29 Mar

Insiders Guide: Tips for Working Remotely

Did you know that a good chunk of Eleven Peppers work remotely? Thanks to technology in our digital era, 50% of the workforce in the United States has some kind of telecommuting role, according to Global Workplace Analytics. While it has numerous advantages, there are also easy traps employees can fall into while working remotely. These, if left unchecked, can reduce productivity and lead to discouraged employees.

That’s not what we want, so we interviewed some of our most effective telecommuters and got their best kept secrets (not secret anymore) for anyone venturing into remote work. Here are some tips for working effectively and efficiently outside of the office.

Dress for Success
No need to suit up when you’re at home but it is best to change into a different outfit than you slept in. Even if you only switch into a different set of comfy clothes, it will signal to your brain that it’s time to start working. Some people have specific clothes that they only wear while they are working to help support a separation between home and work life.

Create an Office Space
To further distinguish that feeling of separation, we suggest creating an area in your house that is just for working. If you don’t have the room, rearrange your furniture in a way that establishes your work and non-work space. This could be as simple as clearing off your coffee table so that you only have work “approved” items– coffee cup (of course), laptop, favorite motivational quote, all of the sticky notes, and don’t forget, tons of light to keep you awake.

Keep Regular Hours
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being connected 24/7 while working from home. To avoid burnout, we recommend instituting regular working hours as you would if you reported to the office. Come up with a morning ritual that signifies the start of your work day and create a routine at the end of the day that will allow you to mentally unplug from work. One example commonly used among our pepper family is taking an exercise class every weekday at 5:30 pm.

Set Goals
Prioritize your work day and set realistic goals for yourself. In a remote setting, without anyone coming by your desk checking up on you, it’s vital to hold yourself accountable. Stick with your daily and weekly goals by creating a master to-do list to pull from. Items should be listed by level of importance, the highest priority goes at the top of the list. We also suggest scheduling regular check-ins with your supervisor or success partner  to help you stay on task.

Get Up, Stand Up
Just because you’re working at home doesn’t mean you should skip taking a break. Studies have shown that it is beneficial for employees to take short breaks after accomplishing a task or goal. So get up and stretch, do something to reward yourself, make some coffee, take your dog for a short walk, or play your favorite song and air guitar your way into your next to-do item.

Stay Connected
Don’t forget the human element. When you can, step away from your laptop and attend a workshop or conference. If your company has in-person meetings or events, make an effort to attend in order to stay connected to the company and your fellow employees. On a day-to-day level, try working in a coffee shop to break up your technology-only day with some human interaction, even if it is just the barista asking if you want another venti soy latte– joking, we’re espresso people.

14 Mar

Celebrating 5 Years: Theresa Santelli

Today we are celebrating another five year work anniversary, Theresa Santelli, Director of Creative Services. Theresa has been instrumental in leading one of our award winning private-sector teams and has rightfully earned the respect of her teammates, and of course, her customers. She recently transitioned into her new Director role to support the strategy and operations of ALL of our creative services. Check out this graphic for more info about Theresa, and read our special interview:



1: What do you like most about working at 11P? The lack of BS… and the trust. The trust I feel is put in me and the trust I have in my bosses and co-workers alike.


2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? The second 11p Holiday Party. It was the point in my mind when symbolically it all came together. To look around and see how far we had come since the year before when we all fit at one table (and I was still waiting for a start date J). Kristen had such a look of gratitude on her face when she looked around the room… it was like …Look what we did!! Amazing!


3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P? Disney World! It was the best! I love Disney World! I even reached a new level of Disney nerdom on that trip when a few of us (Albert and his now wife and Popka and her family were there with me) got on a bus before the sun even rose to catch an early magic hour at Animal Kingdom to get in line for the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride. Yup! New level! This girl, not a morning person. Good thing we did though. Later that day the line was like 4 hours long.


4: What is your favorite 11P event? I don’t have one because I can’t choose. We are always trying new things, which I LOVE trying new things and many times just a simple happy hour turns out to be so much fun too.


5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Thai Chili because it’s with an “H”


6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: There are so many! I’ve been lucky enough to work directly with several peppers all of which have been amazing people as well as co-workers. To name one though I have to say one I haven’t worked with, Dave. He’s my partner in crime (disclaimer: not real crimes). He listens to all my things (or at least acts like he’s listening 😉 ), tells me things will be okay when I’m upset, and is happy when I’m happy.


7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Debbie. It’s inspiring how dedicated she is to how a project will turn out.


8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!


Get to know Theresa a little bit better…

1: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
Cusco, Peru (that took some serious googling, with London, England coming in a close second with only a 13 mile difference between the two).


2: Where do you want to travel next?
We have a trip to Zion National Park planned for next month. I love going to national parks, and love traveling in general.


3: How many trails have you hiked (estimate)?
How many hikes and how many trails is different. I’ve hiked the same trails several times and couldn’t possibly come up with a number of hikes (in the hundreds). But the number of trails not hikes, hmmm, probably about 75 spanning various states, countries, and continents.


4: What is your favorite hike so far?
Inca Trail (Peru), but other top tier are Iceberg Lake (Glacier/Montana) and Half Dome (Yosemite/California).


5: If you could be ANY superhero/have their powers, who would it be?
So, I feel like saying Wonder Woman is cheating because who doesn’t want to be a demigod raised by Amazons, so Logan/Wolverine. If I had super healing I could get really good at so much stuff!! No injuries, no recovery time, no illness!! I would have so many more black belts!


6: If you had to pick one wine to drink the rest of your life, what would it be?
Whoa, this question hurts my heart a little, but pinot noir. I miss the others already and this isn’t even real.


7: What is your favorite type of yoga practice?
Hatha is my favorite and the one I couldn’t live without but I like it all.


8: If you were a type of coffee, what would it be?


9: Any secret talents or hobbies?


















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