From Hot Desking to Cool Coworking.

Marketing Manager, Kirsty takes us through her experience of battling the heat to stay productive.

We’re in the middle of a sweltering heatwave. Great for staycations, not so great for being on top of your work game – unless you’re a plant… I’m not. I split my working days between a city office in Clerkenwell, my dining table and This Time Next Year, so I’m granted a multi-faceted view on working in the heat. Let me break it down, freelancer to freelancer.

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Commute

Undergro… Shhhhhhh… don’t even say it. I’m not a fan of commuting on the Central Line on the coolest of days, you can guarantee I’ll be making excuses to find an alternative route. As a result, my journeys into the city office tend to be an hour’s ride on the 55 bus. In this kind of heat, tempers are simmering and smells from fellow commuters are ripe. Not my favourite journey of the week. Whereas working from home is preceded by a stroll to the back of the house, a quick stop at the front door to collect any post and I arrive at my dining table with a bright garden view. Feelings of smugness usually ensue. Travelling to This Time Next Year is less of a commute and more of a saunter. Just a 10-minute cycle from Lea Bridge Road, through Jubilee Park, under a canopy of trees (my favourite part) to Orient Way. Travelling earlier is better, by mid-morning the tarmac on Orient Way starts to radiate.

Top tip for commuting in the heat: Pop a bottle of water in the freezer the night before you travel, this can then double as a cool pack and a source of ice-cold water.

Coffee

Very high up on my list of workspace requirements. Forget the fire exits, where is my nearest coffee point?! There’s a lot on offer at my city office, but not without having to venture out into the wider world; then there’s the obligatory ‘Does anyone want anything?’. I’m not a stingy office mate, I’ll happily buy you a coffee, it’s the juggling of 3 keep cups, 2 espressos and a frappe that I’m not a fan of – and oh, great, now I’m wearing my flat white instead of drinking it. With this heat, you can multiple the likelihood of dropping the lot by 3.4 – fact. Working from home, my coffee comes from a cafetiere, which my expenses spreadsheet is delighted. Although, it’s hardly inspiring and I do like a bit of barista banter – sadly my kettle doesn’t have a particularly good sense of humour. However, over at TTNY there’s Steph; banging milk frothing skills, makes a makes a mean, green juice and is always sweet enough to ask about everyone’s weekend – winner. Shout out to TTNY coffee suppliers Ozone, whose name is wholly appropriate for a blog about the heat.

Top tip for staying refreshed in the heat: Invest in an insulated reusable coffee cup, they’ll keep your coffee toasty and – more importantly – your iced latte cold. Plus, a lot of coffee shops offer a discount for using a reusable.

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Climate

Over in my city office, there’s air con. Perfect, especially after a long bus journey. How… ever… there is usually four or five of us in a narrow space. While we see eye to eye on getting things done, temperature is a whole different ball-game. Interesting fact – women and men can experience a difference in temperature by up to 5 degrees!! Plus, anytime someone opens the door or the window all of that lovely cold air escapes; yes, I know the window should be closed while the air con is on, but you try telling that lot! Over at my dining table there is no air con, cracking a window would usually encourage a draft but lately we’ve seen a distinct lack of drafts. Come 1.30pm, the view of the sun in the garden starts to mirage and the only relief is to take a cold shower, draw the curtains and try to continue working through the sweat dripping from my brow. Now let’s talk about TTNY, that light and airy space with air conditioning as refreshing as a mountain stream and as delicate a baby’s breath. Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I will insist that once you walk through the doors at TTNY, you’re in a different climate, a climate where thoughts run freely, and tasks are regularly ticked off. It’s only when I go to leave, that I realise the engulfing heat that I left behind in the morning persists.

Top tip for surviving a hot office: Resist the temptation to fan yourself, the movement creates more body heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, buy a desk fan and place a bowl of ice (or your iced drink) in front of this – the fan will help move the cooled air from around the ice throughout the room.

www.benpetercatchpole.com

There you have it – my thoughts and tips on working in the heat from three different workplaces. In a Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ style conclusion, the Commute, the Coffee and the Climate at This Time Next Year is just right.

If you’d like to take advantage of the cool coworking options available at The Time Next Year, simply email hello@thistimenextyear.co.uk to book a free trial day.

Meet Our Members: Elaine Kasket

Our regular Meet Our Members spot introduces you to the brilliant and creative people that have taken up residence here at This Time Next Year.

Elaine Kasket

Name

Elaine Kasket

What do you do?

I was an academic, I am a psychologist and more and more I’m becoming a proper writer. What I’m doing at This Time Next Year is working on my book. I had this fantasy that I would be able to work at home. With my daughter at school, and everything quiet I’d get so much done. For some people that might work, but for me, that doesn’t work. I knew I would benefit from being around creative people and so that’s why I came here. For the purposes of This Time Next Year, I’m a writer.

When I left academia, I entered a far more explorative phase. I started doing performances, spoken word and lots of other things that I had never had time to do. I did Mortified, in London, and I’m now on the podcast. I would never have dared to do something like that before. The piece I did at Mortified is curated from a self-published novel that I wrote when I was nine. It’s a very funny piece, but I was also a good writer. I thought, how did I get so far away from this?

Is your writing under a business persona or under your own?

It’s all under Elaine Kasket but I’ve recently rebranded, my branding now needs to reflect my writing role, as well as my psychologist role. My design team came up with a logo and website that reflects the dual sides.

Do you drink tea or coffee? How do you take it?

I started drinking coffee during a work-heavy time in my life and I still primarily drink coffee, even though I’ve left workaholism behind. I’ve been trying out the soy milk thing and liking it. So, I would say Soy Cappuccino, these days.

Do you feel like having that space has been conducive to getting things done?

Being at This Time Next Year, it’s a reconnection. I’ve got time, I’ve got flexibility, I’ve got possibilities, I’m meeting people from various backgrounds and it’s given me space. I’ve got my settled desk and if I get a creativity block, I’ll go spin in a chair or go to another floor. I move through space in the same way I’m moving through my head at the minute. It’s a parallel mirror of what’s happening in my life, that’s why I feel like it fits me so well.

I’d never considered a coworking space before that deadline started getting closer. People think you should be able to write anywhere. My partner thought I was spending money for the sake of it, but there’s no comparison on the productivity I’ve had here. My brain doesn’t always deliver up the words while I’m here, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get into that flow, but being here stacks the odds in my favour.

Do you live locally?

Yes, I’m in Leytonstone, I used to hate commuting every day, but an eight-minute bike ride is fantastic.

What are your favourite Waltham Forest hot spots?

It’s hard to narrow it down, there’s so much good happening. I love Laura Lea Designs, she’s done a lot for the area by supporting local artists, I love Wild Goose Bakery and The Red Lion. I love the energy of the place, there’s so much burgeoning, I’ve lived here for ten years and it’s changed so much for the better in that time. I’ve lived in lots of places and I’ve never experienced the community I’ve found in Leytonstone. It makes a massive difference to the quality of life.

Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

It’s called All the Ghosts in the Machine and it’s being published in early 2019. It is about the unexpected and consequential intersections of death and the digital; the consequences we have not anticipated of our data sticking around online when we’re no longer physically alive. It looks at issues that are as much about life as they are about death. Things like privacy, identity and corporate ownership; how the entities that process and manage our data when we’re alive, end up having a substantial influence on how we’re remembered. Power has been taken out of the hands of those who have historically held it, such as families, and placed with the likes of Facebook. It’s a confusing roundabout of laws that were put in place in the pre-digital era.

I’ll give you an example, in 2014 Hollie Gazzard was murdered by her boyfriend with whom she’d just broken up. He came into the salon where she worked and killed her. By the time her family went on her Facebook profile, it had been memorialised. On the page, there were seventy-two pictures of Hollie together with her killer. The family got in touch with Facebook and asked them to remove the photographs of Hollie with her murderer. Facebook refused, saying they must protect the privacy and preference of Holly as assumed at the time of her death, the only alternative would be to take the whole page down. Having exhausted all options, the family received a call from a man identifying himself as the Web Sheriff, someone who cleans the reputations of celebrities online. He had seen the story on the news and offered to take care of it pro bono. A week later, he calls them up and says it’s done. That family got that help because it was a huge media story, but there are thousands of other families in similar situations with no one to help them.

All the Ghosts in the Machine: The New Immortality of the Digital Age will be published in early 2019 (Robinson/Little Brown).

Follow all the latest news from Elaine on her website: www.elainekasket.com

Why you SHOULD/MUST/REALLY ought to break for lunch.

Our Front Of House Manager, Dorothée takes up the pro-lunchbreak campaign. Here she shares why dining Al-desk-o isn’t the best idea.

 

Does this look familiar ?

Most of us today, do not take time to properly sit down for lunch. We see lunch as a waste of time, precious time that could be spent working instead.

Well, here are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, and might end-up being counterproductive.

First, breaking for lunch is just that, an opportunity to get away from you desk and screen for a few minutes. When focused on your screen, sometimes it’s difficult to have the right distance. Breaking means taking a few minutes to breathe, socialize, and actually might make you more productive once you’ve gone back to work.

 

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From a Health point of view, well food is vital.Your body needs food, not only on a physical level, but also on an emotional one. When you eat quickly without paying attention to what you’re putting in your body, it actually prevents your brain and body from feeling satisfied, on both levels. Most diet specialists and nutritionist recommend focusing on the food you’re eating, instead of eating in front of a screen. This is because your body will become quickly more satisfied on every level, when you’re consciously eating.If you eat in front of a screen, you’re not connected to the sensation of hunger, so it’s hard to know when to stop, or whether you’ve actually had enough food. Food and eating are beautiful moments, and your body, and yourself, deserve the best!

Want to know more? Here is a great Huffington Post article on why eating at your desk is terrible for you, and your work.

Now you’re convince, take a look at our favourite Lunch Hotspots in Leyton.

Where to break for lunch when working from TTNY?

Our Front Of House Manager, Dorothée takes up the pro-lunchbreak campaign. Here she talks us through the TTNY teams favourite midday spots.

Fancy a trip South? Portugal is only 3 minutes away. PALMEIRA is your typical Portuguese coffeeshop, with delicatessen, sandwiches, pastries and true portuguese black coffee. Try a bolo de arroz, a really light cake made with rice flour, and drink a tight black Portuguese espresso. They also stock some really good products from Portugal, including the amazing GALLO olive oil, the national olive oil in Portugal, so tasty!

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Palmeira, 234 High Road Leyton, E10 5PS London. Open daily 09:00 – 22:00

Would you rather sunbathe and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet?

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Walk the 10 minutes it takes to get to Francis Road, and discover a quiet pedestrian little street, lined with pretty houses, and quirky shops and cafes. Sit on one of the benches to enjoy your takeaway in the sun, or have lunch at one of the small terraces along the street.

My Personal Favorite (but don’t steal MY bench!)

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My personal favorite are the pretty Coronation Gardens, just a 3-min walk from TTNY. Grab one of our sandwiches and just go lie down on the feshly cut grass, under the tall trees, between the patches of blooming flowers. The gardens are well-maintained, and don’t get too crowded at lunchtime, welcoming a quiet mix of mothers with pushchairs, workers enjoying their sandwiches on a bench, and youngsters playing ball. My personal favorite for a real break outdoors!

CORONATION GARDENS 13 Buckingham Rd, London E10 5NG

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How pretty is this?

Steph’s Personal Fav

Steph, being the sporty person of the team, loves going for a good run on her lunch break. Take it from her, there’s nothing nicer than running from TTNY to Leyton Marshes, and eating lunch there. Her run takes her from Ruckholt Road, through an industrial unit and a pretty natural path. Join her if you’re up for it!

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Ciara’s Personal Fav

When Ciara’s not around working from the ground floor, you’ll see her in DEENEY’s, the cafe up on the High Street. It is said that she has a table there, with her name engraved on a chair. Apparently, their Scottish-inspired street food is to die for! Try their famous Macbeth, winner of  Sandwich Fest 2017!

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If you have a favourite lunchtime spot, we’d love to hear about it. Share with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Behind The Artwork: Araki Koman

Araki Koman created the stunning monochrome mural in our creative coworking space, while her character and line illustrations were also adapted to use as large format wallpaper art on our top floor. We recently caught up with Araki to hear more about her background and hopes for this time next year…

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I’m a designer and illustrator from Paris, currently living in London. I’ve been drawing since I was young. As a child I drew a lot of fashion illustration, with a lot of colour. But at 16 I had a creative block, because I felt I was not good enough. So, for 10 years I was not doing any art. I was at Business School and I travelled. But while travelling I realised I could have been an artist, because I was meeting creative people everywhere and discovering inspiration again. At the time I was doing a master’s degree in International Marketing, but these people I met were making a living from their art and made me think if I should consider my choices again.

After graduating I worked in online marketing, but I wasn’t happy where I was as I wasn’t using my real potential. So, I decided to move from Paris and do a 9-month Graphic Design course in London. During my studies I was mostly using digital tools. I was happy to recover my creativity but felt I could be happier sketching. In the end it was a simple pen that helped me unlock my creativity. It was sketching with the pen that I found my style.

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For the mural on the first floor at This Time Next Year, well, that was actually quite stressful – it was a first for me and previously I’d never drawn on anything other than paper or textile. But it was also an interesting way to work, because the feeling of the drawings where different at a bigger-than-normal scale, while I was using different tools too. I was scared about losing my signature. But I’m really happy with how the mural came out as well, very happy with the result.

When I draw my work it’s in small format, the largest size is on A3. So, it was weird for me to see my small sketches become blown up and much bigger for the wallpaper. Again, I’m really, really happy with the wallpaper. It’s closer to my current minimalist style, closer to the direction I’d like to go in future with my work.

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I’m really impressed with the interior design at This Time Next Year, the furniture selection and the design of the space. I especially love the third floor which is very airy and light. It’s a nice place to work as a creative and I’m sure it will be inspiring for the freelancers and companies who will work from there.

And where would I like to myself this time next year? I’m planning to move to Japan this Autumn and will be there for a minimum of a year. I will see what kind of artistic opportunities I will have, but my dream would be to live there longer term.

You can keep up to date with Araki’s latest work via her Instagram, Twitter and website, while you can purchase items from her online store.

http://www.arakikoman.com/

https://www.instagram.com/araki.koman/

https://twitter.com/ArakiKoman

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/arakikoman