VP+C’s Tips for Easing the Work from Home Transition
By Kimberly
March 31st, 2020 |
Scene + Heard

Across the world, many of us have been introduced to the new realm of working from home. It’s a big change for many of us, transitioning to a fully remote job and between the cat, the kids and your significant other all running around, how are you supposed to get ANY work done?

Slack is a huge help, bringing people back to the days of AOL Instant Messenger, but keeping teams in sync without skipping a beat. It’s literally as easy as turning around in your swivel office chair (that I know you all miss very much!) and asking a coworker.

Zoom Meetings are also the new currency with screenshots popping up across social media as the hot way to keep in touch with colleagues and family members. Here at VP+C, we’ve been checking in with each other consistently to make sure communication is never lost, and we’ve even been hosting 5pm Virtual Hangouts to score some face-to-face time with the faces we haven’t seen in weeks!

Our VP+C team has compiled some tips, tricks, and good ideas to ease this transition to working from home.

Mark’s Easy Family Meal

This is an amazing recipe for a big casserole – perfect for a family in isolation for “stuck at home” families.


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • One 3 1/2-to-4-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces and skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Otamot Essential Sauce or Spicy Sauce


  1.  Combine the salt, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne in a plastic gallon bag. Shake until the mixture is well combined.
  2. Pat the chicken dry and place in the bag with the spice mixture. Shake the bag, making sure the chicken is well coated. 
  3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch high-sided skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate, using tongs. 
  4. Add the onions, green peppers, red peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook the vegetables over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook until the rice begins to turn gold in color and fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  5. Meanwhile, combine the stock, Otamot sauce and remaining teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups water and the stock mixture to the skillet and stir to make sure the rice is covered in liquid. Nestle the chicken in the rice, adding any juices from the plate. Bring the rice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Let the skillet stand covered, about 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Margaux’s Mind / Body / Soul Philosophy

Image courtesy of womensday.com

Nourish the Mind – I’m finding much solace in perfect playlists (my newest favorite is the WFH playlist by ManRepeller on Spotify) and chlorophyll therapy breaks. Even if you don’t actually get outside you can always zen out staring at a plant or pull up a National Geographic feed – let’s remind ourselves of the bright big world out there we are still connected to.

Nourish the Body – While Week 1, we were all so proud to be prepping dishes that we’d normally not have time to make – now the reality of spending too much time and money on cooking, as we used to spend on takeout, is sinking in… So our new solution is slow cooker and soups galore! Cooking extra and packing up leftovers to easily reheat is the way to stay energized and nourished (and not give into to the chips, nuts, chocolate or crackers on the fly between calls) so you can quickly grab an actual meal for yourself during the day. Also, now is THE time to try a new fitness class online when nobody is watching – work out in the middle of the day!

Nourish the Soul – Join the movement! Watch too much TV, read, nap, have too many happy hours because you can! Full disclosure, the first few weeks of this had a hidden stressor of everyone appearing to be “so bored” and have “so much free time” that they were binge watching and board gaming learning new languages and crafting. And for those of us who were working from home that presented an entirely additional level of anxiety and missing out syndrome. But the truth is we need to JUST DO IT! Whether you zone out and binge watch on train wrecks like Tiger King or take it back to Little House on the Prairie – carve out the time to do what you may never have the luxury to do –-  take the hour you’d normally commute during and call your mom – call your Grandma – call your old neighbor who retired to Alabama and check-in. Carve out the time to DO YOU its officially a judgement-free zone!

This too will pass so savor the beautiful bits and silver linings inside here. SPEND the time!

Michelle’s Health-Conscious Advice

Wear your sneakers. We’re generally a shoe-off household, but if I’m WFH, getting my kicks on in the morning makes me feel more energized, lifted, nimble, and ready to tackle everything on my to-do list.

My second tip for productive WFH is to keep your yoga mat rolled out as a reminder to get up and stretch!

Mel’s Fitness-Savvy Tips

Image courtesy of PCMag.com

Keep up to date with any and all of your health, wellness and fitness brands. They’re doing a ton of free (or donation-based) Insta Live streams. I’ve been getting quick 20-30 min workouts throughout the day. You can make it a group workout by doing a Google Hangout with your friends too!

Jen’s Meditative Practice

For me – it’s two-fold. I think more than ever the ritual of meditation every day is incredibly important. It is a way of clearing and calming. I also feel that we can do so much good by surrounding the universe with beautiful healing energy – the power of it is incredible. 

Here is a meditation that my friend made:

And a site I like to peruse is https://www.bobbyklein.com/soulspace. Great meditations!

Secondly – I found that spending some time this weekend to set up my remote “workspace” in a way that feels nourishing and beautiful was incredibly important. I picked a spot where I can see out the window (and luckily for me can see a tree!), added music, some pretty objects and have a candle on my desk (folding table) that I light every morning. At the end of the day I close my laptop and imagine leaving work. This helps me transition from “worklife” to “homelife”. 

Myung’s Bright Idea

Don’t forget to open the windows and let some fresh air in the morning. Also, open up those blinds to bring all that lovely sunshine! Warm sunlight can really boost your mood and help you focus on your tasks.

Kim’s Mental Health Check-Ins

Image courtesy of InTheBlack.com

This period of time is uncertain and chaotic, to say the least! Working remotely during this social-distancing period can leave you feeling cooped-up, lonely or overwhelmed – and that’s ok! If you’re feeling heightened anxiety about the state of matters right now and it’s affecting your ability to work or you just want a mental health check-in, my recommendation is to look into the wonders of tele-docs! Ginger and Talkspace are my two go-to’s for easy to access and affordable phone-based therapy appointments. Both take most insurances.

Gavin’s Zoom Tip

Image courtesy of GottaBeMobile.com

My tip is: get a stock image background to use for Zoom, so you don’t show the state of your apartment – very useful.

Jamie’s Productivity Advice

Image Courtesy of www.theverge.com

For me, making daily to-do lists have been really helpful. Having even a short list of to-dos that are achievable every day makes me feel accomplished and focused!