Whether you are a full-time remote employee or there is a once-in-a-century worldwide health crisis that requires you to stay home, there may come a time where remote work is your new way of life.

Remote work has been accelerating all over the world. Entire industries can now successfully operate within a remote-workforce. Most professionals are seeking out jobs that allow the flexibility to work outside of a traditional office environment. That being said, the foreseeable future will be a strange test for those who are used to office-based work, requiring us all to power through the unexpected.

Freestar is fortunate enough that our work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed successfully. About half of our employees previously worked from their houses, from all over the country. For anyone who is anxiously entering uncharted territory as a first-time remote worker, our Freestar family is here to help make that transition a little bit easier.

Keeping in mind that what works best for remote workers will vary from person to person, we asked a few of our employees to share what keeps them focused and inspired when working in their own homes. This is how our remote working veterans take full advantage of the opportunities that a remote working lifestyle gives them, while remaining positive, healthy and on the path to success.

Jess Werner | Account Manager, Team Lead

Austin, TX

“I’m a very organized person so I need an environment that is clean, organized, and inspiring. I have a cozy setting that isn’t too cozy with a desk that I keep clean so I can be comfortable and ready to tackle my day. My days are more flexible so it’s easier to map out what my day will look like. I’m internally motivated so it’s also easy to get swept up in a tunnel of my own focus without the distractions.”

Jess’s Tips

  • Play music that keeps you feeling alive.
  • Keep plants on your desk.
  • Keep the windows open so you get plenty of sunlight.
  • Have water close by but don’t forget to actually drink it and refill it.
  • Take time to give your fur babies some love/cuddles.
  • Take advantage of having a kitchen for fresh meals to keep you energized.
  • Decorate your desk in a way that keeps you stimulated and engaged.

Grant Hoxworth | Director of Yield, Team Lead

Los Angeles, CA

“It’s easier to work longer and be more focused. No commute time and frustration. It’s easy to pop-in and check on things at any time, day or night, weekend or weekday. This flexibility in our industry makes me not only happier but more efficient and more time actually working in a day.”

Grant’s Tips

  • Start the morning strong. Set a time to start and be focused.
  • Put your workspace out of your bedroom – sit on a chair and make it as desk-like as possible.
  • Take pride in your work/your self. If you do that, it doesn’t matter where you are. You just want to get $#!^ done

Jeff Kudishevich | VP, Publisher Operations

Los Angeles, CA

“I spend a lot of my time on calls, so I don’t have much “downtime” per se. Most of the time I don’t really think about being remote versus not. Which I think is a great byproduct of Freestar really emphasizing the use of video chat.”

Jeff’s Tips

  • Make sure to figure out a way to separate your workspace/time from the rest of your life.
  • Try as much as possible to keep the same routine you’d have if you were going into an office. Wake up at the same time every day, do your regular hygiene practices, etc.
  • I like to “force” breaks throughout the day. I put a couple of slots on my calendar for walks and a slot for lunch. Even if I don’t use those slots for walks, it’s just a reminder to get up and clear your head for a second.
  • Look at apps that can help block out background noise (like Krisp), or make meetings sound better (Hangouts, or Zoom).

Matt Burgess | Sr. Director, Revenue Operations

Portland, ME

“If I’m in my house, then I’m near my computer. Productivity is never an issue, and video conference calls are a game-changer. No commute means more time to focus and build a schedule that works for me.”

Matt’s Tips

  • Create an office space that is physically comfortable. Example: When I first started, I skimped on buying office furniture. Now I have a stand-up desk and a much more comfortable office chair. I wish I did this from day one.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Listen to music and/or podcasts in between calls.

Andrew Beehler | Director of Yield

Portland, OR

“Working from public places – Non-Social distancing (when the world is back to normal), and capitalizing on downtime and/or multi-tasking to take care of tasks I’d normally need to put off until getting home from the office.”

Andrew’s Tips

  • Change up your scenery often – work from the living room, office, yard, etc.
  • Get out of your damn Pajamas!
  • Have a morning routine that kickstarts the day.

Carrie Landers | Publisher Operations Manager

Dayton, OH

“Always make sure to strike a healthy balance between work and home. Clear lines will help you focus when you’re working and unwind when you’re done.”

Carrie’s Tips

  • Have a clearly designated area for work. Don’t just sit on your couch with a laptop, have a desk in a space you don’t commonly use (like a guest room) so you can easily separate your work-life from your home-life.
  • Go for a walk. If you’re able to get up and take a quick turn around your block, you should. Fresh air and a change of scenery will do you good!
  • Invest in a good pair of headphones with a built-in mic. The ability to block out potential distractions is important when working from home but you should also make sure your co-workers can hear you over any background noise (from kids, roommates, or pets) on conference calls. And always remember to mute yourself if you’re not the presenter on a call!

Shaina Lam | Revenue Operations Manager

Portland, ME

“Knowing that many Freestar employees are in a different time zone and those afternoons would be busier in terms of back and forth communication, I use the mornings to get emails out and get other work done to free up my time.”

Shaina’s Tips

  • Taking short breaks to play with my pup outside so I feel rejuvenated when I go back to work.
  • Working in a sunny place.
  • Keeping a notebook nearby to add to my to-do list. I did this when I worked in an office but stopped doing it when I started working remotely and kept notes on my laptop. I found that handwriting my to-do list was much more effective because of the muscle memory and being able to physically check things off gave me a sense of completion.

Jennii Gruber | Publisher Account Manager

Jacksonville, FL

“I have the option to start as early as I want. I can also pop in and answer things at any time to really go above and beyond for the publishers. I love being able to cook a quick 15-minute lunch that was prepped the previous day, but is cooked fresh. I enjoy little things like being able to hug my cat during the work day and work without shoes on.”

Jennii’s Tips

  • Taking breaks, 5-10 mins long, to meditate. Separate even from your phone.
  • Keep a routine to mentally set to sit down and work. For myself, I wake up, workout, eat breakfast, put on makeup, and then work.
  • Put on relaxing music in the background. I particularly enjoy Lofi Hip Hop or classical music to study to.