From the Editor: Making it Work Remotely

Like many folks these days, Senior Editor Amber Keister is spending more time outside.

The whole “working from home” thing was not working for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work anywhere that has a phone, computer and an internet connection. But after months away from the office, I was burned out, disconnected and decidedly grumpy.

What was an editor to do? What else, but to call up perfect strangers and ask their advice. These eye-opening conversations turned into “News from the Home Office.”

Despite their different jobs and companies, all the entrepreneurs had similar advice — especially when it came to their most valuable tip for remote work — setting and keeping a firm schedule.

Huh? Wasn’t one of the benefits supposed to be freedom from the clock? Instead of 9 to 5, I could work 10 to 6 or even 7:30 to 3:30. Work anywhere and anytime, right?


Normally I have a 45-minute commute to Cary, and in March, when I didn’t have to get in the car anymore, I figured I would have extra time to catch up on my work. So instead of 9 to 5, it became more like 8:30 to 6, without much of a break. And I never caught up; there was always more work.

No wonder I was grumpy.

So, I took the experts’ advice. I changed my routine and actually set firm working hours. I also scheduled a 45-minute walk every morning before work. I eat lunch at the same time most days, and even if I have unanswered emails, I log off promptly.

So far, I feel better physically and mentally, and I’m actually more productive and focused when I’m officially on the clock. As a side benefit, I use that time in the morning to think about my writing, what stories I’d like to put in the magazine and people I’d like to interview. I had always done this creative brain work in the car, to and from the office, and I had never realized how important it was.

Their advice may not help anyone but me, but nevertheless, I hope you enjoy meeting these home entrepreneurs.


  • Judy H. Lewis says:

    Thank you so much Amber, for the magazine with The Embers article. It was a
    very nice tribute to such a great band. It was very nice meeting you in April at North Hills concert. Sincerely, Judy Lewis

    • Amber Keister says:

      It was lovely meeting you and your husband. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Best, Amber

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