With so many people working from home these days, I thought I’d ask the Academy staff to share their favorite work from home tips. This is what our team had to say!
Ivy Atkinson: Take an hour break to go for your daily exercise, in my case—I run every day!!
Alicia Durante: This goes for in-office or at home. Set email rules or boundaries with those that you work with when things should be a conversation. When things get to the 3rd reply and it’s still not resolved, pick up the phone and call to keep the email and chat volume down.
Sarah Eileen: Set ground rules with the people that you live with, especially if everyone else you live with is also working from home.
Roberta Ferguson: Make sure you are in a quiet space with no distractions. Also, if you’re doing video calls, be sure to have good lighting and practice first!
Steve Hartnett: Stick to a routine. Remember to stand and walk around periodically.
Randy Harwick: It is purely discipline. I don’t participate in social media and minimize 3rd party, non-Microsoft, software. The same equipment has worked in Alabama, on the road, in South America, in Europe, the British Isles, and on the high seas. It is all about discipline!
Donna Higgins: Start work while everyone else is still asleep. Have the kids help you make a stop sign for your door, this way they will know when they are not allowed in your workspace.
Timour Mobarak: Be “at work” while at work, and “at home” when your work day is done. One of the biggest long-term challenges with working from home, is that it blends the borders between the two. You are never away from the office when the office is your home. It makes it difficult to resist the temptation to check email or work on some project when you should be with family, and similarly it can be difficult to resist the temptation to do that load of laundry, or take care of that chore when you should be working. A lot of work from home tips end up being more specific strategies to deal with this issue, so it is helpful to have it as a general rule. A tech tip if you are using a personal computer for work: Have a work browser and a personal browser. for example, use Chrome for anything work related, particularly bookmarks and work email, and then Firefox for personal use. This eliminates some of the distractions, but also prevents the errors that happen when simultaneously logged into multiple accounts.
Traci Paul: Stick to a routine—Set your alarm to get up at the same time daily, make your bed, shower, put on make- up and get dressed for the office!
Lillian Valdez: Don’t put the tea kettle on and walk away, then put your headset in. It makes it impossible to hear the tea kettle and you’ll almost burn your house down. Ok, in all seriousness…. Have a designated work from home space that you keep separate from the rest of your living space. These physical boundaries will make it easier to 1) focus when at work; and 2) keep work at work. Secondly, make sure your workspace is setup to be ergonomically correct so you can be comfortable and pain free. Ensure your chair is the correct height and your monitors as well. If you’re on a laptop, you may need a riser. Sit properly, stand periodically, and take stretch breaks. I like using a foam roller as well where my hot spots are in my body.
Susan Russel: I completely agree with Lillian’s suggestion on seating and desk arrangement. It’s taken me a few tries with several tables/desks and chairs to finally feel relatively comfortable enough to sit for long periods of time. Staying in touch with the team is important. Slack has been a great tool for our team to stay connected and share with each other. We are able to provide updates, collaborate and acknowledge our accomplishments. Even remotely, we are able to reach out and support each other in many different ways.
What are some of your favorite work from home tips? Let us know in the comments!
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128