Love what you do, love where you work

My ideal workspace

In the garden at home under the tree; it’s just shaded enough that I can see my screen, whilst still sitting in the dappled sunlight. I’m not too far from the kitchen with its endless cups of tea, but I’m also in a space of my own. It is such a luxury to be able to work outside. There’s a bird feeder hanging from the tree above the table so there are always birds around, and a row of lavender plants along a raised flowerbed next to where I sit so it always smells good too! Many of the founding conversations about The Hoxby Collective happened under this tree, so it means a lot to me. The wifi sometimes drops out as it’s a bit too far from the router in the front room, but when it does I get out my A3 pad and a sharpie and use it as a chance to lay out my thoughts offline. Whilst this is my preferred place to work, it is of course a disappointingly rare occurrence due to our chilly UK climate, but when the weather’s balmy, that’s where I’ll be.

Sounds of Silence

This spot is both social (I can hear neighbours and the children playing somewhere over the fence) but also private and quiet so I have the headspace to think and get lots done. It also feels like such an indulgence to work outside, but given our whole business is built around flexible working I shouldn’t feel naughty for doing it!

Making a change

I find changing workspace every day or two really valuable, it’s amazing the little things in your immediate environment that can help you to see things differently and bring clarity to your thinking.

Everyday essentials

An accessible plug socket, amazing wifi, plenty of tea and snacks, a chair to curl up on for big conversations, and a warm jumper for if it gets cold.

Tools of the Trade

Embarrassingly I have a little kit that I take with me everywhere I go (Alex always laughs at my latest additions as I’m always improving it!). It contains lots of useful things, ranging from a phone charger, headphones, headphone splitter for when Al and I are on calls together, notepad, blue Bic biros, tote bag (I hate plastic bags so always have this in case I buy or get given something when I’m out), and business cards. I also can’t live without my mobile phone.

When not in the garden…

You can find me in the big comfy chair in the bay window in our living room when I want to be quiet, at the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn when I want somewhere to meet people or be surrounded by others (frequently members of the core team from The Hoxby Collective!), and Hoxby Homes, wherever it may be that particular month, when I love to be able to chat to the other Hoxbies and hear what they’re working on, how they’re feeling and what they’re excited about. There is always a wonderful sense of comradery and Alex and I are so proud to see the community growing all the time.

Lizzie Penny is Co-Founder and Joint CEO of The Hoxby Collective, and marketing agency Futureproof as well as a devoted mother to her two-year-old old son.

Originally published at on May 18, 2016.

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