Hi, friends! Donna here chatting a bit about working from home today (and from 3,000 miles away, no less!) and what has worked for me + our company over the past 10 months. I’ll start by saying that the obvious perks that come to mind about working from home are true: the day-to-day flexibility, not having to wear makeup or style my hair, access to a real kitchen for lunch, etc., but it’s not always the most conducive set-up for small businesses like ours and sometimes the isolation can make me a little stir crazy. For the most part, though, I'm really loving this season and embracing it because it’s dwindling fast.
My husband and I currently reside in New York while he finishes up grad school, so working for Our Heiday has been the biggest and most timely blessing as we navigate life across the country from family and friends. Not only does it provide us with an income, but working from home allows me to hold down the fort, quite literally, while he’s at the mercy of his rigorous program: meals are made, laundry is done, our space is clean...the little things that minimize the stress of daily living. I jumped aboard Our Heiday last May, so I’ve spent a good part of the year learning what makes me most effective in my role while I can’t be physically present. My top 5 below!
1. Don’t take advantage of the situation. Working from home means that you’re fully accountable for yourself, your time, and your responsibilities. Somebody is trusting you to do a phenomenal job in your position, and I strongly believe in honoring that relationship. The fruits of your labor will speak for themselves! I’m in a unique position to be working with my sister for a company I really believe in, so the thought of cutting corners doesn’t cross my mind. Still, I can understand the temptation of moseying around for an afternoon and pushing off emails until tomorrow, but I think holding fast to your own integrity is crucial when working remotely.
2. Get out of the house! My husband uses our shared car on a daily basis, so I’m not left with many options for this one, but I do make it a point to take a long walk several times a week when the weather is nice. I take an hour to walk around a really beautiful park in my neighborhood while listening to a great podcast or sermon (or just my own thoughts!) to clear my head and get some fresh air. There’s something so therapeutic about the outdoors and I read once that taking a walk fosters a lot of creativity! I believe it.
3. Meet with the team. We’ve blogged about this before, but our team pow wows weekly (I jump in on FaceTime), and this time together is so rejuvenating! It’s so helpful to touch base collectively and regularly - especially for me because I’m not in the studio to participate in the day-to-day action.
4. Establish a strong system for communication and project management. This one is related to number 2, but we’ve found that keeping our team connected throughout the week is paramount.
5. Shut off! This is universally probably the most difficult aspect of working from home. Because when does the day really “end” when you never leave your office? Without the physical and temporal separation between work and home, it’s easy to answer emails all evening and into the weekends, but I try to work during the work hours of the studio (within reason) and completely shut off when my husband and I are spending time together. I’ve trained myself to ignore the “ping” of an email notification when I’m not on duty - it can wait!
It's amazing that we live in a time that conducting business across the country (even the world!) is so seamless. What a time to be alive! I know when this season comes to a close and I’m officially in the studio for good, I’ll look back at the days of fuzzy socks and messy buns with a little wistfulness, but I’m so looking forward to putting on a little blush and mascara and being around a dynamic group of women on a daily basis! If you’ve gone days at a time without seeing another human (besides your hubby), you’d probably feel that way too :)
PS. We absolutely do not have the luxury of a gorgeous home office in our apartment! These images are purely for our viewing pleasure :)