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Behind the List

Work From Home Advice from the Listings Project Team

By Emma McAleavy
December 11, 2020

For millions of people around the world, 2020 has meant a new experiment in working from home. It’s a situation that has further clarified all the ways that privilege can determine health outcomes. While essential workers have continued to put their health on the line to care for the sick and provide services, remote workers have been able to practice social distancing more easily. Despite the many benefits of working from home, it’s not without its challenges, though. Parents, partners, people who live alone—each situation presents its own unique set of challenges and benefits. 

For the Listings Project team, though, working remotely has been our de facto mode of operating for the past five years. We use tools like Basecamp, Trello and Zoom to communicate and connect. It’s a setup that’s worked well for us. We are staffed, after all, by artists and creatives in three different states who are pursuing projects outside their work with Listings Project. Being a remote company allows us the flexibility and freedom to take care of our priorities and our families while still contributing to the success of Listings Project. 

We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to work from home in a way that is healthy and productive. As we enter 2021 and a future in which more people than ever before may be working remotely, we’d like to share our experiences with working from home.

Clare DiBella - Community Manager and Self Described “Art Nerd” 


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Photo by Emma McAleavy

What do you like about working from home? 
I like the flexibility. I’m an early riser and I think best in the morning. My most productive hours are when I just roll out of my bed and onto my computer. Plus, I can wear sweatpants all day. 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
Feeling done with work! I feel like I could always just keep working on something else. It’s hard to close all the work tabs in my mind. I try to disconnect from work by doing something active, though. On my lunch break, I always play tennis. I also try to do a twenty-minute yoga or stretching video at the end of the day.

What’s something that makes your work from home life better? 
I love meal prepping. I make a lot of curries, soups and burrito bowls. It’s easier to eat healthy when I’ve already made the decision once, rather than having to think about it every day. Otherwise, I’m just like, "ah, yes, some shredded cheese on a rice cake—dinner!" 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
Well, he’s not an object, but my cat! Mr. Meowington is my coworker. Sometimes he interrupts my calls. Other times he’s there to encourage me. It’s stress relief and it’s company. He reminds me to take care of him and to take care of myself.

Scott Trudeau - Chief Technology Office and Newly-Elected Library Board Member


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Photo by Emma McAleavy

What do you like about working from home? 
I am fortunate to have an office at home with a door. Just having that private space makes working from home the better option. Plus, not having to commute is great! 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
Right now, having my entire family at home because of COVID-19 is challenging. It is a lot to manage school from home with my daughter and parenting while working. Generally, though, the hardest thing about working remotely is not being able to get the cues you’d get in an in-person interaction. It’s hard to tell when it’s okay to interject in a conversation. When we’re in a physical space together, it’s a lot easier to read people and to be respectful of their time and attention. 

What’s something that makes your work from home life better? 
This year I added soundproofing to my office. With my daughter at home, the house was getting a little loud. If you don’t have a separate space, though, a good place to start is by finding some way to signal when you’re focused and working and when you’re not. You want to be able to say, when the headphones are on, when the flag is up, please don’t interrupt. 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
I have nice wool slippers. They’re super comfortable. Expensive slippers are worth the money. I’m a big fan of slippers.

Mayela Rodriguez - Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager and “Media-agnostic” Artist


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Photo by Emma McAleavy

What do you like about working from home? 
I tend to be pretty chatty and a bit of a distraction, so I think working from home works really well for me. If I was working in-person, I think I might not get anything done. 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
The hardest part is sustained concentration in the same space because I really like to have a change of scenery. It helps energize me. It’s really hard for me to just sit at home in the same spot. 

What has made your work from home life better?
I move around in my apartment throughout the day. For a lot of my meetings I’ll sit at my kitchen table, but when I really need to sink into a project I’ll sit on my couch. I also try to give myself little breaks between tasks. 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
Having a good chair is really important. It helps me to be able to have both my feet on the ground. Before I got a decent chair, my posture got really bad from just sitting cross-legged on my couch all the time. I also love my speakers. I just blast music all day every day!

Stephanie Diamond - Founder and CEO and 5Rhythms Instructor


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Photo by Emma McAleavy

What do you like about working from home? 
I love that I don’t have to spend so much time commuting or traveling to and from places. The transition times are so much smoother and more pleasant and I get to relax in between tasks. I can have a long breakfast or spend more time on my bike. 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
The most challenging part is the same as what I like. Everything gets blended together. I need to make sure I don’t eat breakfast while working. I need to make sure I don’t skip biking. These activities provide a container for my day. 

What has made your work from home life better?
I moved my desk so it faced the window. It’s been phenomenal to receive direct sunlight, to be able to glance out the window. I also try to keep my desk clear and have a glass of water sitting by me. 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
I have this amazing sage smudge spray.  It helps clear the space and move the energy in the room. I will often spray it when I first begin work or when I’m done for the day.


Mahayla Laurence - Community Manager and Actress 


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Photo by Emma McAleavy

What do you like about working from home? 
As a people pleaser, having a job in a physical space with coworkers can be challenging. You’re always taking care of people. Now I can always take a step back if I need to, which is really cool. I like that I get to be in charge of my own space. I have my water, my tea, my snack, a bowl of nuts. It’s funny to see how I’ve developed a system for myself. I didn’t think I was a sticky note person, but apparently, I am. 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
I’m new to working from home. Up until three months ago, all my work was in-person. It’s been an adjustment transitioning the practices that kept me sane at work in-person to the new remote work environment. 

What has made your work from home life better?
I got a desk and a proper chair recently. It has actually made a world of a difference to really be comfortable while I’m working. I know that not everyone can invest in those things, but if you can it’s really nice to have a workspace. Even though it’s not necessarily a huge shift, it does feel a little more intentional when I’m there. 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
I love my big monitor. I’ve talked to everybody about it. I got it through Listings Project this past summer. It was a moving sale. It’s made such a big difference. It feels like I am so much more efficient, being able to have two screens.  



Emma McAleavy - Writer/Content Manager and Plant-Mom


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Photo by Mayela Rodriguez

What do you like about working from home? 
Working from home provides me with the solitude and independence I need to do my best work. I also love that my partner is my coworker and we can collaborate on each other's work throughout the day. 

What is the most challenging thing about working from home? 
Feeling disconnected from the physical world around me can make me feel a little strange. I spend all day connecting with people who aren’t physically here with me, immersed in a digital world that is connected to physical reality but still separate from it. 

What has made your work from home life better?
My new attic apartment has a room the size of a walk-in closet with a little square window at the back. I’ve turned it into a small office with a desk, a chair and a lamp. Having a private space with a door has been life-changing. 

What is one item that you cherish as part of your remote work life?
My bullet journal is my salvation when it comes to staying organized and sane. I’m also a bit of a pen geek. I really like my Lamy Safari fountain pen and my Staedtler pigment liners.

Feature Image by Emma McAleavy


Emma McAleavy, our Content Editor, works to bring the stories of our community to life. Emma’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Outside Magazine, and Architectural Digest. You can follow her on twitter @emmamcaleavy.

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