Working From Home: Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices

Designer Emily A. Clark
Emily A. Clark's Office

Working from Home

Like so many others, we have spent the past days working from home and trying to juggle projects and goals remotely. In a lot of ways we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity – it means our business is still up and running, and, unlike the many heros still reporting to vital jobs, we have the luxury of staying inside our own four walls.

Still, we are navigating the best tips, tricks, and practices for working at home since it’s new territory for us, as it is for many who are used to reporting to an office, or at the very least to a coffee shop, coworking space, or campus.

Here’s what has helped us so far.

Find somewhere quiet, and set “regular” hours and regulat breaks
Finding a spot in your home where you won’t be distracted is step 1 (and maybe easier said than done). Make sure it’s a dedicated space, not just your bed or couch. Step 2 is to give yourself a normal framing of hours and breaks, to help with focus and productivity. Start and end work around the same time, take breaks for meals and water, and to walk around (not to do your laundry or organize the pantry). It’s also important to actually unplug at the end of the day so work has a real “ending” and remain unplugged first thing in the mornings, too. 

… But allow for some flexibility
Naturally, things will come up at home that wouldn’t in the office, so allow for some moments of change. Rather than being frustrated by the interruptions of your family, children, or pets, or frustrated when it seems like your focus wavers more than it would at work, accept what is. Everyone is navigating changes, and you’re human, too. Reset, and then get back to it.

Don’t get sucked into… everything else on the internet
When you’re working mainly from a computer, laptop, or phone it’s easy to end up surfing the web, reading the news, and scrolling more than usual. Avoid the urge, or actually utilize browser blockers or turn on the Screen Time limits on your iPhone to keep some checks and balances on what you’re clicking.

Add something to your space
Keep your spirits up and make the space you’re working in comfortable, comforting, and welcoming so that you’ll actually want to be there. Add a throw pillow or blanket to your chair, turn on some soft music, light a candle, or add flowers or a new plant. You can even freshen your home work space while supporting local: buy some fresh flowers during your once a week/every two week store trip; Cactus Club is offering free local deliveries of plants; Made by Kippen offers coconut soy candles for online purchase and places like House of Nomad Shop, Theory Design and Mackenzie Bryant and Co. offer local options for throw pillows and throw blankets.

cactus club
Cactus Club – photo credit Jamey Price

Keep communicating
Be sure to maintain communication with your team virtually – not just for work talk, but for day-to-day chatting as well. Staying connected boosts productivity and keeps (some) of the feelings of isolation at bay. Google Hangouts, Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are all great options for “face-to-face” but you can keep it simple and just hop on a call to hear each other’s voices, too.

We got this, y’all!