10 Women in Tech Share Their Tips for Working From Home
How to stay productive and positive while working remotely
With the outbreak of COVID-19, scores of people are finding themselves working remotely for the first time. Trying to stay productive while at home with so many distractions can be overwhelming, so we asked women tech leaders what they were doing to work from home successfully. Along with getting a great pair of noise canceling headphones (game changer!), they have 10 excellent tips to help you thrive in a work-from-home environment.
Share your favorite work-from-home tips in the comments!
1. Enjoy the outdoors (to the extent that your situation allows)
"Getting outside during the day is crucial for staying happy and productive. It's also one of the perks of not being tied to an office. Most days, I break my day into halves with the middle part of the day (the sunniest!) set aside for playing in the outdoors." -Kiersten Brezina, Community Manager at Karat, Nomad (Currently, Arizona)
2. Create a lively workspaceSchool notebook with coffee cup, smartphone and plant on wooden table. Top view from above
"Bring life to your desk. If you can, work where there are windows and direct sunlight, and put a lovely plant-friend on your desk. This will stimulate your mind and protect your eyes from painful overhead lights." - Lauren Batcheck, Senior Director of People, Good Money, Utah
3. Stay organized with a daily schedule
Mary's Nespresso machine is one of her must work from home items
"A few things that have kept me very productive during these trying times, is creating a daily schedule and to do list- all while holding myself accountable to stick to it. (Trello Boards or any free project management tools are great to utilize!) " -Mary Sellaro, Talent Branding & Events Specialist, CarGurus, Cambridge MA
4. Spend time with your coworkers - virtually
"Have time to get together, without an agenda with your team, it can be even do work while everyone is on zoom, so that there is a feeling of others around you." - Camila Franco, Senior Director of Product, Good Money, California
5. Break large projects in to bite sized chunks
"Focus on the outcomes of your work. It is easy to get overwhelmed. Break big outcomes into smaller steps. What do you need to do to get that larger outcome complete? Do that next step. Focus on moving the ball towards those outcomes. Don't get wrapped up in distractions. Start small with three big things you need to accomplish, do those and then prioritize the next three things." - Debra Brown, our VP Sales, Americas, Chainalysis, NYC
6. Making parenting a team effort
"I'm fortunate in that I am able to alternate hours with my husband so that we can both continue to WFH while caring for our young son. I'm glad to have his company during the day and have appreciated the opportunity to be more involved in our son's development." - Natasha Jaffe, Tech Lead Manager, Flatiron Health, NYC
7. Add lots of breaks into your day — and know that it's okay to treat yourself, literally!
"Take breaks at home that you could never take in the office. Take non-lunch food breaks. Learn how to make just one dessert that can last for a few days. It could be anything but it has to be something you love. Leave your computer and take bites of this often. I had cheesecake for breakfast between morning calls today, and I'm not mad about it. [Also] find something that smells amazing and be present in it for a couple of minutes. Burn incense, essential oils in your aromatherapy machine, or put your favorite lotion on your hands. Anything that brings you peace for a few moments. Breathe as deeply as you can and get the oxygen levels rising in your body." - Julia Landry, Design Director, Good Money, Texas
8. Enjoy your furbabies (and set yourself up for success by designing a space you love)
Diana Tuck's trusty four-legged sidekick
"I have 4 great office mates - two dogs and two cats - who are readily available for impromptu cuddles. It's a great stress reliever! I've also surrounded my office with plants inside and out, with a few bird feeders outside my windows. And noise-cancelling headphones are a must!" - Diana Tuck, Software Engineer, Elastic, WA.
For more great tips, be sure to check out Elastic's latest blog post about working remotely.
9. Get dressed like you're going to work
"Get dressed every day: What you wear can really affect the way you work. Wearing clothing that you would normally wear to go outside helps set the tone for the day." - Chloe Chow, Senior Product Manager, Good Money, California
10. Be empathetic
"I put myself in others' shoes, and I think that's why I like working in Human Resources. My job is global, so if I can't envision what it's like to work in Hong Kong during political unrest, or London during a complete national lockdown, I can't direct a team which designs the most effective programs to help our employees who work and live there.
It's also important to think really locally, to the people all around you, right now. Look at every situation from as many viewpoints as you can. Whether you're in a meeting, or managing a lateral relationship, or managing 'up' to your boss, think about what it might like to be in their shoes." - Renee Christoff, Head of Global Associate Engagement and Corporate Responsibility, T. Rowe Price, Maryland
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