Host of the hit Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, bestselling author, columnist, lecturer and public speaker; Emma Gannon has torn up and re-written the career rulebook. Here, she tells us about carving out a successful multi-hyphenate career from her own home
IMAGE: EVA SCHWANK
Having previously worked in offices, how did you adjust to working from home?
It was a total thrill at first. I could get up at 9am and be at my desk by 9.30am. I could put a load of washing on in between emails. I could play my own radio loudly. I loved it. But I had to introduce some routines (albeit pretty vague) otherwise I would spend all day re-arranging my drawers or procrastinating in other ways. First off, I always get up and dressed properly in a nice outfit; I don’t work in my pyjamas. I don’t do any work in my bedroom. I used to work at the weirdest hours in an old pyjama top, but I’ve realised that I get more done if I’m properly dressed. I am also quite strict now about turning off my laptop at 6pm. I might still do emails on my phone on the sofa but I now try to ‘finish work’ at a reasonable hour.
Do you make a conscious effort to separate your working time at home from your down time?
My work and personal life merge a lot. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m reading something for fun or for work. It’s a blessing and a curse. I can’t really separate it, and I’m OK with that. But, for me, proper down-time at home just means putting my phone and laptop away out of sight.
Where is your home work space and do you have anything that makes that space more pleasant for you?
I have a desk in the spare room where I do a lot of my podcast recordings (like recording ads or intros) so that’s good for when I need to be alone and totally quiet. But I really enjoy working from the table in my kitchen; it’s the lightest, brightest room in the flat.
Can you describe a typical day?
No! Haha. There is no such thing as a typical day when you are a multi-hyphenate. Each day is totally, totally different. One day I can be out in London having all-day meetings, or on a shoot, or out recording interviews for my podcast, or at home writing, or away travelling. No two days, weeks or months ever look the same and I love that. For people who like organised routine they would probably hate it. The upside is I never get bored, but the downside means you can have big highs and lows.
50% of the UK workforce are predicted to work remotely by 2020; a huge number of those will be working from home. What advice would you give to people starting to use their home as a place of work?
I would say that you should actually try and find spaces outside the home where you can work from as well. Working from home every so often is so enjoyable, but I found that working from home on your own every day can actually be really difficult and lonely. I think that having a community around you, (or even just being outside next to other humans!) is really important. I would suggest working one or two days from home and then joining a co-working space for the other days. Or, if money is tight, find some cafes or libraries in your local area that you love.
How would you describe your decorating style?
If I lived on my own it would look very different, but it’s styled in a way that both my boyfriend and I agree on. I really want a leopard print rug, but my boyfriend enjoys the minimal chic approach, so maybe one day I’ll need my own room where I can buy lots of mad furniture. We own the flat together, so we try to meet in the middle. So there’s mainly white, grey, wood, lots of plants, with a splash of colour and pattern with cushions and wall art.
Do you have any favourite homeware brands you can especially love?
I love Trouva for finding little gems from independent shops – I recently got a big Birds of Paradise plant from Patch. I love Rose & Grey for home accessories and, for the bathroom, I am obsessed with Haeckles; a seaside organic bath company from Margate.
What are your favourite things to do at home when you’re not working?
Cook while listening to a podcast, with a big glass of red wine!
What does your home mean to you?
It means safety and sanctuary. I feel so lucky to have my own little place where I can be creative and also feel relaxed.
Have you got any new projects coming up that you can tell us about?
My book The Multi-Hyphen Method is coming out in paperback in May and coming out in America next year, which I’m excited about!