Like everyone, all of us here at The Riveter are adjusting to an uncertain new reality where everyday life looks very different than it has in the past. One piece of this shared evolution has been the mass shift among formerly office-bound employees toward working from home. In conversations IRL and in The Riveter (beta), we realized that as a company full of founders and entrepreneurs we have a wealth of information to share! Herewith, some tips:
Amy Nelson, Founder & CEO: It’s so hard to work from home with my army of small children. I have to shut myself in a room. We have one office.
Giovanna Lockhart, Chief Strategy Officer: I shut myself in rooms or in the basement, and they still find me! Since I now work from home all the time, they have gotten used to it and don’t bother me as much. I talk to them about how everyone’s work is different and mine is on the computer now instead of in an office like before.
Dyan Doody, Senior Product Designer: You win by not having to commute in, so use that as your excuse to be gentle to your body and give yourself time to make a healthy breakfast as a great start to your day.
Jed Paulson, Chief Digital Officer: Take a shower, get dressed as normal, eat breakfast and try not to drink too much coffee. I’m on Day 2 of WFH and I find myself missing the commute, strangely enough! It gives me a chance to call my parents or a friend and say hi, listen to a good podcast or two, or an Audible book. I might try walking around the neighborhood this evening on a “pretend” commute.
Sara Cardace, Senior Director of Content: Resist the siren song of your leggings drawer from time to time — checking in with your work clothes will help you keep an eye on how your clothes are holding up and whether you still like how they fit, so you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe if/when you decide to go back to the office. (#ithappenedtome)
Maxie McCoy, Head of Strategic Programming & Development: I’ve been working remotely for over a decade! Here are a few big things I’ve learned (the hard way): 1. Get dressed! Get dressed, get dressed, get dressed. Wear whatever makes you feel good, especially on days with big meetings or important calls.
Your posture will start to kill you. No matter how good you are at rolling your shoulders back and sitting up, if your screen is below you…when you’re in deep concentration or flow, your head/neck will melt down. I don’t have space in my little SF apartment for a whole office set up and large monitor – and I (used) to constantly travel. So portability was key. The WFH setup that’s been a game changer for me is the Roost lap top stand with an Apple Magic keyboard and mouse. It all weighs approximately nothing and fits on pretty much any table – tiny cafes included!
Make time for quick/social non-work chats. I don’t feel bad about calling my mom or bestie for a 10-minute chat in the middle of the word day. I need that “social” interaction to not go insane. When you’re home there’s no office cooler chats to help energize you. And we neeeeeed social interaction!
Lacie Sheldon, Senior Accountant: Set up your work station the night before with your action items for the day easily accessible — it feels like having a personal assistant.
Danielle McGovern, VP of Corporate Engagement & Strategy: My husband and I both work from home and live in a one bedroom in Manhattan. The night before each work day we look at our calendars and see who has important calls at what times so that we can work around each other and one of us can leave if need be. Another tip is to not forget to eat! As someone who works on the east coast but sometimes works west coast hours, it is tough to remember to tear yourself away for lunch when things are just getting started on the west coast! Try to set a timer and block time for yourself to grab lunch.
Sarah Thomas, Director of HR: Have a place that is just for work so you don’t ALWAYS feel like you are at work.
Amy Wise, Conversion Manager: Get up. Walk around. Stretch. Talk to another human so you still feel human. Make sure to give yourself a stopping point. It’s so easy to keep going when you live in your workspace. Create a dedicated office space: My husband came in to say goodbye and give me a kiss before he headed out to work the other day. I was on a Google Hangout and he thought my camera was off (half the time it is, half the time it isn’t) so he walked in and kissed me not knowing it was on. Oops!
Hannah Rosentreter, Events Manager: Give yourself one or two tasks you’re allowed to do while you work from home (aka laundry, or walking the dog)… that way your WFH day doesn’t fall into a “do all your chores and forget to work day.” Also, be aware of your coffee intake… when I work from home I feel like I just keep brewing pot after pot simply because I can… but I DO NOT ever need that much caffeine!”
Teresa Kotwis, Chief Financial Officer: Make sure you know what your camera is pointing at as a backdrop. I had one of my past CEOs laugh at the iron and ironing board in the background. Also, sometimes my home office isn’t very presentable!
Sinead Cowan-Kuist, Product Manager: Go on a walk before work and during lunch. Sit at a table, not the couch. Get dressed for work!
Catherine Siverts, Analytics Manager: Try to follow the same rituals you have during a normal work day. Getting set up, collecting your thoughts, using a similar setup. Have a start and end time to your day, so you have established work time.
Hailey Bortel, Associate Marketing Manager: I’ve always found it helpful to take breaks and move my body throughout the day! It can be so easy to just park in your workspace and not move, especially if you live in a smaller space (like I do). I set reminders on my phone for every 30 minutes so I get up, stretch, and get some water. I’m also a big fan of the “pretending you’re going in to an office” mindset!
Joan Coraggio, VP of Partnerships: It’s hard to draw boundaries to your day sometimes. I have a friend who is a screenwriter and he has one baseball hat that he wears when he’s writing. He takes it off if he goes in to the kitchen to make lunch and at the end of the day, hanging it on his computer. He swears by that method to help him mentally shift gears.
My husband also works from home but his work is more fluid and not phone call related. I’ve created a sign I put up when I’m on a call so he doesn’t walk in to the room booming…”Hey Babe, where’s the…..?”
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