So, you work from home. Now what?

5 tips for working from home

Two long-time home-workers, writer Marion Winik and artist Sandye Renz, share tips for working from home.
Published: April 7, 2020 | Updated: May 1st, 2020 at 9:57 am

Now deep in the throes of a worsening global pandemic and economic crisis, many people have been forced to work from home. It’s quite an adjustment for most who are used to an office space. But some of us have done it for a long time. Writers and artists, for example.

We talked to one of each. Memoirist and book critic Marion Winik and ceramic artist Sandye Renz have worked from home for decades. They’ve got this homebound work thing down.

Sandye Renz and Marion Winik
Sandye Renz (left) and Marion Winik (right).

Here, Marion and Sandye share their tips for working from home.

1. Know your best time.

“I’ve always found early morning to be the most productive time of day… others get the same magic very late at night.” – Marion

2. Make believe you’re at the office.

“Pretend you are at the workplace, which has different rules than your home. I get dressed every day even if it’s dirty work clothes.” – Sandye

3. Set an objective.

“Set a daily goal — number of words or pages — and make sure you get there.” – Marion

4. Communicate with the outside world.  

“There are all these technological ways we can be with colleagues and other people, so use them and have them set up properly if that’s what you need to be productive.” – Sandye

5. Watch out for diversions.

“If you get distracted by email and social media, turn off WiFi while you are working.” – Marion

A decorated ceramic platter.
This platter was recently completed by artist Sandye Renz, an artist accustomed to working out of her home.

Fermata: Arts & Culture in the Time of Coronavirus
This article is part of the Fermata: Arts and Culture in the Time of Coronavirus series reported by students in the Critical Writing course at the Newhouse School. Fermata features stories on the impact of the pandemic on a wide range of artists and cultural figures, from musicians and comedians to restaurateurs and boutique owners.