Just like you, our Event 360 team is made up of people of action. During this time of uncertainty and change, our team has been discussing how to find a way to offer support to others in our industry, including our clients in the non-profit space. What does this mean when the information and plans we know are upside down and changing every day? What blog posts, infographics, or newsletter topics might be helpful during this time of crisis?

The situation grows in seriousness daily, and we respect that people are processing life-changing information. Before we added to the “noise”, our team made the commitment that anything we shared needed to be helpful, concise, and truly add value for our readers. “How can we help?” became our mantra as we engaged different team members across departments.

It boiled down to this: In times of trial, we have to work together. At Event 360, our team knows, breathes, and lives collaboration every single day — and we are firm believers that collaboration drives innovation. That’s how we can help.


First up in our new Collaboration Drives Innovation series, our teammates dig into a timely topic: Working from Home.

Since our company was founded in 2002, a vast majority of our employees work virtually from home offices all across the country. When working from home is your “normal”, developing a routine, space, and strong team communication is critical to ensuring work/life balance, productivity, and success.

We asked our teammates:

  • How has your work setup evolved in the last month?
  • What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?


Cheryl Stern, Brand Manager | MuckFest®

How has your work setup evolved in the last month?

Though I’ve worked from home for the past 15 years, my work set-up has changed significantly in the past few weeks. During the workday, I’ve always been alone in my quiet home office (with the exception of my two dogs snoring in the corner of the room). I now suddenly find myself sharing my work days (and our small home) with my husband who has transitioned to working from home, and our first-grade daughter. In order to give everyone the space they need to effectively work and learn, we mapped out “office” space for each of us. My husband’s daily work involves many video calls with a large staff and a lot of physical space for files, so he has now taken over my home office. And the kitchen table has become my new desk and office space. This enables me to juggle work time with homeschooling and assist our daughter with her assignments. And bonus: snacks are within easy reach! My husband and I are careful to keep each other informed about times of the day that we need to really focus or have conference calls — and we step in and help the other out to make sure we have the space and time we need.

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?

  • Be as flexible as you can with your schedule, especially if you’re juggling childcare/schooling and work. Rather than trying to stick to a traditional 9-5 workday (which, let’s be honest, is NOT going to be effective if there are kids in the house), figure out a flow of the day that works best for you. That might mean starting your workday earlier than usual, when the rest of the household is still waking up, or squeezing in a couple of hours in the evening after kids go to bed and you can really focus. Rather than trying to do everything simultaneously — and getting frustrated and stressed out in the process — recognize that these are not normal times. Therefore, you will likely not have a “normal” schedule. And that’s OK.
  • Take a real lunch break. It’s easy to lose track of time and keep working through lunchtime, but taking a real break to have a good lunch or get outdoors for a bit will reenergize you for the afternoon. I’ve started scheduling “P.E.” with my daughter during lunch breaks, where we go for a long walk, play in the backyard, or do a yoga workout. Having that scheduled time away from the computer to get some fresh air and burn some energy really helps break up the day for both of us.
  • Pick up the phone. It’s easy to feel isolated these days, especially if you are a social person and working from home is new to you. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to check in with co-workers rather than sending another email or IM message. This is often a more efficient way to talk through work tasks, and also gives you a chance for some much-needed human connection.


Kiki Setterlund, Crew & Volunteer Coordinator | Susan G. Komen 3-Day®

How has your work setup evolved in the last month?

My husband and I both work from home. He originally had a workspace on one floor and mine was on the other. We were free to roam and rarely got in each other’s way.  When our kids’ schools closed and distance-based learning began at home, however, we had to adjust a bit. My husband and I now each have designated spaces on the same floor and the kids have created their own workspaces on the other floor. If we are in a meeting or need 100% focus on a particular project, we all created the ‘door rule.’ If the door is closed, keep the noise down and do not disturb the person behind it. So far, it’s been working great!

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?

I love working at home because I’m 100% in charge of my own productivity. At the same time, however, it can feel isolating and lonely without the water cooler chat. Reach out to your colleagues. I love using Skype. Whenever I have a few minutes in between meetings or projects, I’ll see who’s ‘green’ and drop them a line.


Irina Gelfand, General Counsel

How has your work setup evolved in the last month?

In the month since daycares and schools have closed and the kids have been home, my home office has evolved to include extra chairs by my desk, arts & crafts activities, crayons, markers and headphones for their iPads. My 4-year-old regularly “works” from my office during the 2-year-old’s nap time from 12-3 p.m. I now also take more of my calls on my cell phone, so I can walk around the house getting various random requests like band aids, water, cups, snacks and clean clothes for my “co-workers”. There is definitely a need for flexibility during this time and working from home doesn’t look like what it used to.

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?

If you are working from home with kids around, especially younger kids, have realistic expectations of what your day is going to look like. It is not going to be a smooth 9-5 p.m. experience. It will likely happen in chunks, maybe even small chunks of 30 minutes of quite time while someone naps, draws, or watches cartoons. The chunks of time may be in the early morning, during nap times, or in the evening after the kids go to bed. Have flexibility, expect that it is not going to look like the work schedule you used to have, and give yourself some grace to make it through this time. Especially helpful is a boss who understands this and is flexible right along with you. I’m very lucky to have such a boss myself.


David Jordan, Director, Information Systems

How has your work setup evolved in the last month?

I’ve been working from home for the last dozen or so years, so I’ve got it pretty much down pat.

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?

Some are obvious, some are less so.

  • Keep a regular schedule.
  • Find a distraction-free spot to work. If you live with others, block out some ‘do not disturb’ time and encourage them to think of you as not being home – they managed to get by while you were at the office before, and they need to continue doing that. You’ve got work to do.
  • Step away from your work area to eat lunch/take breaks. You want to draw a clear line between your work area and the rest of your house.
  • If you video conference, make sure that there is nothing objectionable in view of the camera – laundry, dirty dishes, that David Hasselhoff poster with the lipstick kisses all over it…
  • The body and the brain work in collaboration, and if either one thinks they aren’t at work, it will make things much harder than they need to be, so a) don’t work from the sofa or other comfortable spot – your butt will tell your brain it isn’t at work, and b) WEAR SHOES – your feet will remind your brain that they are obviously at work and won’t it be great when 5 p.m. comes and they can be freed from their prison.
  • And finally, keep a presence indicator going, so that you can see the other people working with you and so that they can see you. This happens naturally with tools like Skype for Business, Teams, and Slack. You may not be able to walk down the hall and talk to Bob or wave at Janet across the office, but seeing them in that list will reduce feelings of isolation. If you can, add fun status messages and change them periodically so that others are reminded of who you are on the other side of the screen and that you are there working from your home office, just like them.


Jenn Fortnash, Digital Marketing Coordinator

How has your work setup evolved in the last month?

As someone who rents a one-bedroom apartment, my office space is dedicated to a cozy corner of my living room. While my setup hasn’t changed, one thing that’s been reinforced over the past month is the importance of keeping an open line of communication with coworkers and departments I work with most closely. With things constantly shifting due to current events, now more than ever it’s crucial to be sure that everyone on the team is on the same page.

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to work from home?

Prioritize finding your work/life balance rhythm, whatever that looks like for you. It will help you get into a comfortable groove of working which will boost your efficiency as well as your mood. One tactic that has been helpful for me is establishing daily “rituals” for transitioning into and out of work.

  • My ritual before starting work in the morning is giving myself 20 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee on the couch. Finishing my coffee is the signal that means it’s time to make the transition over to my desk and into work mode. Pick one small activity that make you feel more like a person who’s ready to conquer the workday and do that thing first right before starting work.
  • My ritual right after finishing work in the afternoon is going on a walk. Giving myself a different activity to do directly following stepping away from my desk helps me transition out of work mode. If the first thing I do following work is idle, it’s a lot harder for me to take my mind off work. And if you can help it, don’t check your work email once you leave your desk for the day.


Do you have any other suggestions or resources you would share with someone who is just beginning to work from home? Please send them our way, and we will add the most helpful tips to this blog post. We also wanted to share these helpful resources.

Next week, we’ll be back with another Collaboration Drives Innovation topic, Participant Coaching.

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