Tips on Working Remotely From Creative Materials

We know that the transition to working remotely can be challenging for those of us who are used to an office or shared space work environment.  Below are links to some resources that our team have found helpful as well as some tips from the remote work veterans on our sales team.

Harvard Business Review – How to Transition Between Work Time and Personal Time
Hartford Business Journal – Hartford designers offer tips to maximize your home-office environment
Harvard Business Review – What Your Coworkers Need Right Now Is Compassion
Harvard Business Review – 15 Questions About Remove Work, Answered
Perkins & Will – Insta Office: A Solution to Your Work-From-Home Conundrum
Business Insider – 13 Ways to Practice Self-Care When You Work From Home

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Tips From Our Sales Team

Deirdre SchuthFrom Deirdre Schuth, Senior National Accounts Executive

  1. Have a designated work place: Sounds simple, and I’m lucky in that I actually have a true home office!  It is a separate room that I use almost exclusively for work.  I’m able to shut the door and keep out kids, pets, noise etc.  But even if I didn’t have a separate room, I would need to have a designated space that I would go to for work and go away from when the work day is done.
  2. Have a set routine:  For me that includes getting up at the same time every day and ‘getting dressed for work’.  Now I’m not saying I get up and put on work clothes, but what I don’t do is roll out of bed and go to work in my jammies.  I get up, get dressed, and get to work!  This activity sets the tone for me that it’s time for business!
  3. Make sure to set a strict end time.  This ended up being an important step for me when I transitioned from working in the office to working from home.   I’m a natural early riser, so I’m always hard at it by 6-7am, and it was really hard not to keep plugging away later and later into the evening!  For me setting a hard stop time was crucial – I make sure that I’m out of my office no later than 7pm.  I can leave earlier if my daily work load allows, but no matter HOW busy I am I really try to put a hard stop for 7pm.  If I have to I can come back to it after 10pm, or just get up a bit earlier the next day.  

 

Lisa CupoloFrom Lisa Cupolo, Architectural Sales Consultant, New England

  1. Create a dedicated space for not just your screen and laptop but anything else you use daily, such as notepad, calculator, etc.
  2. Print up or write goals for the day, week, month and year and make it visible near your desk or work space.  Writing on a whiteboard is nice or tacking up on a cork board.  You can even get smaller white boards for a smaller space.  Choose an area of your home that has a lot of natural light if possible.
  3. Make the space comfortable with a comfortable desk chair or standup desk, maybe a plant or flowers, etc.  If you can place the work space facing outward as opposed to facing toward a wall, that is best.
  4. Focus and block out time for certain activities that you want to accomplish each day and attempt to accomplish those tasks first before noon so that if other activities come up during the day, you at least got to your main tasks that produce the highest results and are productive. 
  5. Take breaks just like you would at the office to make a cup of coffee or go for a walk.
  6. Being on the road a lot, we have to work in the car, at a Panera bread, or a hotel, etc. From that, I have learned that I need to prioritize tasks by what is most important or send out emails that I know will require a response/wait time before going into a meeting so that when I am finished with the meeting, I will have the response and can proceed.  Timing is important.

Dana SauntryFrom Dana Sauntry, Architectural Sales Consultant, Houston, TX

I’ve been working from a  home office for over 8 years now and these are necessary for me to feel accomplished.

Set up a routine – 

  1. Get up at your normal time.  If you don’t have an immediate work related task, catch up on social networks, local news and take a minute to focus on your goals and what you’d like to accomplish, both professionally and personally. Set a productive tone to your day.
  2. While it is comfortable to stay in your yoga pants or gym shorts all day,  2- 3 days a week dress like your going into the office- take on your professional sense of self. This helps instill a feeling of purpose, accomplishment and success in the most minute tasks and actions.
  3. Most Important for me- find ways to connect- don’t shut yourself in a room with the door closed. Step outside for your coffee break or walk around while on a conference call. Keep your body and mind moving.

Douglas SalatinoFrom Doug Salatino, Senior National Account Manager

  1. Schedule everything!  Fill your calendar up with every detail you can think of so you always have a jam packed day – every phone call, meeting, task  – put it on the calendar so you don’t miss anything and you don’t find yourself with a void of nothing to do. 
  2. Keep moving – I set a timer to go off every 20 minutes – when it goes off, if I’m not in the middle of a phone call I’ll get up and do something – push ups, sit ups – run down the stairs and back up just to get the blood pumping.  I don’t have a fit bit or anything but I assume that would help do the same thing.
  3. Set up 1 phone call every day or at least every other day where you reach out to a vendor, current client, contractor, or co-worker that is also working remotely to keep up with “the outside world”.  Being out of the office you miss the interactions in the kitchen and lose the ability to just walk over to someone to talk about a topic out of the blue.  Keeping a steady stream of scheduled calls will keep you connected.

Cara Palumbo (Ash)From Cara Palumbo, Architectural Sales Consultant, New York, NY

  1. Sounds cheesy, but I find it really important to start the day with 10 minutes of some gratitude and intention. For example, 3 things you’re grateful for, and set 3 intentions for the day. Or some kind of formulation of that, through meditation or journaling, or just over a cup of coffee. Otherwise, I used to find myself just opening my computer as soon as I woke up and not shutting it down until it was pretty much time for bed. This leaves you starting to feel drained and completely lost in the work.
  2. I don’t know if anyone else would like this format, but I learned to schedule out my meals. Otherwise, similar to above, I would find myself just working through the day and forgetting to eat until I was starving, then shovel something in for 1 minute and then back to work. If I plan out lunch, even for 30min, it breaks up the day and keeps the sanity. Even an afternoon coffee or tea at lets say 4pm, gives me something to look forward to. IE if I look at the clock at 3 and still have a ton to do, I figure out what I can accomplish over the next hour before my coffee.
  3. To-do lists really work. Even if you don’t do them in the office, they can really keep you accountable for staying on track at home. Especially if you’re easily distracted by other activities and chores at home.

Jesse HaberstichFrom Jesse Haberstich, Architectural Sales Consultant, Washington D.C.

For those of you with families or roommates, when and if you can, it’s important to set expectations within your home.  If my office door is shut then my family knows that I’m busy and can text me if they need something.  If the door is open then come on in! (Obviously only works if you have designated office but even using a bed room…rules to apply.)