Set It Up

Set It Up

We all have different ways of organizing our homes, lives, and creative spaces. But what about our offices? When you have the freedom to work from home (and cube walls won’t be the defining factor of your office space), where do you even start to organize yourself into a productive zone?

Kelly EllisOur Team member, Kelly, has some helpful tips:

Organization – my favorite topic! I have worked in two types of set-ups since beginning the work at home journey: a cramped desk in my kitchen and my new dedicated office room in my home. Here are a few things I’ve learned about organizing in both types of office spaces. 

First – minimize distractions as much as you can. Clutter (even creative clutter!) can form a thought barrier between you and your task at hand. My tip would be to focus on what you need and have those items as your mainstays on top of your desk.

THAT’S IT.

I’m pretty disciplined about this – I typically only have my extra monitor, laptop, notebook for to do’s and tasks, and my trusty pack of pens on my desk. And sometimes my cat – but that’s really not my choice.

I’ve also found it extremely important to make my deskspace ‘Kelly-zone’. When I am in Kelly-zone, I am working and focused. I don’t sit in Kelly-zone while watching TV – being in my office chair is a signal that I am ready for business-time. Also, no TV in my office! I have a hard enough time focusing on the task at hand, but when a TV is blazing it’s multi-colored glory – I’m a goner.

Organizing your space is easy, but I’ve found the hardest part of organizing an offices space is the mind. Even though the word ‘routine’ sometimes gives people mental hives, it is AMAZINGLY helpful to have one when working from home. Without the visual cues to end (or start!) your day, it’s very easy to work way into the evening or not start on time.

Try out a few routines to see what works best for you. Always try and start with some way of gathering your thoughts and documenting them – to do lists are magical – but even getting out on paper what you’d like to accomplish today will make you ten times more likely to get it done.

Lastly – and this may be the most important – keep one thing nearby that makes you smile. If a color makes you happy – paint a canvas in that color and hang it in your line of sight. That awesome picture from your most recent vaca? Put it front and center on your office bookshelf. Even though your colleagues can’t see your space, it will make you feel a LOT better about the time you spend in your zone if you make it your own. 

Thanks, Kelly, for your tips!

What’s your work-at-home situation? How do you organize your space and mind when working from home? We’d love to hear from you!

Working At Home

Working At Home

As the world gets more and more virtual, so does our work. Studies have shown that 3.7 million employees (2.5% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time and more and more companies are moving to be totally virtual.

Sound exciting? We agree – at CRN, we’re proud to be in those ranks as well.

BUT – if you have worked from home for even a small portion of your week, you might have found some interesting traits about yourself and home/work style:

  1. You are so PRODUCTIVE. When you’re not concerned about the commute home, worrying if you locked the front door, or if you have to sign for that delivery – some of the typical stress of being away from your dwelling is completely out of mind and taken care of. You also don’t have the social cues to head to Starbucks with a colleague, or spend a bit more time at the proverbial water cooler, so those extra minutes are spent knocking things out!
  2. Some days, it’s harder to stay focused on the tasks at hand. AND stay motivated. The joy of working from home is that you’re, well, at home. The not-so-joy? All of the off-work distractions are front and center – and there’s no one physically there to hold you accountable.
  3. I’m kind of lonely. It’s harder to fulfill that basic human interaction need when all you’re doing is staring at a computer screen!

What other aspects have you found out about yourself while working from home?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at a few of our Team’s tips and tricks on how to keep the work-at-home productivity rockin’ and the distractors at bay – to have the most productive, work-at-home day ever.

Stay tuned!

Smile

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How about this week?!

A bit overwhelmed? Concerned over the seemingly-etched furrow lines dotting your brow?

Do us a favor and SMILE.

Yup – take a quick second and smile at yourself in the mirror / computer monitor / selfie view of your phone.

Big tooth grin – complete!

Feeling Better? Us too. Studies have shown that taking a few moments to smile (or chuckle – which some of us also did while looking at ourselves in our selfie-cam) will decrease your stress levels. Less stress (and even just a TEENSY bit of less stress) means, better interactions, happier direct reports, and lots of health benefits.

Don’t believe us? Check it out here, or here, or here!

Next time you’re feeling stressed – force a smile. It’ll help!