to the idea, Jack wasted not a second lest I changed my mind. As soon as we walked through the door he whipped out his pre-prepared blueprints and began talking me through the procedure. By the end of the weekend, it was done. And it is marvellous. The room that was dark and impractical as an office makes a cozy and relaxing bedroom. The candles that were once an inconvenient necessity are now a welcome addition. The dining room table is relieved to no longer be working two jobs and our new office is nothing short of magnificent. An entire space dedicated to Lanther Black. I can see both the printer and the stapler from my brand new, beautiful solid wood desk, handcrafted by Jack himself (who I can also see from my desk because he's sat the other side of it). Our stock is nearer to us and the kitchen is further away meaning that we spend more time packing orders and less time stuffing our faces with nonsense that we find in the fridge. And if we do think that a vat of cookie dough ice-cream and a multi-pack of monster munch is a good idea for an office snack, we have to pay for it with a flight of stairs.
I've always been a 'do what you can, use what you have' kind of person so I thought that we could make do with our makeshift offices until we outgrew the 'working from home' situation and had to move the business into separate premises. But I failed to realise how important the workspace really is. Eliminating the small, everyday hassles and improving workflow gives you a clearer head to face the more challenging situations. Having a dedicated workspace removes the distractions and enables full focus when you're in the office. It also means that you can shut the door behind you at the end of the day which maintains the work-life balance which can be so difficult to strike when you work from home.
And what's more, it really wasn't hard to create and took us no time at all. I wish that I had listened to Jack months ago because he was absolutely right. If he wanted to stick a giant 'I told you so' sign on to our new office wall I would have no grounds for complaint because he was right and I was wrong. I hasten to acknowledge that I am making this public admission of my error entirely out of my own free will. I am in no way being coerced to do so. My humble pie is waiting for me in the fridge. The one that's now really far away.