Creating a Positive Remote Workspace: Tips from the TorchLight Team

by Susan Mullin

laptop, pen, pencil pouch, and notepad on a desk for a remote workspace

Since 2012, TorchLight Hire has been a fully remote company. Over the years, we’ve identified a number of ways to be effective working from home. A positive remote workspace is one of these ways. Here are our tips on creating a workspace that can improve your productivity and outlook.

Samantha Nguyen, Client and Marketing Project Manager

To maintain a positive remote workspace, I try to keep everything bright! We are lucky enough to have a dedicated room in our home as an office. It has a large window that faces our cherry blossom tree. The beautiful flowers outside and fake vase of flowers on my desk help to brighten the space. We also have white furniture, brightly colored walls and limited clutter! We love the open space and brightness to keep us feeling positive. Additionally, I can’t work without music. So, we were sure to have an Echo in our office to play our favorite songs while we work! Who can’t stay positive when firing off those morning emails to a little George Michael?

Julie Lowe, Chief Culture Officer

I’m fortunate enough to have a dedicated room in my house that is my office. I have worked 100% remote for the past 8 years so it is my place to focus on work. To stay focused, I set it up much like I would an office outside my home.

Home offices

I am fully equipped with a designated phone line (that transfers to my cell phone if I am working in a different spot in my house), a printer and all other typical office supplies. In addition, I have a few meaningful framed pictures of people I love and some of my favorite pieces of art on the walls. My desk is positioned to look out a window and I enjoy the view of nature, especially when on a long phone call. I also have a candle burning and/or a diffuser with essential oils–luxuries you can’t typically have in a traditional office and which are perfect for a remote workspace.

Work-life balance

At the end of the day, I try to close my door as if I am leaving work. I associate this room with work and sometimes it is hard to shut work off when you live and work in the same space. This has taken time to master and I would be lying if I said I don’t still work once I leave this room—it’s always a work in progress. While I spend most of my work time in this space, I do get bored and like to shake it up. Sometimes you might even find me sitting at my kitchen table or on my deck on a pretty day

All of this works well and fine without interruption when other family members are at school or at work. Having everyone at home now certainly has brought challenges. As a family we coordinate schedules and respect times when we are on a phone call or Zoom (for the most part ?) but let’s face it….life happens and the dog barks or someone interrupts. This is just life right now. I love working from home. It works perfectly for me and my family and most people will tell you that they are more productive at home than in the office.

Katie Hart, Account Manager

We have designated a room in our home as my office to use as a remote workspace. It is critical for me to have a remote separate from the rest of my home so that I can switch my brain to “work mode”. It also allows me to close the door on at the end of the day to enjoy my time with my husband and dog. I know some you may not have the space or extra room to turn into an office. It’s still important to designate a space in your home that is reserved for work. Then, make sure you leave it there at the end of the day. Just because our workspace is now in our homes doesn’t mean we have to work all the time.

Meditation and routine

To start my day in a positive headspace, I try my best to start each morning with gratitude and meditation. In times like these, I think it’s important to remember that we still have things to be grateful for. Recently, my gratitude has been centered around my health and my family’s health, our healthcare workers, the TorchLight team and the Pure Barre community that provides me an escape and opportunity for self-care. After these moments of gratitude, I like to meditate and take a few quiet minutes to myself before the day starts. I am a big fan of the Calm app as I need a little bit of guidance during my meditation. Doing these things helps to put me in a positive mindset to start my day and tackle what is in front of me.

Now that our areas of work and homes are one and the same, I think it is still important to take time in the day to step away from your computer and give yourself a mental and emotional break. For me, this means taking time to either getting outside for a walk with my dog Bailey (while practicing safe social distancing, of course) or taking a Pure Barre class online. Taking this moment out of the day allows me to reset for the afternoon and keep the productivity flowing.

Amy Tsuchitani, Account Director

I’ve thought about this a few times and was a little stumped because the way I work remotely now is different from when I was the only person in the house. Now, I split time between a quiet office and the kitchen for my remote workspace.  If I need quiet time to do calls, I come back to the office.  If I want to be accessible to the kids for schoolwork and meals, I move to the kitchen to do work that doesn’t require quiet.

Heidi Parsont, CEO and Founder

It has a door, does that count? ? And I open my shutters so I can see out but of course, right now, I am not in my own space since we are back in the U.S. temporarily from France.

Autumn Conrad Schiff, Recruiting Manager

I moved out of our shared office and created my own “Zen Zone” in a different part of the house.

Heather Pederson, Director of Recruiting Operations and Engagement

For me, the formula for a remote workspace is no stuffy desk, instead, I work on a comfy chair with pillows and a knitted throw made by a friend. Lots of inspirational artwork, including family photos and drawings done by my daughter. And for productivity, I’m all about technology, tech, and some more tech (i.e. OneNote for color-coded organized notes on my computer, my Air Pods for quick connectivity, and all the other gadgets that keep me on-task). 

Jen Todd, Senior Manager, Client Services 

My home office is a place I enjoy spending the day. It is full of light with two walls of windows that lift my spirits, even on gloomy days. I keep relaxing music playing in the background. It that helps me to stay focused on the task at hand.

Julie Rutherford, Marketing Director

I work at our dining room table because I like more space than even a big desk allows. It’s a bright sunny room and I open the shutters so I can look at the weeping cherry tree outside. A break for lunch is important and I’m trying to get outside more often for a walk with the dogs. It’s a bit more challenging with the kids home but they are older and pretty good about respecting my space when I’m working.

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Posted in , Our Team, Remote Work, Workplace Culture