Fortress Press

Working from Home 101 with Beth Gaede

We at Fortress Press know that a lot of you are having to work from home for an extended period of time. For some of you, this may be the first time you have had to do this. Beth Gaede, Senior Acquisitions Editor for Professional and Ministry Resources (and work from home veteran), has offered a few tips for those in our office and beyond!

Structure is your friend:

  • Plan to work set hours, and decide what time you’ll “go to work,” when you’ll take breaks, and what time you’ll quit.
  • Plan when and what you will eat. This will help prevent snacking, grazing . . . and packing on the pounds!
  • Honoring your quitting time and days off is especially important. When first working from home, you may feel as if there is always something you could be doing, so you may feel like you should be working. Once setting limits on work hours, the whole enterprise becomes much more manageable.

Your environment matters:

  • Not everyone has the luxury of a space that can be dedicated to work, but try to create a corner that’s just for work and nothing else.
  • If you can’t dedicate a space, when you quit work each day, put away or hide your work materials.
  • Pay attention to the arrangement of your desk/table, chair, and lighting. You might be able to get away with poor ergonomics in the short run, but eventually, it will catch up to you.
  • When you get up in the morning, put on clothes you would wear in public. Working in PJs might sound like fun, but studies show beyond-casual attire undermines our confidence and productivity.
  • Think about what level of noise is optimal for you. Some may prefer silence, but others are most productive if they have music playing or a TV is buzzing in another room.

Good work habits are more important than ever:

  • To the extent possible, plan what you’ll do each day, especially what tasks you’ll do during the hours you’re usually most productive.
  • Make distractions hard to access.
    • Shut off your usual email platform and quit social media (or at least turn off notifications).
    • To the extent possible, tell housemates what your work hours are, and ask them to honor your schedule.
    • As needed to ensure domestic tranquility, prearrange meet-ups with others, so you’re taking breaks, rather than being interrupted.
  • Exercise
    • While it is so easy to not exercise when working from home, it is important to keep moving and get away from your work.
    • If you usually belong to a gym or attend workout classes, see if they are providing any resources online, such as free trials for online workout routines or livestreams. While finding good online resources requires more vetting and sifting, many gym trainers post workout content on other free platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
    • Even without access to the internet, a walk around your neighborhood is something you can easily add to your routine.
  • End your day by cleaning up your email, computer desktop, and desk, and thinking about what you’ll do tomorrow.

To read Fortress Press’s full statement on COVID-19, click here.