Kelsey Soskel
Demand Generation Manager @ Yotpo
April 15th, 2020

We spoke with Tracy Strauss, VP Marketing at Yotpo and remote working expert, for her best WFH strategies.

As people continue to adapt to working from home, they’re challenged with finding a work-life balance, feeling guilty about working too little or too much, and trying to stay focused. 

After working remote for the past 10 years and now sharing her workspace with two teenage kids trying to figure out online schooling, Tracy gave us her best advice for how to stay balanced, focused, and productive. 

Stick to a routine

  • Whether it’s taking a morning walk, making a pot of coffee, walking your dog, or a skincare routine, try to create a morning schedule to set the pace for your day. 
  • Find a dedicated workspace in your home. Go there when you’re ready to start the day and when you’re done, shut your computer down and leave it in your new ‘office.’

Take breaks throughout the day

  • Take time to clear your head.  Similarly to a coffee or lunch break you would take in the office, it’s important to make time for yourself. No one can work 8 hours straight without beginning to feel fatigued or overworked. It’s important to put your mental health first. 
  • Try eating lunch outside or in a different location from your workspace, walk your dog, watch 30 minutes of Netflix, or participate in 30 minute workout.

When working alongside a spouse/partner/friend/roommate: review your schedules and prioritize importance 

  • Working from home with her husband, Tracy recommends reviewing work schedules with your new coworker(s) in advance in order to avoid conflicting meetings or video calls. 
  • Respect each other’s time and space. If you both need to be on the phone or in a conference call, establish who needs a monitor, who needs privacy, and who might be able to make the call from a different space in the house.

Give your kids their own workspace

  • Everyone should have their own workspaces so that they can work effectively at home on their own (even your kids). 
  • Create a schedule for them that gives you some time to get work done but also bakes in time for breaks or socializing for lunch. 

Don’t be online 24/7 

  • Make sure that you schedule meetings at a time that works for each team member’s time zone. Just because you’re working from home, does not mean you can or should be online 24/7. 
  • Try to set the same working hours you would as if you were going into the office.
  • Check in with yourself and take time off if needed. 
  • Draw a line – know the things you need to accomplish today. Once you accomplish those things or any other urgent things that come in – that’s the limit.

Recreate those water-cooler conversations. 

  • Take time during team meetings to ask “what did you do this weekend, what’s working for you, what’s cool, what’s new?” 
  • Break the stay at home grind with some levity. Tracy often makes TikTok videos with her kids to stay sane and shares them with her team. 
  • Consider creating a Slack, Whatsapp, or Gchat group for sharing non-work related news, puppy pictures, baking wins, and so on. 

Be aware of the added stress of COVID-19

  • Working from home is one thing, but balancing underlying stress due to COVID-19, whether you’re directly impacted or just watching the news, can be really challenging. 
  • It’s crucial to be incredibly empathetic and sensitive to what your coworkers may be experiencing.
  • Make sure to reach out more consistently. Ask people how they’re doing and try to stay grounded. It’s okay to give them the time and space to unplug. 
  • If you are feeling isolated or stressed, reach out to someone to talk — a coworker, your manager, friend, family, or HR resources. Remember you are not in this alone.

Working alone? Stay sane. 

  • Stay active! Try taking a workout class online, it releases endorphins and keeps your body moving. 
  • Set up working blocks with coworkers where you can both be online, working, and ask one another questions if needed. 
  • Connect with the people you haven’t spoken to in a while. 
  • Try an audiobook and podcast. 

For more company updates regarding COVID-19, strategies & tips broken down by industry, and consumer surveys with the latest eCommerce data, visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

Contributed to the article: Kelsey Soskel