Working from home and co-working spaces is the norm for the Clarity Quest Marketing team. When I started Clarity Quest, in 2001, people outside the West Coast thought the idea of a virtual company was really weird and a recipe for failure. It’s been nothing but successful and now we are en vogue!
Now that many professionals — who just a few weeks ago worked in offices — find themselves working from home alongside their spouses, significant others, children, and pets, we’ve gathered some expert advice from our veteran remote team.
While a great tech stack is important, so is finding a routine that works for you.
Get ready for the day
David Gomez, Senior Marketing Consultant says:
“Groom yourself, get ready and eat breakfast like you would if you were leaving the house to go to work. It helps to get you prepared to switch to work mode.”
“If you can, work in a well-lit place. It can help with feeling fatigued and improve your mood.”
Chris Slocumb, President gives away a secret:
“One of the benefits of working from home is I can fit in a quick treadmill workout because I don’t always have time to dress up, then dress down. I keep a blazer and scarf in my home office so even if the Zoom camera pops on, I still look professional.”
Marla Sokolowski, Marketing Systems Lead offers her top tips:
- Prepare your work to-do list the night before and use block scheduling.
- Try to get in 30-60 minutes of work before your house wakes up, you’ll feel that much more ahead.
- Find an office spot where you feel most productive and the least distracted.
Brian Shilling, Branding and Digital Marketing Director says:
“Practice social distancing – from your family! Many people working from home have family members at home as well. It’s important to set clear boundaries. If you don’t have a dedicated office, create a space … and make sure it’s off-limits to others during the workday.”
Melanie Hilliard, Senior Marketing Consultant agrees:
“My husband just started working from home a few days ago and we’ve set physical boundaries when we’re working. I continue to work in our home office and will close the door when I need to get on a conference call, while he has set up his space in our dining room. Our cat, however, has no respect for our boundaries and has been sent to his room a few times to avoid an appearance on a video conference call or two!”
Even creatives need structure
Clarity Quest’s Senior Creative Director, Casey Frushour, has been working from home full-time for 12 years. Here’s what he has learned:
Don’t forget to reward yourself. If the siren song of your living room’s flat-screen TV, comfy couch, and streaming accounts is calling too loudly, then it’s time to set up a goal and rewards system. Here’s one: work two hours on a project you’ve been putting off and then reward yourself with an episode of The Office.
Make time-sensitive to-do lists. Sometimes putting yourself on the clock can help you focus, I know it works for me. Make a to-do list with realistic goals that you must complete by a specific deadline. Bonus tip: break down big projects into bite-sized ones with more deadlines, that way you can see how you will get to the end of those big projects!
Many people are also juggling their new work from home routine with children at home.
Marla, a mother of two, offers this advice:
- If you have little people, try to schedule your kids on your work schedule.
- Build breaks and lunch into your workday to create free time for conversation or help if the kids need it.
- Leverage their quiet time during phone meetings.
- A 5-minute GoNoodle break is good for everyone and gives littles of all ages a way to connect with you in between your workday.
Give yourself grace
As people across the globe find new ways to learn, work, and socialize, here’s one last tip from Marla worth remembering today, and every day: give yourself grace.