Advice from Westchester Professionals on Combating the Distractions of Working from Home

Work-at-home professionals face no commute but lots of distractions.

Some Westchester residents don’t need to battle traffic on the way to work, nor do they have thermostat wars with coworkers—they work in their homes. Their challenges? Staying far from the fridge and, well, working. Some advice from the trenches.

“My desk is right off the kitchen, so I find myself checking the fridge way too often. When I find myself wasting time, I’ll say out loud, ‘Why are you wasting time?’ and that helps get me back to work.”
Joanie Sirefman, Independent Agent
Aflac, Peekskill
Working from home for 3 years

“I take regular breaks—I probably do not work longer than an hour-and-a-half to two hours, tops, without a ten-minute break. I know my limits, and I know when to stop.”
Marc Karell, Owner
Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC Mamaroneck
Working from home for 3 years
“It’s tempting to enjoy flextime when there is no one looking over your shoulder, but the ‘flexible schedule’ mentality, when taken too far, can keep you from taking your job seriously. Having a dedicated workspace also helps. A well-organized desk helps avoid wandering around to find supplies—and distractions. Facebook and other online distractions are especially hard. Blocking out time for specific tasks helps with this; that, and a lot of discipline!”
Jann Mirchandani, Owner
Marketing Cafe, Yorktown Heights
Working from home for 13 years
“I have a separate office that is located away from the common living space. I also have a separate phone line, computer, and email address, which are all dedicated to work. And it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself that your clients are paying for your time.”
Tom Mariam, President
Mariam Communications, LLC, Rye Brook
Working from home for 10 years
“The beauty of working at home is that you can choose your own productive hours—for me, I am most productive between the hours of five and ten am. I save the afternoons for more mindless tasks like answering emails.”
Dani Glaser, CEO
Green Team Spirit, Croton-on-Hudson
Working from home for 22 years
“My methods for staying on task are: quiet—I work without music—a clean desk, and dedicated home-office space.”
Jill Singer, President
Jill Singer Graphics, White Plains
Working from home for 17 years


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