Embracing the #WFH life.

Adam Beasley
6 min readJun 19, 2021

Like many of us, I’ve been working from home since March 2019. Thankfully, my employer, Vervint, has kept me gainfully employed and busy throughout this whole pandemic. It’s been a blessing, but also a challenge to figure how and where to get work done. When I first started the #WFH life, I had a Costco folding table in my bedroom. It took me a few months to assemble the optimal environment in my home to be productive.

This is less of a commentary on the pandemic and working from home and more of a visual tour of my home office and the curation of pieces I’ve put into it to make it feel like “home”.

First off, a nod to pre-pandemic work life! A photo booth snap from the Midwest UX 2019 conference in Chicago with my awesome co-workers Christy and Frances. I really enjoy the team I’m on and this is a great memory of a fun conference we attended.

Secondly, photos from a fun family trip to Florida meeting some dolphins at Sea World and some nice reminders from our office. Next to the family photos is an award our team received for Excellence in Emerging Innovation from Caterpillar. I’ve been working on digital products for Caterpillar for over 3 years and it’s been a blast doing some fun, challenging work for them. Also, Lifesavers! Our amazing Grand Rapids office manager, Lisa, keeps our office fully stocked with Lifesavers mints placed strategically throughout the office. I borrowed this container and a handful of Lifesavers as a tactile and visual reminder of Lisa and her ever-present smile and helpful personality! Thanks for being awesome Lisa!

There are also a few nice reminders of trips taken. Trips, remember those?! The photo on the left is my arrangement of rocks, beach glass, and some driftwood found at Point Betsie Lighthouse and Empire Beach. I spent my high school years near Traverse City, but for me, the Leelanau Peninsula represents all the beauty that Michigan has to offer. My wife and I have taken several day trips up around M-22. One of my favorite things to do is search for unique rocks on the beaches of Lake Michigan. On this particular trip, I was searching for smaller rocks to keep. I love this area of Michigan, so it’s nice to have a reminder of fun times had there.

The second photo is a souvenir from a whole world away, both a different time and a vastly different place. When I was born, my dad was stationed in Germany with the US Army. I was an infant when we came back to the states, so I have no memories of that time there. I spend my grade school and middle school years growing up in Papua New Guinea. Some of our closest friends on Manus Island were German missionaries from Bad Leibenzell. In 1990, my family was returning from our final trip to Papua New Guinea. We wanted to make this last trip memorable, so we came back through Germany instead of Hong Kong and Honolulu. We landed in Frankfurt before driving to see our friends in the Black Forest area. My dad always likes to pick up small, meaningful souvenirs when he travels. He had researched things unique to this area of Germany and discovered meerschaum pipes. He found a small tobacco shop in Frankfurt and picked out this simple pipe. It sat on a shelf at their house throughout my high school and college years and, at some point, in a moment of downsizing, dad offered it to me. This pipe is meaningful partly because it’s from the country where I was born and also because we still have dear friends there, but mostly because it’s from my dad as part of his eclectic souvenir collection from around the world.

The essentials–Coffee. Learning new things. I’m not a coffee snob. Instant coffee while backpacking, I’m okay with that. Hot bean water at a diner, cool. But when I’m home, I make pour-over coffee in my Hario V60. I prefer drinking from a ceramic cup, but I’ve been using this insulated tumbler so that my coffee doesn’t get cold so far. I get beans delivered to my house every 2 weeks thanks to Roast Umber. It’s perfect!

And a small selection of books related to UX design. I enjoy learning new things and challenging what I know. These are a few books that I reference often when brainstorming solutions to gather information from clients and their customers. O’Reilly has an amazing library of resources! I remember when I was at Kendall, some of my classmates were upset that the computers in the lab didn’t have the most up-to-date software. I remember thinking that the mindset of continuous learning was way more important than the most recent software. We were using Macromedia Freehand and Quark Xpress and those platforms are obsolete now!

I could certainly do more to add personality, but there are a few things that I’ve started with. I’ve been a Radiohead fan since 1992 when they released Creep. They’ve been an amazing band to follow. I’ve been amazed at how they’ve recreated their sound several times. This image is from their The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Time release.

My wife has done a beautiful job with the plants in our house and she graciously takes care of these as well. I love having them in my office to watch them grow and change, I just haven’t invested the time to learn how to take care of them.

Last, but certainly not least, some tools of the trade. I’ve come to appreciate sticky notes as a form of note-taking. The process of taking notes, prioritizing, shifting, and then transferring them into a digital format helps lock in important data. My friend and former co-worker Sung shared his method of flipping the notes upside-down so that they could be stacked well if you don’t fill the entire square; it’s a habit now.

I also really appreciate the simplicity of these cord tie-downs. It helps keep my desktop looking clean and organized.

A few folks from the Vervint (formerly OST,) design studio. Photo from Christy Ennis-Kloote

There’s something special about our design crew at Vervint. I really enjoy collaborating with them and gathering when it makes sense. But I’ve also grown fond of this work-from-home life; no commute, no hard pants, no trying to figure out where to take a call. It’s been a fun adjustment.

Thanks for taking a tour of my home office! Let me know what you enjoy about the space you’ve created!

--

--

Adam Beasley

Husband, father, son. Michigan native, 3rd culture kid. Design Lead at Vervint by day, hobbyist mountain biker & weight lifter, cheeseburger enthusiast.