A Beginner’s Guide to Working From Home

If you’re a WFH newbie, here are a few learnings from the C Magazine team to help you get started



For 15 years, C Magazine has worked out of a variety of offices in downtown Santa Monica. On an average day, we will hold (in no particular order) a print meeting, a website meeting, a covers meeting, an e-commerce meeting, an events meeting, a social media meeting … the list goes on. In short, that’s a lot of meetings, and a lot of coming together as a group to bounce ideas around and decide on a game plan. But this week, for the first time in our history, we are holding all of these meetings virtually, as we follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, to self-isolate in a bid to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Thanks to the wonders of California-conceived platforms such as Slack and Zoom, recalibrating our working habits, designing SFW stations in the home, and creating structure within normal office hours will continue to become easier with time. Here we’ve collected tips from the C Magazine team, including from those of us who are new to the whole WFH concept, as well as those of us who are old pros by now.


Give Your Mind a Rest and Your Body a Workout
When a commute to work is eliminated from my routine, it’s important I mark the beginning and end of a day with some sort of exercise, whether that be mental or physical. When working from home, my day officially begins when my morning meditation ends. I sit for 10 minutes and focus on my breath and use a variety of apps, including Calm, Happy Not Perfect, Ten Percent Happier. This allows me to center myself and free up space to conquer a day’s worth of tasks and inevitable stressors. When my work for the day is complete, I park my phone and strap on my trainers for a walk (or a jog if I’m feeling ambitious) around Woodrow Wilson Drive or Fryman Canyon, where I live. This puts distance between me and my home office, and when I arrive home, I’m ready to clean myself up and transition into a relaxing evening. — Jake Heddaeus, Social Media Director


Keep It Clean
Without an office building’s cleaners to swoop in every night, you soon notice how much debris is left by a day or two spent at a home workstation — crumbs, hair, skin cells … it’s not pretty. At a time when we are being asked to stay extra vigilant about hygiene, we should apply that directive to our new at-home desks as much as our hands. A twice-a-day wipedown of keyboard, mouse, table and screen is more necessary than ever. Yesterday I even spent the hour I would have used returning home from the office to instead vacuum my apartment. I felt so much better making my 20-second commute to work this morning because of it. — Andrew Barker, Chief Content Officer 


Keep It Green
Green up your at-home workspace to add some much needed cheer. Plants can be ordered online and delivered to your door, and in temperate California they will survive in any room. Certain types even help to purify the air. If you’re a first-time plant parent, select something low-maintenance — California companies such as Succulent Studios and Succulents Box also offer light and water recommendations. Whether you have one plant or several, caring for your urban jungle can add both Zen and structure to your day. — Marie Look, Digital Content Editor


More Socializing, Less Social Media
Working from home can be as sociable as you want to make it. Despite these being uncertain times, there are still opportunities to stay in touch and catch up with family and friends. With no commute, some of us have an extra two to three hours every day — but using all of that time to consume the news and scroll through social media can sometimes be more detrimental than it can be helpful. Try to limit your activity on social platforms and instead schedule breaks for connecting with friends and family via Skype and Facetime to create a sense of normalcy and comfort. — Margrit Jacobsen, Associate Fashion & Market Editor


Dress to Impress
I say, get dressed as if you are getting out of the house and going to work as normal. By starting the day in your work-mode clothes, you signify that you are ready to lead, or ready for battle, and I have always believed that the right outfit prepares you for whatever the day brings your way. Conversely, when the work day is officially over, switch into something more comfy so your body knows it is time to properly wind down and enjoy the evening. — Jennifer Smith, Founder, CEO & Editorial Director


Try Something New
Making bread pretty much requires that you be at home all day, what with the mixing, folding, waiting for it to rise, proofing and finally, baking. So the process forces you to get up out of your chair periodically, with the added benefit of making your home office smell amazing. Having said that, it is surprisingly easy (at least it looks that way when my husband does it), ridiculously satisfying, and results in half of your dinner being ready by the end of the day. (Bonus: You can slice it up and throw some in the freezer, too.) — Melissa Goldstein, Senior Editor


Don’t Lose Out on Your “Me” Time
For those of us who are used to commuting, it could be tempting to have no buffer period between home and office life. Sure, driving or taking public transportation to your job can be a hassle, but it’s also an opportunity to decompress by listening to audiobooks and podcasts. When working from home, consider giving yourself an altogether different kind of “commute” — an hour to stretch and listen; to read a book; or to go for a walk around the block (if possible) — before hunkering down and starting the day. — Anush Benliyan, Deputy Managing Editor


Feature image: Photo by Gabriel Beaudry/Unsplash.


March 18, 2020

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