Get us in your inbox

Search
Photograph: Koko Brown
Photograph: Koko Brown

The 'Desk-ination' Diaries: the artist

This summer, we’ve teamed up with Three to help you discover the joys of working remotely across the UK. Find out what happened when performer, vocal artist and writer Nadine Rose Johnson swapped her place in London for a retreat in Stroud

Written by Time Out. Paid for by Three
Advertising

Tired of looking at the same view as you work from home? If all you need to get your job done is access to the internet, then we’re here to tell you to ditch the desk and head off to a ‘desk-ination’. The folks at Three believe that life needs a big network and Three has been recognised as the UK’s fastest 5G network in Q1-Q2 2021 according to network intelligence provider, Ookla. So free yourself of your own four walls and drive your inspiration off the charts by changing up your workspace this summer.

We thought we’d kick-start your plans by letting some savvy Londoners tell us their remote working stories. For more inspiration on the best places to work outside your home, check out our guide to ten wonderful 'desk-ination' spots in the UK. We’re also giving you the chance to win a beachside ‘desk-ination’ in Devon – find out more here!

‘Desk-ination’ diary: Nadine-Rose Johnson
Photograph: Nadine-Rose Johnson

‘Desk-ination’ diary: Nadine-Rose Johnson

When I was presented with the opportunity of going on a workcation, I couldn’t understand how it’d even be possible. We go on hols to get away from work, not to run toward it, right? But after the 18 months we’ve had with cancelled/postponed work, loss of income, being in isolation and, for some, the loss of loved ones, who wouldn’t need some time away? So when a colleague invited me to the ‘Amplify’ artist’s retreat hosted by The Nest Collective, how on earth could I say no? It was a three-day residential stay for artists from musical/performance disciplines that offered the opportunity to reconnect with nature as well as escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Offer me a chance to get out of the city and head to the beautiful valleys of Stroud? I’m in.  

We stayed at Hawkwood College, a beautiful building, rich in history and surrounded by acres of land as far as the eye could see – I instantly felt relaxed. After an hour or two of an introduction to the land, and to each other, I took my laptop for a walk and sat by a stream; before I knew it, I had thrashed out multiple emails, booked myself two gigs and managed to add more to a new piece I’d been working on. All that, and barely any time had gone by. 

The days were perfectly rounded up with amazing meals, sing-songs and some great sharing of talent and passion around the fire pit. You might be thinking, with so much going on, how did I fit work around it? Despite all the group activities throughout the following days, from yoga to singing, from thought-provoking discussions to night-time nature walks, all of the activities were optional and were spaced out.

It’s hard to explain until you experience the magic of a real workcation, but when you feel relaxed, surrounded by beauty and alleviated of pressure, working can be so much easier and productive.

Four top tips for making the most of your workcation
Photograph: Koko Brown

Four top tips for making the most of your workcation

Accept the process It may seem as if working in beautiful surroundings could be distracting, but switching your office chair for a deckchair or hammock might just give you that inspiration and energy you’ve been looking for. And if you find it difficult to adjust at first, give it some time and let yourself fall into the new rhythm. 

Carry a notepad and pen When you have a thought or remember something you need to do, write it down! When you’re back at your laptop, you’ll be able to flesh out your idea more fully. 

Keep the curtains open There’s something so therapeutic about waking up with the sun instead of with an alarm; you feel more energised and less agitated.

Join in with the activities! Yes, you have work to do, but you can’t work well if your head isn’t in the space, right? This is why you’re here! Indulge a little so that you can work better.

Nadine Rose Johnson is a vocal artist, performer, workshop facilitator and writer from south London. She is best known for her multi-award-winning show ‘Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster’, which will hopefully resume international touring in 2022.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Best-selling Time Out offers
        Advertising