In the interest of being real, you should know that my ‘home office’ is not a picture-perfect Neptune one, as much as I wish it was. It is, in fact, my husband’s desk, which I’ve somewhat reluctantly allowed to be in our open-plan kitchen and living space, if only because it means that we don’t spend evenings in separate rooms. Right now, it features our combined collection of black cables, which I studiously try to tidy away each evening, what feels like half the contents of the bookcases at Neptune HQ (a writer can’t really write without three different dictionaries and every back issue of Stories, surely?), and my desk chair, also temporarily borrowed from the office, that may not be very stylish but is, importantly, very comfortable. And as for what’s behind me? Invariably, it’s a collection of waiting-to-be-washed dishes sitting on the kitchen work surface. So, while my own view is of the bookcase that divides our kitchen and living room, filled with all my favourite cookbooks and crockery, the one my colleagues see in every video chat is decidedly less flattering.
However, while my background-tidying skills are woefully lacking, I have been witness to some much more professional and pretty backdrops in the past few weeks. Here’s what I’ve gleaned with each team meeting for both you and I to take note from