My Virtual Assistant
A year has transpired since we set up shop in Studio 125, and I’m still not totally used to working with other people. Not necessarily working with, but in proximity to others. While I spent 6 years in an open office setting, I worked solo for a very long time. As a contractor, I would be sent to an empty office to work only to mix with others in meetings. As a graphic designer, from the moment I arrived to the moment I left, headphones were on to drown out the chatter of the open floor plan. Recently, before I had this space, our little team would work from home, meeting once a week for status. I was all alone. And like the true introvert, I loved it.
These days, I share the office with our growing W&D team (seven employees!) and a few desk renters. It’s been exciting to watch the team grow and to feel reinvigorated with all the hustle and bustle of the sounds and energy of being a part of a team.
Maybe a bit too much.
While I’ve spent a vast portion of my career on my little island, I’ve never been “the boss” in such a setting. I found myself having sidebars and meetings on a whim, and realized that I might have been setting pretenses that didn’t exactly promote a productive work environment. In addition to these off-the-cuff meetings, I found it really hard to concentrate in a group setting. I was focused on what everyone else was working on, not what I had to get done. Because so much of the work I was doing this year was designing product lines and looking at the future of WD, I needed to FOCUS and found I couldn’t work in a setting that was open and airy. While I loved conversation and ideation, on the fly “brainstorm” sessions kept me from actually working. I would leave the office at the end of the day realizing that I had got very little done. I craved a small cave where I could hole up and make things happen.
Luckily, we had an extra “war room” that I converted to a small office. Big enough to house my desk, a chair and a little floor lamp (to off-set the fluorescent lighting) and nothing else.
No distractions. My work cave was (almost) complete.
While I had just about everything at my disposal, I was still missing one of the most essential tools in my creative arsenal: music. Music was the one constant in my career; no matter where I worked, I had music to fit the mood. Over the years, I had paired music genres with the project I was working on:
Graphic Design/Illustration – Chance the Rapper
Writing – Songs from Woody Allen Movies (one of our most popular playlists from way back in the day)
My little office had all the creature comforts I needed to work, save for music. My laptop speakers weren’t cutting it, and I didn’t want to use headphones anymore, especially because I worried people would think they were bothering me if they needed to pop their heads in. This was my office, and I wanted to finally be able to blast Fleetwood Mac as loud as I damn well pleased.
Sonos reached out to see if I would be interested in trying the new Sonos One, their new smart speaker, in the office. I immediately accepted and couldn’t wait to try it out in the space.
I’ve always wanted a home speaker system; the ability to sync all rooms (for our new tradition of dancing with August to his favorite song: Escapade by Janet Jackson) to having different rooms play different music (sometimes Joe just isn’t into Lionel Richie). The Sonos One can connect to a more significant Sonos home system, but for my purposes, I only needed the music to fill my cozy little nook. Because it uses voice command and connects to Spotify, I can jump from playlist or artist depending on mood or project.
All the music features are great, but what I value most about the Sonos One is that it’s connected to Amazon Alexa. What does this mean? My stream-of-consciousness thinking and needs have finally met its match. So in addition to asking Alexa via Sonos One to crank up the jams, I can have Alexa, order more pens or office supplies from Amazon. No more will I have to wrack my brain trying to remember what I swore we needed, nor search for that post-it note with a list of groceries. All without me lifting a finger. The perfect (virtual) companion for me; an assistant that will take notes and order supplies, without distraction.
Ed. note: This post was sponsored by Sonos One. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
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