The Work From Home Survival Guide: Because Your Sanity Is Important
After learning that millions of individuals are working from home as a result of the coronavirus, I decided to provide some advice on how to retain your sanity while working from home. Work from home is a challenge, so here is my survival advice. In fact, I’ve been working from home since 2012, when I was offered a severance package and decided to leave corporate America for good. During the first year, it was difficult to adjust to life without a schedule and without the camaraderie of coworkers.
I had been doing this since 1999.
As a result, I’ve chosen to write about some of those feelings in a series of blog postings.
After some time, I became accustomed to the seclusion as I established my own pattern.
The Joy Of Working From Home
Employees all across the world will soon understand a number of things as the world continues to shift toward remote working:
- All of the encounters were completely and utterly ludicrous
- Whether or whether an e-mail may readily take the place of a meeting
- When you commute twice a day during peak hour traffic, you realize how inefficient it is. When it comes to working hours, how much time is wasted? How it is no longer required to live in a high-priced metropolitan area
- You’d be surprised how tough it is to focus at home when you have children and an absentee spouse. What percentage of personnel is considered deadweight
- Working from home may be quite isolating
- How much more productive you’ll be able to be when working from home
- What a luxury it is to have complete control over the thermostat. If you want to enhance productivity, you may even customize the temperature of your workspace.
The prospect of working from home sounds like a dream come true for many people. However, as is true in most situations, the grass is always greener on the other side. This post will assist you in better appreciating your capacity to work from home and will provide you with advice on how to make the most of your work from home chance, among other things.
The Work From Home Survival Guide
A popular proverb states, “When the cat is away, the mice come out to play.” This is true. Slacking off at home is the number one reason why most employers do not allow employees to work from home. Every single person I know who works from home puts in a full day’s effort. During your first few weeks of working from home, you may be overjoyed by the amount of time you have on your hands. You’ll most likely want to see how much slacking off you can get away with while still getting things done in your life.
Alternatively, you could decide to make a phone call while relaxing in the heated seat of your Toto Washlet.
I’m confident that if I were fortunate enough to have a well-paying job that allowed me to work from home, I would not be spending the majority of my time behind a desk!
Here are some work from home tips to keep your sanity and be more productive:
Because you will discover that working from home is far more productive than working in an office with its numerous interruptions, you may find yourself accomplishing far more than you should without receiving any corresponding financial or title benefits. My estimation is that one hour of working from home is equivalent to two hours of working in an office setting. Yes, you are correct. You are twice as productive from home, and you save time by not having to commute. Most people who start working from home will continue to put in the same amount of hours each day at first.
However, after approximately three months, they will begin to feel the effects of exhaustion since they will not be accustomed to such high levels of production.
Old habits die hard, and no matter how much more value you provide to the company, you will continue to earn and move at the same customary pace.
The secret to having a pleasant work from home life is to just perform what is necessary to keep your promotion and pay schedule on track.
As a result, I urge that you attempt to do the same amount of work in half the time at the end of the first month. Once you have established this habit, your happiness will soar because you will have so much more time to devote to the activities that you like.
2) Make sure you get out of the house every day.
Plan to work from a coffee shop or meet up with a friend for lunch at least once every week. If you believe you must work the same amount of hours as you did when you were working in the office, it is quite simple to stay at home in your jammies all day. The most convenient time of day to run errands is generally in the middle of the day, when the majority of people are at work. Everything is much more manageable between 10 a.m. and 12 noon and 2 p.m. and 3:30 pm, such as grocery shopping, going to the post office, and getting a haircut, among other things.
Not only will you love the fresh air, but you will also welcome the break from your normal work schedule.
3) Find a physical-to-mental balance.
The fact that so many office workers spend their days seated in a chair without getting any exercise is one of the contributing factors to the obesity epidemic in the United States. After four hours at a desk in the morning, one hour of eating, and then another four hours at a desk before driving more than 30 minutes home, my day is done. It’s no surprise that our intestines continue to develop! The ability to work from home provides a fantastic chance to get in regular physical activity. Try to get in 5-10 minutes of exercise for every hour you work.
If at all possible, you should try to do walking conference calls as well.
You may take use of that time to converse and wander about.
4) Try napping after lunch.
Many office employees spend their days seated on a chair without getting any exercise, which contributes to the obesity pandemic in the United States. After four hours at a desk in the morning, one hour of eating, and then another four hours at a desk before driving more than 30 minutes home, my day is completed. That our intestines continue to expand is no surprise. Working from home provides a fantastic chance to get in regular physical activity. Try to get 5-10 minutes of exercise in for every hour you work.
If at all possible, you should try to do conference calls while strolling around the office.
You may take use of that time to converse and wander about the building.
5) Post your hours of operation to your family members.
Working from home, unless you live in a mansion, can be quite difficult if you also have a spouse who works from home or who stays at home with the children. Because working from home is often accompanied by the expectation that you will have a lot of spare time, your spouse or partner may interrupt your work more frequently than is really required. If you are interrupted when you are twice as productive as usual, it can be a really jarring experience. Falling out of a car traveling at 40 mph is far less enjoyable than falling out of a car traveling at 20 mph!
Close the door and, if necessary, put your hours of operation on a whiteboard to keep track of things.
Furthermore, if your spouse is accustomed to having the entire house to himself or herself throughout the day, it will take some time for them to adjust to your working from home presence.
Here’s a terrific example from the movie The Shining, which illustrates what may happen when people are left alone. Wendy is in such trouble. All she wanted to do was hang out with her friends!
6) Keep your manager abreast of what you are doing.
Millions of employment will not be restored after the epidemic is over, believe it or not. Even if you are working from home, you must maintain a high level of visibility for your superiors. If your company unexpectedly implements a work-from-home policy due to a health crisis, you’ll have to prove yourself to your supervisor that you’re trustworthy. It is her presumption that you will not be putting in the same amount of time or effort as you would at an office. It will be useful to check in with your supervisor every morning to tell her what you want to do and to offer an update on your progress at the end of the day or in the middle of the day.
e-mail update every now and again, too!
It is more difficult to be compensated and promoted when you are out of the spotlight.
Not only should you keep your employer up to date on your achievements, but you should also use these updates as an opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with him or her.
7) Find your tribe of other work from homers.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in an office is the sense of community. It’s entertaining to engage in some light banter around the water cooler from time to time. The rare happy hour gathering when the boss pays for all of the drinks and appetizers is also not too terrible, to be honest. When you work from home, it’s impossible to avoid the feeling of being alone. As an extrovert, I can assure you that you will suffer at home far more than an introvert. My wife can spend the entire week at home with no contact with anyone and not go insane.
In order to be able to sympathize with others about the ups and downs of life when working from home, you must seek out others who share your values and way of life.
This way, you can enjoy the benefits of working from home as well as the companionship of your coworkers while still participating in an enjoyable activity.
8) Try to keep at least one weekend day off-limits.
Working every day of the week may be a possibility if you happen to be in a profession where there is a stronger link between performance and income than in most other fields. If, on the other hand, you work every day of the week, you will inevitably feel depressed. You may get depressed to the point that your job quality degrades, or you may become burned out and leave. Being a solopreneur is the employment in which the relationship between work and reward is the most tightly knit together. When you are a solopreneur, you have just yourself to rely on for support.
Since making the promise to produce the newsletter on a regular basis, though, I’ve been feeling this continual pressure every Saturday morning to create something original for publication on Sunday.
Given the deterioration of my mental state, I made the decision to modify my writing schedule and write segments of the newsletter throughout the week. I was able to free up more time to spend with my family as a result of this.
9) Let your kids be kids.
It is possible that you will wind up working every day of the week if you happen to be in a field where there is a stronger link between performance and income. If, on the other hand, you work every day of the week, you will inevitably grow despondent. You may get depressed to the point that your work quality degrades, or you may become burned out and quit your job altogether. Working as a solopreneur has been shown to have the strongest link between effort and reward. (Source: Gallup) A solopreneur is a person who relies only on himself or herself to carry out their business operations.
But since since I made a commitment to produce the newsletter on a regular basis, I’ve been feeling this continual pressure every Saturday morning to come up with something new and original for publication the following Sunday.
My time with my family has increased as a result of this.
Good Things For Kids
Please don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in an unexpected bind, such as having school closed for several months owing to a health issue. Depending on their age, you may be able to provide the following services during the time you are unable to spend caring for them:
- Children’s podcasts such as YouTube Kids or Khan Kids
- Children’s podcast teachings and tales
- PBS broadcasts Sesame Street
- Allow them to engage in autonomous play
- Require them to read a book
- Assign them more homework
- Watch a movie that is acceptable for your age group. Make them complete tasks to help them develop a solid work ethic, and pay them so they may learn the value of money as well.
Yes, spending too much time in front of a screen is detrimental. In the meanwhile, if you do not have a spouse, an au pair, or a nanny, you will have to make due with whatever you have available until the quarantine period is through. Getting plenty of screen time will be OK! If you must work the graveyard shift after your children have gone to bed, make the necessary arrangements. It is also beneficial to set a 30-minute timer to remind you to stop what you are doing and check on them. Creating a schedule for children at home is quite important.
When you have a toddler, it might be difficult to try to work from home.
However, with a little work, it is possible!
It’s just funny!
You’re Going To Love Working From Home
As soon as you begin to routinely enjoy the benefits of not having to commute to work, you will never want to return to the traditional office environment. It’s also a huge relief not to have to deal with in-person workplace politics any longer. It’s still going on, but it’s not as obvious as it used to be. Working from home has a negative connotation that will soon go away. A greater number of firms will let more workers to work from home, not just as an advantage in terms of recruiting and keeping staff, but also as a means of increasing productivity.
Allowing you the freedom to drop off and pick up your children without having to “escape” from the office would be a welcome respite for many parents.
Lastly, for those of you who are interested in generating additional side money, working from home provides you with the ideal chance to do this.
Just make sure you finish all of your assignments first. Having the ability to work from home in my twenties would have allowed me to launch Financial Samurai much sooner and expand it into a behemoth of a website. Unfortunately, something is preferable than nothing!
Invest In Heartland Real Estate
Working from home is a trend that is here to stay. Even when we attain herd immunity, more and more individuals will choose to work from the comfort of their own homes. Take advantage of the multi-decade migratory shift from high cost of living places to low cost of living areas to maximize your returns on your investment. Cheaper and with better net rental yields are 18-hour cities such as Austin, Charleston, Denver, Phoenix, Memphis, and other similar locations. The most effective approach to capitalize on this multi-decade demographic shift is through real estate crowdfunding, which is becoming increasingly popular.
Fundrise is a platform that allows accredited and non-accredited investors to participate in private eREITs, which are real estate investment trusts.
CrowdStreet is a platform that allows authorized investors to participate in individual real estate possibilities, most of which are located in cities with an 18-hour commute.
They also have the potential for stronger growth as a result of employment growth and demographic shifts.
The Working from Home Survival Guide
There are several (and well-documented) advantages to working from home, ranging from greater freedom to run errands and complete other duties to avoiding the stress of a long commute to name a few. However, working from home might have a negative impact on your mental health as well. Some people believe that working from home reduces distractions since coworkers can’t just drop by your desk and pester you with the newest kitten videos, but the absence of human interaction has a number of negative consequences in the long run.
Similarly, In addition, there’s the desire to work in your pajamas or while lying in your bed.
Let’s face it: we’re in a bind.
There is a whole new set of issues for the rising number of remote workers throughout the world, ranging from greater pressure to work longer hours to a lack of motivation and loneliness.
1. Create a work-home boundary.
This is something you’ve heard before. Boundaries are necessary for survival. William Becker, an associate professor of management at Virginia Tech, recently co-authored a new study titled “Killing me softly: electronic communications monitoring and employee and significant-other well-being,” in which he discovered something interesting—and a little concerning—about the workplace. In many cases, “flexible work limits” become “work without bounds,” endangering the health and well-being of both the employee and their family members.
Perhaps you have had a similar experience. If you haven’t already, get a jump on things and set that limit! Here are three simple steps you can take right now to do this:
- Make sure you have a dedicated workstation where you can concentrate on your task. Ideally, you’d have a dedicated office space, but even a desk in a corner of your flat that’s specifically earmarked for business can suffice
- Make a game out of the phrase “I just got off work.” Take a shower or go for a walk—both of these activities can help you shut off your work brain and relax. Even though it’s time to depart, if you’re the kind that keeps working until the end of the day to answer “a few more emails,” you may need to push yourself to realize that it’s the end of your workday and that it’s time to log out. Take off your jammies and put on some clothes! We understand that it’s tempting to sleep in and relax in the morning. The fact is that this is one of the few crucial habits that you’ll immediately identify as a signal that it’s time to go into “work” mode and get things done
2. Use a meditation app.
In addition to being an enjoyable hobby for hippies, meditation has been shown to boost mental health by reducing worry and stress—not to mention that it helps you sleep better at night as well. If this is something you’ve never done before, don’t be concerned. It’s simple to start into, and there are a variety of meditation applications available. The majority of the time, they are free—and, unlike other goods, the free alternatives available here are more than sufficient if you are simply looking to get started with meditation and see how it goes.
Meditation applications such as Headspace, Calm, and Tide are among the most widely used in the world.
3. Take a breath. Go for a walk. Drink water. Get a healthy snack.
If you’ve heard this one before, please stop us. Exercise is beneficial. And so on and so on. No, but honestly, even if you only exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day, it may have a substantial impact on your anxiety levels. In addition, even if you don’t have a recognized anxiety disorder, those small pains of “Wait, did I finish that?” and “Wow, I had six back-to-back meetings today. straight through lunch” can seep into your consciousness and generate worry—without you even realizing it. In order to avoid this, set a timer on your phone or get an egg timer that will remain on your desk at all times to remind you to take a break and rest your eyes when necessary.
4. Make a checklist.
Checklists have long been known as the “secret weapon” of pilots, productivity gurus, and those who use bullet diaries, and they are one of the most simple tools you can use to reduce the amount of chaos in your life. Let’s just say that when you’re working remotely, pandemonium may quickly accumulate.) Not just any checklist, though; there’s a specific type of checklist that’s meant to assist you in planning your day, including appointments, events, and other important activities. You might wonder what this wonderful checklist style is all about.
5. Have a schedule.
Basically, learn time management skills and create a schedule for your days. It is essential to have a method in place when things are chaotic and unexpected, as they frequently are when working with remote team members. Even if everything else goes wrong, you’ll still have something to fall back on to keep your day (at least partially) on track. It seems ridiculously easy, but it works. Besides being very useful, this may also serve as a reminder to you to stretch, take a break, and rest your eyes when necessary.
6. Have an anti-loneliness plan. It’s a big deal.
One of the most significant drawbacks of working remotely is the feeling of isolation. Your daily interactions shift from seeing a handful of individuals (or perhaps even 10 or 20 people) to seeing your barista in the morning.
Maybe. Make a plan for social activities ahead of time to avoid being thrown off by a sudden absence of social contact and face-to-face encounters, which may be upsetting. Here are a few things you can do to ward off the loneliness bug that comes with remote work:
- Schedule a virtual coffee date with a friend (or a coworker, or someone in the same business!) once a week or once every two weeks to catch up—and speak about subjects other than work
- Get a video conferencing platform to use for your meetings. A video of someone’s face is the next best thing to being able to see their face in person. There are several apps available for this purpose that allow you to utilize your computer or phone to participate in video conference calls. If you want to work from anywhere while making not just video conversations, but also phone calls, you may use RingCentral’s all-in-one communication software, which also includes other amazing features such as instant messaging and task management:
- Join a professional organization. With a little searching on Twitter and Facebook, you can find groups and other people who work in your sector or role—and if you don’t already have a set of office buddies, it’s another fantastic method to find a community with which you can share tales, ask for assistance, and find a sense of camaraderie
7. Find one thing to look forward to each day.
It may be something as simple as being able to open that bottle of beer you’ve been dying to taste. It may be as simple as taking your dog for a stroll. Find something that you can look forward to at the end of the workday in order to gain some perspective and practice appreciation for yourself. Hey, every now and then our minds want a little assistance in disconnecting for a short period of time and thinking about anything other than work. And there is no better way to accomplish this than by concentrating on the things that truly important in life.
How are you keeping up your mental health while working outside the office?
Whether you’re new to working remotely or have been doing so for a while, maintaining healthy and taking breaks from time to time should be a goal for you. Working from home is a marathon, not a sprint, no matter how much experience you have or how many hours you believe you can put in from your sofa (because it’s just so comfortable), and remote work is no exception. Don’t overwork yourself; follow a couple of these suggestions and you’ll be able to work from anyplace while staying healthy. 1jgmh.org/article.asp?issn=2348-9995;year=2018;volume=5;issue=2;spage=99;epage=106;aulast=Grover Originally published on March 27, 2020, and revised on February 26, 2021.
Work from Home Survival Guide (for COVID-19 and Beyond!) – One Nine Pro
Much has changed as a result of the novel coronavirus, and working from home appears to be the new standard of living. Working from home, on the other hand, presents a number of difficulties. Is it, however, conceivable to be just as productive at home as you are at your place of employment? My work-from-home survival guide is available to you now, and it includes seven suggestions for working remotely from home so that you may be more productive while also avoiding going insane in the process.
7 Tips for Working Remotely at Home (and Winning at it!)
Let’s get into my favorite suggestions for having a productive day at work (even if you’re working from home!).
1. Pick a Dedicated Space In Your House
Take a look at some of my favorite recommendations for having a productive day at work (even if you’re working from home!)
2. Set Clear Boundaries with Your Family
Having chosen a location for your business, the next step is to establish some ground rules with your children and significant other, as outlined below. Even if you have a specialized office, it is simple for people to believe that you are more approachable if you don’t make yourself readily available. You want to make it crystal obvious to them when your working hours are and when they are not working hours. Remember that your children, partner, or even a roommate may not be used to you being at home all of the time if they are not accustomed to you being at home.
You will be ready to play and socialize as soon as you are finished.
3. Use a Combination Of Headphones and Music to Drown Out Any Noise
Because your house is neither a workstation or an office, and because you may be at home with family, you are certain to hear a variety of sounds–screaming children, squabbling parents, television noise, FaceTime chats, and so on–that might be distracting. You can block out all of these distractions by wearing a decent set of noise-canceling headphones and listening to music at the same time.
I absolutely do not advocate that you listen to your favorite band on a regular basis! You should listen to classical music or some other type of ambient music that can serve as white noise and drown out the sounds of the world around you, if possible.
4. Video Calling Works Best for Meetings
Use video conferencing to conduct all of your meetings and all of your phone conversations. Even though this is something that I’m sure you’re already aware of, I’d want to provide you with a few tips in this section. Of course, in an ideal case, you’d like to meet with someone in person – there’s nothing quite like it – but making a video chat is a close second. It’s understandable that some individuals are uncomfortable making video calls from their homes since you never know what can happen during the conversation.
- You’re not sure if the UPS delivery person is going to knock on your door.
- However, the truth is that, in this digital era, people are far more forgiving than you may think.
- You’d be shocked at how many times I’ve done this and how few people seem to notice or notice that it’s happening.
- Those of you who remember the BBC news program from a few years ago may recall a man who was really in his home doing a report when his children stepped in and started playing with him.
- Recognize that this is a component of the situation.
- The vast majority of people will understand!
- For example, if you knew that your spouse would be out with the kids on a specific day, or if you knew that you would have the home to yourself at that time, it would be a good idea to schedule all of your meetings on that day.
- One additional point to consider while doing video calls.
- What most people don’t realize is that this is just as crucial in video calling as it is in voice calling.
- Believe me when I say that it can make all the difference!
5. Develop a New Routine
Many of you are likely coming from an office environment or a conventional “9 to 5” job where your daily routine is largely predetermined by your employer. But now it’s up to you to set your own hours and establish a work pattern that will put you in the best position to succeed. The main purpose for this is to ensure that you complete your task on time and according to a clearly defined timetable that you adhere to. While you’re establishing this habit, one thing I would suggest is that you work less hours than you already do.
- If you opt to work for 4-6 hours instead of the whole eight hours, you’ll most likely accomplish the same amount of work as if you worked for the full eight hours.
- And one of the tools that I’m going to offer to you in order to assist you in accomplishing this is something called “Time-blocking.” Time-blocking is a productivity tool that allows you to determine when you’re going to work on a specific activity, from this time to this time, for example.
- You’re going to focus solely on that one task until you do it inside the time frame you’ve specified.
- In the end, it might help you to concentrate and regain control over your timetable and schedule.
I’m actually in the midst of creating a book that is particularly on Time-Blocking at this very moment! As a result, you’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the future, and I hope you’ll check out the book when it’s out!
6. Get Out of the House
Many of you are likely coming from an office environment or a conventional “9 to 5” job where your daily routine is largely predetermined by the employer. The time has come, though, for you to set your own hours and establish a work regimen that will position you to be successful. Simply put, the purpose of this is to ensure that you complete your task on time and according to a well established timetable. While you’re establishing this habit, one thing I may suggest is that you work less hours than you are currently.
- If you opt to work for 4-6 hours instead of the whole eight hours, you’ll most likely accomplish the same amount of work as if you worked for the full eight hours.
- To explain further, time blocking is a productivity tool that allows you to pick when you will work on a certain activity from this time to this time.
- Work on that one task until it is completed inside the time frame that you have set for yourself.
- In the end, it might help you to concentrate and regain control over your timetable and activities.
- As a result, you’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the future, and I hope you’ll check out the book when it’s out.
7. Enjoy Yourself
In all seriousness, working from home offers several advantages! Despite the fact that it might be difficult at times, try to appreciate the freedom that comes along with it. So, for example, I know a lot of folks who believe you should dress professionally every day at work so that you appear more professional to your colleagues. However, you are not required to do so. You are not required to adhere to any set of regulations. Why not work in your jammies all day if that’s what you want to do?
If you want to take a break during lunch and spend some quality time with your children, then go ahead and do so!
The above has served as my Working from Home Survival Guide. Whether you have been working from home for a long time or are just starting out, I hope you found this article to be useful.
If you found it useful or know someone who might benefit from reading it, please forward it to them. Have you ever had the opportunity to work from home? What are some of your survival strategies? Please share them with us in the comments section.
Work-from-Home Survival Tips – Including Hacks for Handling Kids
Jobs that allow you to work from home
A team of financial professionals weighs in on what works for them personally to stay productive and sane in the era of COVID-19.
Prior to the coronavirus shutdown, being a working parent was difficult — managing work, rushing to and from school or sports, cooking fast, nutritious dinners, and giving my children and spouse the time they needed were all difficult tasks. Then COVID-19 struck, and everything changed. I’m not a person who adapts well to change, but within a few weeks — okay, maybe a month — I was back in my comfort zone. I get to spend more time with my children. I’m taking better care of myself, and I’m loving my work more than ever, taking on more topics and initiatives than I have in the last year.
My best practices have always been influenced by my colleagues’ best practices, and I’ve embraced what makes the most sense for me, but never more so than today.
Top Tips to Stay Productive at Home
As financial specialists, we are concerned with the establishment of systematic procedures. Despite the fact that COVID-19 presented a fresh set of problems, we were prepared to overcome them. It is simple to apply our suggestions to your own work-from-home circumstance. Mr. Brenden Melrose, a San Diego-based wealth advisor:
- Working from home makes it simple for the lines between business and personal life to get blurred. When I arrive at my designated workspace, my mind is already in the working mindset. A desk or an office is not required
- Simply having the same area every day would suffice. Moving from room to room in the house makes it difficult to maintain a constant work environment
- Maintaining a routine helps me to be completely present for both work and personal life at the same time. I can easily sneak away after hours to get “a few of short things done” because my workplace and chores are so close by. On the other hand, it’s just as simple to take a break and perform some chores around the house. If you stick to a schedule that includes a designated work block and personal time, you’ll be able to concentrate on your job because you’ll know you’re giving each the attention it deserves
- I make it a point to switch off my computer after my workday is through. The requirement to restart the computer is an excellent barrier to returning to work mode.
Cecilia Williams is the Director of Investment Operations and Chief Compliance Officer at Long Beach.
- Create a work environment that allows you to stay focused and motivated. The correct chair, desk height, lighting, and other factors are important when considering how many hours a day you spend gazing at your computer screen. Look for training and learning options that are available online. In addition to the storytelling and training that occurred just by working next to one another in the workplace, we are now losing an additional piece of the experience. Participate in a webinar, read articles, and be careful not to get so focused on your specific function that you lose sight of the need of self-improvement. Maintain a regular start and conclusion to your day. Upon arriving at work, I make certain that anything extraneous to work is cleaned off my desk, that I have my coffee in hand, and that I spend the first 10-15 minutes planning my day, outlining priorities, and rearranging things to make my day more productive and efficient. At the conclusion of each day, I do the same thing, making sure I have looked ahead to see what has to be done the next day. This allows me to psychologically decompress. Everything will be ready for you the next day.
Tony Collins, Associate Wealth Advisor based in Long Beach, California: It helps me stay more motivated and productive by holding more regular voice and video sessions with my team. It also helps me feel more connected to the job I’m doing. Getting bogged down by email and instant messaging is simple to accomplish; yet, occasionally important details are lost in the process. Direct interactions are unbeatable when it comes to prioritizing and ironing out difficulties quickly. Craig Eissler, Wealth Advisor, Houston: Craig Eissler, Wealth Advisor, Houston Invest in a pair of earphones that allow you to remain connected to your phone rather than being chained to your device.
Best Practices for Working at Home with Kids
Children in the workplace are unquestionably not a good combination – prior to COVID-19, this was a significant no-no for many businesses. Many of us, on the other hand, like the children who have come on screen or in the background of a Zoom conference call. The vast majority of our advisors are parents — and they’ve found out how to “make it work” for their families. Here are a few of the highlights. A senior wealth advisor in Long Beach, David Koch, is quoted as saying:
- Dividing the day into small portions is a good idea. If your children can’t sit still in school without a break, what gives you the impression that they will be able to do so at home? Take, for example, the Pomodoro Technique. Time-blocking is a productivity technique created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s that involves using a timer to divide work into 25-minute chunks interrupted by brief breaks. The name “Pomodoro” (tomato in Italian) is derived from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used to keep track of the hours. The strategy is said to aid in the division of enormous undertakings into smaller, more manageable ones, as well as the improvement of creative and attention abilities. Meanwhile, take use of your breaks to check in on the kids and take a rest
- Have rowdy kids? I force them to perform burpees. “You’re either going to become smarter or you’re going to get stronger,” I tell my children. “Right now, you’ve decided to get stronger.” I generally start with 10 and work my way up to 15 or 20 if I start getting any lip. If they protest, I’ll add more and tell them that “pain is just weakness leaving your body.” Pain is simply weakness leaving your body. One piece of advice: During school hours (Monday-Friday, 9 am-3 pm), I need them to acknowledge every order I give them with “Aye aye, captain,” as well as a little salute. This guarantees that they understand that I am serious about doing business with them. Are you planning to take a work call? Place a sock on the doorknob to keep it closed. When they say “checklists,” they are referring to the fact that they should not be interrupted. Make one for yourself and another for the children. A single task at a time is just inefficient when you have many children to manage. Make a list, write it down, and ask them to tick items off the list as they go about their daily activities. Not only does this provide them with direction (even if you are still on that one-hour phone conversation 90 minutes later), but it also provides them with a sense of success — as well as an opportunity for you to recognize and thank them. Encourage them to set a stretch goal and reward them for achieving it — or even just putting out a valiant attempt to do so
- Preparing meals ahead of time and having enough of snacks on hand will save you time and money. Batch process a stack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, double-check that you have all of the ingredients for Triscuit nachos, stock up on Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza boxes, pre-slice five apples at a time, stock up on organic baby carrots, and bust out the Crock Pot — or, better yet, the Instant Pot. Now is the time to make that slow-roasted dish that can be used to prepare numerous meals at the same time
- Let the kids to take use of all the fantastic media available. It is not necessary to limit their screen time at this time. You may give it to them as a treat for watching their favorite slime videos (does anybody else have a 6-year-old girl?). There are also fantastic applications, podcasts, and YouTube channels that may be used to supplement their knowledge. With the Khan Academy app, the Khan Academy YouTube channel, and now a Khan Academy Children’s app, Khan Academy has become a household name in our household. The Brilliant app is excellent for arithmetic problems. There are TED Talks abounding that explore topics that your children could be interested in. Do you have a budding entrepreneur on your hands? Allow them to observe Shark Tank is a television show that airs on the Discovery Channel.
Craig Eissler, Wealth Advisor, Houston: Craig Eissler, Wealth Advisor, Houston
- When participating in a conference call, use the mute button on your phone as often as feasible when you are not speaking
- Set some boundaries for yourself. Walls and doors are in excellent working order. Zoom has a function that allows you to create virtual backdrops. Kids are free to run and dance as they like behind you. No one will be able to see them
Finally, My Own Input
After consulting with my colleagues, I came up with my own set of top recommendations:
- To ensure that I don’t have any interruptions during a particularly critical meeting, my children are dispatched on a lengthy stroll around the neighborhood with their caretaker. To keep myself entertained during the day, I have a set-up on the window seat in my working space with markers, crayons, coloring books, Legos, novels, and other such items.
No matter how much you’ve loved your time away from the workplace — or how much you’re looking forward to the day when you can return — there are methods to thrive in your new surroundings. If you seek counsel and are willing to make changes to your daily routine, theaha’s will come your way. Simply keep experimenting with various solutions, and eventually some of them will yield fruit.
It is not the Kiplinger editorial team who wrote this article; rather, it is our contributing adviser who expresses his or her opinions. You can look up advisor records with the SECor and FINRA, among other places.
Kelli Kiemle, AIF®
Halbert Hargrove serves as the Managing Director of Growth and Client Experience. In her current role as the Managing Director of Growth and Client Experience at Herbert Hargrove, Kelli Kiemle has been with the company since 2007. Kelli received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration-Business Communication/Marketing from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in 2006, and she is a member of the American Marketing Association.
Your Survival Guide to Working From Home With Kids
Working from home can provide a number of issues in and of itself, including unfamiliar technology installations, difficulties maintaining concentration and productivity, and interacting with team members, to mention a few. When you include children in the equation, the scenario becomes much more complicated. As a mother of three boys who has also operated a remote-only business for the past ten years, I am all too familiar with the difficulties that come with having three children. Listed below are some suggestions for making working from home with your children as painless and effective as possible:
Make schedules. You’ll need them to survive.
Many people who work from home without having children describe getting out of bed in their jammies, sitting in front of a computer, and going about their day without much rhyme or reason as to when it starts and when it finishes. For parents who want to balance children while also working, it’s important to establish a pattern and timetable that they can follow religiously. It may be beneficial to write down your family’s schedule and post it on the refrigerator, depending on their ages, to assist explain to them when you are working and when they can anticipate to have snacks, lunch, or simply a little quality time with you.
In any case, having a strategy in place is essential to achieving success—and it also reduces the likelihood that your children will interrupt you or that you will accidently forget to give the kids lunch.
Use a “digital babysitter” strategically.
The fact is that many parents believe they can use television or iPads as a digital babysitter, which is just not true. Aside from the fact that this is frequently not a good idea for your young children, it is also not very efficient. The ideal way is to limit the use of all electronic gadgets, with the exception of those that are absolutely necessary to keep your children calm and completely occupied. Whenever I’m dealing with a sick child at home, or in my present circumstance, when I’m confined at home, I put the kids on a strict no-technology diet, with the exception of when I have planned conference calls.
If you allow technology to infiltrate your entire day and it isn’t a novelty, it becomes more difficult to designate time when you simply must be disturbed.
Use early mornings or late evenings for deep work.
When children are involved, deep work is nearly hard to complete since your time and attention are split, as is your ability to concentrate. That’s when you’ll need to be resourceful and work in the early mornings or late hours to maximize your productivity. Early mornings are my preferred time. I go to bed at 9 p.m. and awaken at 4:45 a.m., ready to start the day at 5 a.m. I go to sleep at 9 p.m. and awaken at 4:45 a.m., ready to start the day at 5 a.m.
That allows me to have a couple of hours of undisturbed time first thing in the morning, while I am still alert and uninhibited by distractions. The same method applies in the evenings as well; essentially, you must find time while the children are sleeping to do deep-thinking assignments.
Divide and conquer.
However, if at all possible, divide the day between your husband or another caregiver- even if both of you are working full time- will help you to feel more relaxed and less stressed. And the inverse is also true: it is possible for both parents to be working from home in the living room, with neither completely concentrating on their jobs nor on their children. As a result, it is critical to establish a distinct divide wherever feasible.
Take 5-20 minute breaks with the kids a few times per day.
Finally, take small pauses throughout the day, during which you may offer your whole focus to the children you are watching. According to research, youngsters really thrive on small bursts of uninterrupted time, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in length. As a result, include it into your daily routine. In this way, in addition to being more productive at work, you will be able to rest assured that your children are receiving adequate care as well.
Work from home full time — the survival guide you didn’t expect to need
Lastly, take many brief intervals during the day during which you may devote your whole attention to the children. According to research, youngsters really thrive on small bursts of uninterrupted time, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in duration. As a result, include it in your daily routine. So, in addition to being more productive at work, you will be able to rest assured that your children are receiving adequate care as well.
It ain’t easy
Your employees may believe you have a privileged position since you work from home. Perhaps it is even considered a benefit in your organization, and is only available to senior executives. Working from home is difficult. It necessitates a persistent and active effort. The act of communicating with everyone is nearly a full-time job in and of itself — let alone the actual work that has to be done. Working from home is not a good idea because:
- Less corporate monitoring
- Fewer meetings
- Improved work-life balance
- Fewer meetings There is no 9-5 timetable
It is not a remote work that will provide you with any of these benefits; it is another employment. Working from home, on the other hand, makes each of these concerns more difficult to deal with.
Working over the internet means that no one is aware of what you’re up to. The default assumption is that ‘nothing’ exists; it is now your responsibility to actively disprove this assumption.
Default to Transparency
It’s a key principle of the most successful remote firms, and it’s something you should adopt as well if you want to succeed as a full-time remote worker in today’s world. The objective is to become accustomed to performing your duties in public.
- Don’t jot down notes on a piece of paper. Write them down in Google Docs or Notion and distribute them to the rest of the team for review. Don’t merely send out progress reports via email. Instead, post them in an open slack channel so inquisitive colleagues may watch and learn more
- Do not hold a one-on-one training session. You’ll never have to do that training again if you conduct a Zoom call and capture it on video.
If you limit your contact to one-on-one conversations, you’ll be as invisible as a ghost in the company. If you write consistently well, you will be able to get an advantage over your on-site colleagues. Who has greater influence: the New York Times or a random stranger on the street?
Shift to asynchronous communication
Calls, video chats, and shoulder touches for a “quick inquiry” are all examples of synchronous communication that can be distracting and indicate a lack of forethought and preparation. Because they did not plan, why should your lack of preparation cause them to be unable to function? All high-performing remote teams learn to communicate with one another using asynchronous means, such as emails, task managers, or Slack messaging, especially when projects begin to span many time zones and get more complex.
When you’re interrupted, don’t dismiss it as unimportant.
Investigate the core reason and make changes to the process so that it occurs less frequently in the future.
Alternatively, can you encourage them to schedule time on your calendar rather than interrupting you?
As a full-time remote worker, your ability to work without being distracted is your superpower – don’t let it be wrecked by continual Slack pings.
Not only must you do well at your job, but you must also develop genuine and meaningful connections with your coworkers and management in order to advance in the organization.
Visit the office as frequently as you can
A visit once every three months is recommended, or more frequently if you reside in the same state or nation. Additionally, if at all feasible, attempt to coordinate your excursions with significant all-hands meetings, offsites, or corporate retreats. It is your responsibility to advocate for the scheduling of excursions. Once things begin to become routine, everyone will become complacent, and it will become far too simple to postpone travels. Team trips, sports games, team meals, and other social events should be organized by the team captain.
- The time and effort invested in disentangling the personal ties of individuals is worth its weight in gold.
- The fact that they can attach a face to a name and have a generally favourable impression of you will be extremely beneficial to you politically.
- Social ties are time-consuming, and you need to squeeze everything into a few days.
- When you’re all compelled to spend every day together, inertia sets in and individuals tend to underinvest in their personal connections.
Try to identify shared interests among your employees and serve as the social glue that holds the group together. For example, if your employees enjoy sports, you might be the one to organize a fantasy league for them. Keep an eye on the team’s banter in Slack or group chat – participate in the conversation and bring out your finest memes when the situation calls for it. Customizing slack emojis has an unreasonably high level of efficacy. You could dismiss it as a waste of time, but give it a go.
Those who get promoted are those who make their manager’s work easier by doing their job well. It is not enough to be aware of your own job; you must also be aware of the work of your management – what are the primary projects that they are undertaking? What is it that is preventing them from achieving their goals? What can you do to assist me? It’s important not to spend too much time in your one-on-one meetings with your manager discussing status updates. Emails are more appropriate for this purpose.
Spend your time gaining a better knowledge of the larger picture: What is it that is preventing the team from progressing? What can you do to assist me? More information on conducting good one-on-one meetings may be found in the handbook on performance evaluations.
Working from home full-time might be isolating. Many individuals don’t make many friends outside of their job surroundings, so you have an added responsibility to cultivate meaningful IRL connections in order to maintain your sanity. It’s also crucial to communicate your expectations to family and housemates in advance. Maintain clarity when you’re working and establish a pattern – take your complete lunch break and avoid eating at your desk or in your working environment. If you find yourself working over your normal working hours, inform your spouse as soon as possible so that they may arrange their schedules around yours.
Yes, without a doubt.
Everyone will tell you this, and they are correct: work and pleasure should be kept separate.
Purchase a desk and locate it in a location that is as quiet as feasible for you to work from.
Because a staggering 84 percent of remote employees work from home, and just 4 percent work from coffee shops or cafes, having a well-designed home office is essential. One of the major advantages of working from home is the opportunity to maintain complete control over your environment. Here’s how to put that power to work for you:
- Make sure you’re in a peaceful place where you won’t be disturbed by relatives or housemates. Make an investment in a high-quality network, such as a Wi-fi mesh network or a router that supports Wi-fi 6. a chair that is pleasant
- A few strategically placed green plants (artificial plants are OK) may make a significant difference
- A video call plug-in (to minimize echos during video calls)
- Use a high-quality camera and adjust the background to your liking.
Asking your company for a budget to make your home office more pleasant should not be a source of concern. Considering that office space may cost upwards of $1,000 per desk per month in cities like New York and San Francisco, receiving a one-time payment of a few hundred dollars makes sense. What if you don’t have a suitable location to set up a home office in your residence? Coworking spaces are the usual option, but if you don’t have a lot of money, you’ll probably end up at a café or a coffee shop.
If you’re looking for a shopping list, here’s our suggestion:
- Amazon sells a plug-in headset that you can use. Amazon has a camera with a built-in privacy shutter that you can purchase. It is possible to use the Facebook Portal mini (for quick team and family check ins) without having to sign up for a Facebook account. According to bkr, an intensive water bottle is the ultimate remote work flexibility. In the form of a plant from The Sill, to keep you company Desk organizer — purchased from World Market, Inc. Amazon has a desk for your office
- Amazon has a padded office chair that is comfortable. Map of the Roman Empire (so people know you’re serious about your goals) —available on Amazon
In the United States, the typical company pays $3,297 per employee on software as a service (SaaS) licensing. If you work from home, these tools are your only means of communicating with the firm; therefore, the tools you pick are important. What if your employer forces you to use a tool you despise? What do you do in that situation? It’s been said that you shouldn’t knock down a fence until you understand why it was erected, and the same can be said for the software used by your company. Someone went through the trouble and expense of researching and developing this product, and it was successful – find out who it was and why it was successful.
What if they don’t listen to reason for some reason?
Create code or use a platform such as Zapier to link your preferred tool to any existing system that is already in place. For example, you might create a trigger to send any new Jira tasks to your Trello board, or you could design a rule to send you high-priority emails on Slack as they arrive.
What tools do Remote teams use?
There are a few of essential categories — and a great deal of overlap between them — to consider.
- In most cases, documents are created in Microsoft office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), or in Google (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive), while emerging contenders include Notion, Airtable, and Coda. Documents are where the job is completed. This is where we keep track of deliverables
- You’re undoubtedly familiar with Trello, Asana, or Jira, but others such as Monday.com and Basecamp are rising in prominence
- And other people utilize Airtable, Notion, or Coda. Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Facebook Workplace are examples of messaging platforms, but increasingly people are conducting business via text message, Discord, or Whatsapp (regardless of whether or not IT approved it) — this is for anything that is more urgent than an email but less urgent than a phone call. While Zoom is quickly becoming the standard, there are other options such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and your messaging software like as Slack or Teams, which may include this function – always keep your video on to foster stronger interactions
- Keeping your calendar up to date is frequently the only way for others to know when you’re not at your desk when they can’t see if you’re there or not. Most people utilize the default email account that comes with their Google or Outlook account – be sure to keep it up to date on a regular basis so that you can interact throughout your hectic times.