A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How WFH Is Going for Our Team

Lifestyle

Photo by Isabel Bonner

Our team has been working fully at home for three weeks now (four for some team members) and it has been going perfectly!!

No, that’s a terrible attempt at a joke and we all know it.

In reality, this experience has been up and down for all of us. Work schedules have been adjusted as needed to allow time for mid-day mental health walks and the (absolutely impossible) task of trying to balance full-time childcare with full-time work. We stay connected on Zoom calls (with cameos from my team members’ adorable kiddos) and with Slack messages, and folks, we’re hanging in there!

Times are weird for all of us, and we’re continuing to do our best as we go along. Here’s how the six members of team W&D are managing our to-dos and our mental health, what we’re snacking on right now (a lot of cheese, as it turns out), who we’re working alongside, and a photo of each of our temporary workspaces for good measure.

Erin Hamilton

New Business Director

Work from Home Desk Porch

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
When the door is shut, I pretend no one else is here. But in reality, my husband is also working from home and my three-year-old and ten-month-old are here, too!

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?
My husband and I are taking shifts which is causing me to be ruthless with priorities and try not to waste any time. I try to do collaborative or “hot” tasks during the day when others are online and then save more in-depth/individual work for post-bedtime.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now?
I started using the Couch to 5K app so I’m getting out for daily exercise and it’s made a huge difference.

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing?
I work from my bed 90% of the time, which goes against all the WFH rules, but when the weather cooperates I’ve set up the porch off our bedroom to be a makeshift office. It gets great sunlight which is a bonus mood lifter.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
Nothing too creative here—just trying to tag-team dinner prep with my husband and make our meals last longer, so we’re cooking less and eating leftovers more. And everything with a side of chocolate!

Zoe Vossen

Fulfillment Manager – Shop Wit & Delight

Work from Home Desk

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
My boyfriend, Jordan, who has a much nicer set up than me and Cooper (pictured here).

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?

I make a new list every day of things I want to get done, and if it doesn’t all get done, that’s OK! I just add it to tomorrow’s list. Being gentle on myself has been helpful.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now?
Long walks around the neighborhood as a family (no work talk allowed).

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing?
We are lucky enough to be in a two-bedroom duplex with a formal dining space. This helps us spread out without invading our normal living spaces. Both Jordan and I have been extra mindful to clean up after ourselves immediately just to try to avoid any triggers.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
We have some crackers and cheddar popcorn (my favorite) for snacks. Our easy meals have included chicken fried rice, burgers and frozen sweet potato fries, and breakfast for dinner.

Kate Arends

Creative Director, Founder

Work from Home Desk Kitchen

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
My children. Joe is on calls most of the day and I have the more flexible schedule.

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?
I’ve asked the team to send me a hotlist of to-dos at the end of each day so I can tackle them at night when the kids sleep or over the weekends.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now?
Meditation and visualizing life after the pandemic.

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing?
Since I don’t have an office I have been keeping the kitchen clutter-free. It helps keep me focused and calm.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
Triscuits with cream cheese, pickles, and ham.

Bridgette Dutkowski

Brand Director

Bridgette’s Home Office

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
No one. My husband and I are splitting up the workday in shifts. I have the early work shift (5:30 – 8:30 a.m.), and then I’m on kiddo duty until lunch (when he takes a break). We both do a little bit of work during naptime, and then I sign back on after kids go to bed.

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?
The Pomodoro Technique! Also deep breaths, a sense of humor, and understanding co-workers and clients. We are all in this together, and sometimes your kids will be screaming while on a conference call.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now?
Not checking my phone when I’m with my kids or husband. No work, no news, no social media. The constant influx of information is both addictive and destructive. I’m trying really hard to be in the moment.

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing? 
I’m embracing the craft chaos. There are five of us in 1,000 square feet, and I feel like I’m constantly organizing. Over the last week, I’ve embraced the madness.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
We’ve instituted “Alley Cat” dinner at our house. Essentially, it’s snacks, and we simply graze. Elements include popcorn, pretzels and garlic hummus, cheese, crackers, and salami. I’m also a fan of roasted veggie rice bowls and mint ice cream.

Nancy Lausch

Executive Assistant

Work from Home Desk

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
No one, although we have three adults at our home working from home right now. My office is the kitchen table and I LOVE it! My husband is in the basement office space and my daughter does her tie-dye business in the basement as well.

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?
Looking outside and taking short outside breaks with my pups. Giving lots of grace to myself and others.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now? 
Reminding myself of what I know to be true. Lots of self-talk and of course out loud processing with my husband (poor guy!). Showering, getting dressed, eating how I normally would, and keeping a routine. Lots of podcasts. Being mindful and present. Surrendering to the situation rather than resisting it.

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing?
I’m super visual, so keeping the area around me visually pleasant is important—I face outside and keep a plant and a candle at my table/desk.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
We are doing happy hours at least once each week. And lots of coffee! Our standard favorite meals are tacos, spaghetti (we have several spaghetti variations), amped up salads, and lots of crackers, cheese, and hummus.

Jackie Saffert

Editorial Director

Work from Home Desk

1. Who are you working alongside right now?
It’s just me! And my neighbors across the way who can watch me talk to myself at regular intervals throughout the day. I’ve loved living alone for years, but I’ll admit, right now it’s tough (for anyone else who’s feeling the same way, you’re not alone in it!).

2. What is something (a mantra, a tool, an app, whatever) that’s helping you get stuff done?
I live by my daily handwritten to-do lists and I turn to the Pomodoro Technique when I need to dive into focused tasks and shut out distractions.

3. What are you doing to take care of your mental health right now? 
Morning walks, mid-day walks, evening runs, communication with friends, 4-7-8 breathing, meditation, sleep, virtual therapy sessions. It’s been a crash course on what it’s like to be endlessly face-to-face with anxiety without my usual favorite distraction (other people) to keep me occupied, and I’m trying everything…and all of it is helping, to varying degrees each day.

4. Have you made any small changes in your home to make it more comfortable for both working and relaxing?
Essentially I just light a candle every single night and whenever I need a mental boost during the day. I was a stingy candle user before but now is not the time to be stingy about candles.

5. What are the snacks or easy meals you’ve been turning to most often?
An aggressive amount of cheese mostly. Easy meals have been salad varieties, pasta varieties, and brown rice with roasted chickpeas plus roasted whatever-vegetables-I-bought-a-week-ago-and-absolutely-refuse-to-waste.

BY Jackie Saffert - April 10, 2020

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