How to Be Better at Working From Home, According to the Experts

How to Be Better at Working From Home, According to the Experts

Courtesy of Orion Pictures

Increasingly, working from home feels like it could one day be the new status quo. It’s easier than ever to be remote, whether you freelance, live away from your company’s HQ, or find yourself trapped by a bomb cyclone on a winter day. But anyone who has ever felt the glee of waking up slightly later than usual and foregoing a commute also knows that a perfectly good workday can be squandered thanks to idle puttering and endless snack-eating. So to find out a little bit more about #WFH hygiene, we reached out to Gianna Wurzl and Ashley Sumner, founders of the start-up Quilt. Quilt, which has already received a fair amount of buzz, and $1 million in funding, aims to connect women who want to work from home, but together. The Los Angles–based company allows members to, for $20 a session, go to another member’s home for a day of productive co-working. “We are not just for millennials or entrepreneurs,” Wurzl and Sumner say, perhaps intuiting what other people might assume about their business. “Our community is built for the working woman.” With that sentiment in mind, the cofounders share their tips for working effectively from home. (And yes, in case you were wondering, I did write this article from home, with the benefit of their advice.)

Where to Start

“Put your phone away! And work next to women. There is a great term that was shared with us recently: WSSBS, which is an acronym for ‘working silently side by side.’ Sometimes it’s just knowing there is someone there to offer an opinion or a bit of support.” —Gianna Wurzl

“Don’t forget to walk around. And take calls on walks. We work so much, it’s the best form of multitasking! I also believe in batch days for productivity. Mondays for content creation, Tuesdays for partnerships, et cetera.” —Ashley Sumner

Draw Boundaries

(Useful for when you and your roommate are both stuck at home during a snowstorm.)

“Have fun little activities like putting what you’d like to achieve on a Post-it and sticking it on the wall. It instills accountability and a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. Also, if you require more focus and less socializing, put in some headphones, signaling you’re not up for a chat.” —GW

“Do what you want and need to do. If women are connecting and having business conversations in the kitchen and you want to join, you can. If you want to throw your headphones in and crank out some work, do that too.” —AS

Consider Your Space

“One of the only similarities I find between working in an office and at home, is that I still plan ahead (grocery shopping, organizing my space) to set myself up for a great workweek. Also, I believe it’s important not to do work in my bedroom. That’s my space to sleep, write, read, and meditate.” —AS

Set a Dress Code

“It really helps to get out of your pajamas and get dressed for the day. I don’t always follow this advice, but it tells your brain that you’ve gone from sleepy lounging mode to work mode. I also meditate for 20 minutes every morning which gets me into a more balanced headspace.” —GW

“After years of living in New York, and working in environments where I was out of place if I wasn’t in heels, I can happily share that I don’t wear them anymore! It’s all about comfort and feeling good. I agree with Gianna though, the pajamas style gets old after a few months.” —AS

Find Your Own Rhythm

“One of the key benefits of working from home is flexibility. I can get up and work from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and then go for a walk. I think it’s an opportunity to listen to your personal rhythm, and as a result, do better work on your own terms.” —GW

“We have very similar answers on this one! It took me a minute to realize that I didn’t still need to follow the same routine that wasn’t natural to me. My best, most creative time is actually 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. . . . so I wake up and dive in. I work out when my body feels ready for movement. I listen to it when it’s tired and rest. I walk often when I’m on work calls. I love making a beautiful lunch when I have time. I don’t take a lot of time prepping it, but it feels good to nourish my body.” —AS


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