Where I Work: Joseph, the social media manager and photographer selling socks – Metro.co.uk - Freelance Rack

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Where I Work: Joseph, the social media manager and photographer selling socks – Metro.co.uk

Where I Work: Joseph Seager, who runs a sock shop, a social media managing business, and a photography blog
Joseph wears a lot of hats. Metaphorical ones. (Picture: Joseph Seager)

Our daily series Where I Work is taking a look at the reality of working from home, chatting to a different person each day about how they’re getting work done in lockdown.

Today we’re (virtually) hanging out with Joseph Seager, 34, who wears a lot of different work-themed hats.

His main day job is running a social media management business, but Joseph also runs an online shop selling socks, a photography YouTube channel, and a finance blog.

Since lockdown began he’s been doing all this from the home in Leyland, Lancashire, that he shares with his wife of ten years and their three sons.

Hey, Joseph! How has coronavirus changed the way you work?

I’ve been working at home for almost the last eight years. I took redundancy from a corporate job and used that money to pay the bills while I set up my own business. That was before we had children and I’ve never looked back.

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The only way that coronavirus has changed things is I lost a number of clients in the same week as they stopped trading. Fortunately some continued working and the different arms to my business meant we still had some income coming in. I was also able to use the opportunity to launch the new blogs.

Where I Work: Joseph Seager at his desk
The dad-of-three runs a social media management business, an online sock shop, a photography YouTube, and a finance blog (Picture: Joseph Seager)

Talk us through your working space

My office actually has two desks in it as it was originally set up as a joint office for my wife and I.

She is now more of a stay-at-home mum, doing bits of freelance work here and there around the kids so doesn’t use her desk too much. The office is quite small, a 3 metre square space with a big window at the front and a small one to the side.

It’s got good lighting and my desk faces towards the street so I can see activity and feel a little more connected to the outside world.

My desk is set up with my desktop computer. As a photographer I have a number of my own images on the wall and also some quotes and film posters that inspire me. I also have photos of my kids and drawings they’ve done for me.

As I have different businesses going on, everything has its own space or drawer or unit. Ikea is fantastic for affordable storage and we have a number of units dotted around the office. I probably have too many cameras and tripods.

Where I Work: Joseph Seager in his van
He’s worked from home for years and loves the freedom it gives him (Picture: Joseph Seager)

What’s a working day like in lockdown?

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Every day is different, that’s partly why I like it so much.

I break up my social media work by day so I’ll be working on one platform on a Monday and a different one on a Wednesday. If I go out to take images and make videos I often take Tuesday for this. That’s because I noticed a pattern emerged where I found it harder to focus on work on Tuesday than any other day of the week. I have no idea why but using that day as a creative day seems to help the rest of my week flow.

I’m usually done by either 4:45pm so I can make tea and eat together as a family. If I haven’t done everything I need to do that day I’ll return to the office once the kids are in bed.

I also finish early one day a week to take my middle child to his cricket club.

How has working from home in lockdown been? Have you come up against any difficulties?

The only challenge I’ve come up with is being distracted – the children needing me for something or the postman knocking on the door. I used to find it really hard to get my head back into gear once I’d been distracted but I find it easier these days.

I also find it hard to take time off when ill. As you’re at home and no one will do the work for you, you do perhaps work more when you should be resting.

Where I Work: Joseph Seager's photography on his wall
Some of Joseph’s photography (Picture: Joseph Seager)

How are doing mentally in lockdown?

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We haven’t left the house because I wasn’t convinced it would only affect the elderly like they said it would. With a six-year-old, a three-year-old and a baby I didn’t want anything coming back to young immune systems.

While I spend the majority of my time here anyway, I have missed walking to the shops or going out with the camera.

I’ve had my own mental health issues with depression and have used the freedom of my work and photography to battle against it.

While I can’t get out and take photos in amazing locations at the moment, I’ve been stargazing and taking photos of the moon from the back garden. This has helped me stay creative and focused, continuing to fight that mental battle against isolation.

Where I Work: Joseph seager
He’s been launching new blogs too (Picture: Joseph Seager)

What are your personal rules for getting work done at home?

I try to be at my desk by 9am. When we moved house we converted the garage into an office (and separate utility room) so I would have a dedicated area to work in. Previously to this I had a makeshift desk in the space under the stairs.

I stay focused by doing blocks of work. I’ll often break these up by going through to the kitchen to make a cup of tea which stretches the legs and gives you a different four walls for a few minutes. I’ll also walk to the bathroom upstairs if I need to loo rather than going to the downstairs toilet in order to get a bit of exercise.

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My photography YouTube channel gives me a reason to get into the outdoors once a week and we have a campervan, so I sometimes head off for a night to The Lake District or North Wales to capture images and make videos. This break from the ‘normal’ helps gives me headspace to stay focused.

Where I Work: Joe
A Lego version of Joseph’s desk, made by his kids (Picture: Joseph Seager)

What advice do you have for people newly working from home?

My advice would be to have a dedicated space if you are able to. Give yourself office hours and make time each day to get away from the desk. Even if that’s just eating your lunch in a different room and enjoying that short walk to the post box.

Use Spotify for ‘stress relief’ playlists which help you to focus. I often work on bank holidays as I know people won’t be emailing me so I won’t get distracted by my inbox.

Do you have an unusual working-from-home setup? To get involved in Where I Work, email Ellen.Scott@Metro.co.uk.

Share your views in the comments section below.

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