Living at Work

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Hello there fellow home bound person slogging through this Covid-19 dystopian reality we are currently living (and hopefully working) in.

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Maybe for you, working from home is a new phenomenon that has completely up-ended how you do work. Nevertheless, you are thankful to be one of the lucky ones, still able to keep earning that all important income.

Possibly little known fact: In addition to managing and creating for Yetunde Rodriguez Design, I hold down a full time job. In my job, I work for a luxury high end home decor and accessories catalog. I have been fortunate to work from home for them on and off for years. I have largely worked in their customer service department, but my role has expanded recently.

Working from home suits me, and I enjoy it, even if it can get lonely at times. As someone who has been doing this on and off for years, I have some insight that may help you. It is very possible to make working from home more enjoyable, even if it is not your preferred arrangement. 

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By now I trust that you have figured out some sort of makeshift home office. Here are a few tips to make it better.

  1. Have a designated working space with an actual table and chair. No, your bed will not do. 
  2. Stick to your routine of getting up and getting dressed, down to your shoes. This helps maintain a sense of normalcy, even if you’re just going a few feet away. 
  3. Make your space yours by decorating. In addition to having functional furniture and equipment, add a few fun items around your workspace. Some ideas: beautiful art or wall hanging, inspirational quotes (if that’s your thing), souvenirs from a trip, decorative tchotchkes, and plants
  4. Make sure your space is bright and inspiring! During dark winter days, I make sure all my lights have bright daylight bulbs. Having a bright space makes a difference in my mood.
  5. Play some music in the background. Even though I’m on the phone most of my workday, I can play music low enough to hear, but not loud enough to be distracting. If I need some pep, I’ll listen to Afrobeat (Yemi Alade’s music is an instant mood lifter!) or Hip Hop (I love all things Anderson .paak!). If I need less stimulation, I’ll play some Brazilian Jazz (I detest smooth jazz!) 
  6. Do something fun on your breaks! I may do some quick block printing, start a painting or sew. Luckily my office is also my studio. The goal is to do something you enjoy in that short amount of time. 
  7. Get up and move around!  I make sure to stand up at least 1x per hour. Sometimes I’ll fire up YouTube and do a quick workout, dance, or take a walk around the block on my lunch. Just get up and get moving! 
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Although things are kind of stressful on different levels right now, some of us are fortunate enough to still have work. The most fortunate of us are able to do it from the comfort of our homes. Let us count our blessings. Working from home, while not for everybody, can still be made more enjoyable with a few tweaks.

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I hope this gives you some ideas!