Bend It Like Dave G: Tips for Working Remotely

By Dave Giacomelli | May 18, 2020

Photo credit: David Reamer

Working remotely isn’t new for me–in fact, I’ve been doing it for almost three years. 

I first transitioned to remote work because I wanted to live a slower, more outdoors-focused lifestyle while still being committed to my work at Liftoff. I packed up all of my belongings, took my two dogs, and moved from the Bay Area up to Bend, Oregon to fulfill this goal. It’s been my reality now for the past two and a half years and I’ve managed to find fulfillment in both my outdoors lifestyle and my work-from-home experience. I couldn’t have predicted that my office-bound colleagues would one day live a very similar lifestyle by no choice of their own.

While my transition to Bend was seamless for the most part, I did encounter a few challenges along the way – all of which my colleagues are facing during this difficult time. Most of these challenges revolve around productivity and more specifically, the ability to establish boundaries. Working from home means that your work and personal life are often blended together, making it difficult to differentiate between the two. If you don’t address the issue, both your work and personal lives can suffer.

As I’ve been watching, listening to, and helping my coworkers tackle similar challenges of the transition to remote work, I find it reassuring that we are sharing similar experiences, struggles, and wins. I increasingly see that working remotely and its challenges are being embraced readily and openly – meeting schedules are more deliberate and balanced, social engagement is taking place online rather than in-person, and there’s greater bonding around the stresses we now all share.

As such, I thought it would be useful to share my approach to working from home and a few of the tips and tricks that help keep me motivated and productive from one day to the next.

  • Start each day by making your bed. It may sound silly but it’s the first and easiest accomplishment of the day and will encourage you to take on each day one task at a time. It also helps reduce the temptation to climb back in later!
  • Dress like you’re meeting with your boss. Like making your bed, getting dressed helps to signify the start of a new workday and encourages a productive mindset. Save those sweatpants for the weekend.
  • Maintain a Monday – Friday routine. Keep your calendar up-to-date and rigorously adhere to that schedule. This prevents your workday from becoming your entire day. Carve out time to sit down and eat real meals to build in natural breaks and discourage snacking in front of your computer all day.
  • Prioritize physical and mental health. When your office is just a few steps from your bedroom, it’s easy to jump right into your workday and put off things like working out. Be sure to integrate gym time, yoga, and/or meditation into your daily routine to ensure that you’re keeping your mind and body healthy.
  • Create a productive workspace. Implement physical boundaries by establishing a designated home office. This helps replicate the sensation of going into an actual office and makes it easier to turn work on and off. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a place where you can work uninterrupted.
  • Lastly, give yourself a break. This is a new and different reality, and it’s okay to not be productive every second of the day. Take 10-15 minute breaks to maintain focus throughout your day. It’ll help you to take care of yourself and make the workday much more manageable. Try to use this time to go for a walk or read a book rather than activities that require more screen time – social media, tv…etc.

Working remotely has helped fulfill the needs of my personal life and ultimately transformed me into a much happier, healthier, and more motivated employee. It certainly isn’t a perfect fit for everyone, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that we’re all in this together and can lean on each other for support. I’m grateful that Liftoff has been an incredible employer during this time – guiding, supporting, and rising to the challenges of this rapidly changing environment. Now excuse me while I put my computer away, I’m done with work for the day!