Here are the top tips for working at home. Advice from “work at home” veterans! What are the secrets of success and survival from those who made working at home a choice, not an obligation as it is now.
How to remain sane, productive, married and employed as work shifts for the office to the home.
Guests (in order of appearance)
- Dorien Morin-van Dam – https://www.moreinmedia.com/
- Rebecca Coleman – http://rebeccacoleman.ca/
- Jenn Herman – https://www.jennstrends.com/
- Deb Eckerling – http://thedebmethod.com/
- Andrea Vahl – https://www.andreavahl.com/
- Hallfríður Jóhannsdóttir – https://www.hadda.no/
- Sue B Zimmerman – https://suebzimmerman.com/
- Erin Cell – https://sociallypowered.com/
- Gord Isman – https://gordisman.com/
- Luria Petrucci – https://livestreamingpros.com/
- Todd Bergin – https://www.todd.live/
- Tod Maffin – http://todmaffin.com/
- Sigrun Gudjonsdottir – https://www.sigrun.com/
- Brian Fanzo – https://www.brianfanzo.com/
- Juhli Selby – https://juhliselby.com/
- Jenny Brennan – http://agorapulse.com
- Dr Julia Bramble – https://www.bramblebuzz.co.uk/
- Working from Home – GM34
- How to Use Zoom Video Conferencing When Working from Home
- Ecamm Live – Turn Your Home Office Into a Live Streaming Studio
Top Tips for working at home breakdown by the experts
- Early morning, the family's still asleep. I haven't had my shower yet, I just came down and decided to get this video out, that I've been working on for a little while. So many of us are now working from home, that never worked from home before, but a lot of us have worked from home for a long period of time, for most of our career. I thought that I would collect all of my friends who work from home and ask them to share with you their best tips on remaining sane, on remaining married, on remaining productive, on remaining employed in this new age of social distancing, where so many of us are working from home, possibly for the first time. So today on Dotto Tech, a special treat, I've asked all of my friends for best suggestions, their best tips, their best tricks for working from home. Steve Dotto here, how the heck are you doing this fine day? I think this is a great time for those of us who have worked from home for our entire careers to share with you the tips that we do to help keep us sane and productive, as we work from home, because it's not the same as in the office. There are different rules in the house, as you will find out. For example, my friend Dorien, she's been working from home, with her husband, for years. How do they keep a healthy relationship? Ha ha ha.
- Hi, lovely people, Dorein Morin-van Dam here. Working from home and staying married. Well, in May, it will be our 31st anniversary. My husband's been working from home for 21 years and I've been doing it for 10, so I think we have some experience. Let's get ready for a spin. Right there, that's the secret, it's a door. You have to respect the door and we never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever either knock, or open it, ever, okay? So when the door is open, we can go into each other's office, or stick our head around the corner. When the door is closed, that means we are working, concentrating, on the phone, on a video call, whatever it is. Before we had smartphones, we used to put notes under the door, you know, right there and now we just text each other to communicate, but we never, ever, ever open the door when it is closed. That's the secret.
- Respect the door. I love the respect the door, Dorien, thank you, but Dorien, what if you don't have a door to close? What if your house isn't set up with a dedicated space for your office? How do you then signify to the rest of the family that you are working and not to be disturbed? I have one suggestion. It might not be perfect, but it is a better than nothing. How about getting a set of headphones and putting them on? If your family sees you with the headphones on, they know you are in work mode, do not disturb the person with the headphones, respect the headphones, that's a suggestion and as an added bonus, you can also use the headphones and play back music from Brain.fm, or Focus@Will, that enhances your focus and productivity, so your family doesn't disturb you and you focus even more aggressively on the tasks at hand. Next up, my buddy, Rebecca Coleman, has a suggestion for how we eat and discipline ourselves for eating when we have the entire larder and pantry at our disposal, mm.
- I'm Rebecca Coleman, I'm a food blogger and a cookbook author and I've been working from home for a decade. I like to prep my lunches on the weekends and I know that sounds kinda silly because I'm working from home, my kitchen's right over there. How hard is it for me to go and make lunch? When I am grumpy and hungry--
- Just wanna jump in here with a quick comment, I believe Rebecca is often grumpy and hungry, editorial note.
- I wanna reach for grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and crackers, but if I have something in the fridge that's already prepped for me and it's healthy, I'm gonna grab that instead, put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and I'm gonna eat that, so prep your meals in advance, on the weekends and you're gonna eat way healthier.
- Rebecca makes a great point and that's a great tip. Food can be one of those distractions that pull us away. When the going gets tough, when you're working and you run into a difficult problem, or the work gets a bit slogging, a lot of people turn to Facebook or some other distraction, but a lot of will turn to eating something, running down the kitchen, making ourselves a snack, not necessarily the healthiest option for either our productivity, or our physical health. Next up, Rob Wilson form vidIQ.
- So working from home gives you certain luxuries, one of those being flexible with your time, as long as you don't abuse it. I have a timer on my desk, which slices my day up into 45 minutes chunks and once that alarm goes off, I get up from my desk and I'll leave the mental work I'm doing and do something physical, whether it is as simple as emptying the dishes, or going for a quick walk. Also, I don't stick to a strict schedule, so I don't do nine to five. Sometimes I have a longer lunch and one of those reasons is I need to take my dog, Jasper, for a walk, but I'll always make up that time and more, because I'll later on into the day, or I'll start early. My commute is five steps. I'm happy to work when I'm fresh, energized, motivated, no matter what time of day it is. Two more things, get a comfortable chair, obviously and I'm channeling my inner Dotto right now, what do you reckon? Haven't quite got the color right.
- Full points for the effort though, Rob, it's coming along nicely. In about five or 10 years, it should be something that you're proud of.
- I'm Jenn Herman, in full work from home mode and my tip for working from home is to set a timer, or clear timeframes on when you should be working. The work is always there and you're walking by that office, you're walking by the table, things are dinging and pinging you and it's really easy to work way more hours, when working from home and it's easy to push off your family, because you're like "I just have to finish this project." Set yourself work times where you're saying, "I'm gonna work for two hours on this," or set a reminder on your calender at the end of the day, whether it's five o'clock or whatever time it is, to shut down for the day and go back to your family and go back to your life, so you can manage that work-life balance more appropriately and there's my little chime in that is it is time to wrap up and get back to family time. Best of luck in your new work from home adventures.
- [Steve] The best single frame from this entire video.
- It's Deb with the Deb method, author of Your Goal Guide. Once a day, I want you to take a five minute dance break. I want you to put an appointment and everyday, when that appointment alarm goes off, you're just gonna stop everything, say "Alexa, play my favorite song," and just dance. It's gonna make you feel good and you're gonna feel good. It's gonna revolutionize your day, you're gonna just be so much more productive, if you add some happy.
- Are some of these tips resonating with you? I do hope so, but listen, I know so many of you have different coping mechanisms, different ways that you deal with working at home. I'd love to hear from you, in the comments below, what your experiences are and what your best tips are for being productive, for remaining sane, for remaining married, or for remaining employed, as we start, increasingly, to work from home. Exercise, getting out of the office, almost everybody recommended something similar.
- Hi everyone, Andrea Vahl here and my tip for staying sane while working at home is to get outside.
- One hour everyday to go for a walk in the woods, or a run, or whatever, but, you know, going outside is what helps me and sticking to it. I put it in my calender every day.
- The other thing that we've been doing together, which has been a lot of fun, is some workouts. We're clearing out our coffee table in the living room and we've done a couple of workouts together, which are actually fun.
- Hey, Erin Cell here, with Socially Powered. Get outside, go for a walk, even if it's around the block, that always helps me refocus, when I get back home.
- Isolation and loneliness can be a real issue, especially if you don't have family around and you're now stuck at home and you're not getting out into the normal office environment and having those social interactions. Here's a few workarounds.
- Hi, it's Gord Isman here. I've start to do virtual co-working sessions. I work with a friend, or a colleague and we go together onto a work session on something like Zoom, we declare our tasks, what we're gonna be doing, or what we're gonna be accountable for for the next 45 minutes to an hour and then we go ahead and work. This keeps me focused. I can't tell you how much this has helped me.
- Accountability partners, ones that you actually connect with and work with. The loss of social interaction is not to be taken lightly and my friend, Luria, has another suggestion.
- Hi, I'm Luria Petrucci and I'm from Live Streaming Pros. The best way I know how to stay sane is by staying connected and it has never been easier to stay connected, while working from home and you can easily do that through live video, whether you're creating some content to reach out and help others, or teach something that you are knowledgeable about and build an audience, or whether you go live on your Facebook profile and just chat and hangout with your friends and family. Live video is so powerful. I have never, ever, ever felt alone, lonely, or isolated, working from home, because I'm constantly connecting to others around the world. It's a powerful, powerful thing and I'd encourage you to try it.
- Your physical space is also tremendously important and will make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and how you feel about your work.
- Everything that I can do to get my equipment further away from me, in my workspace, as I can. Microphones and compressors and mixers and computers and Ipads and cameras and all sorts of stuff. When I started, all that stuff was kinda close to me so I could operate it very easily, right in front of me. A lot of that stuff is set it and forget it, as the great Ron Popeil used to say back in the day, with the Ronco food dehydrator. He used to say set it and forget it.
- Set it and forget it.
- Well, I do that in my studio. I wanna set it and forget it, but I wanna set it further away from me and not right up on me.
- Hello, I'm Tod Maffin from beautiful Vancouver Island. I have worked from home, running a marketing agency, for more than 10 years now. I like to do things in my office that I cannot do in a regular office. I really like smells, like incense and air fresheners, really crappy, loud music, having CNN on for some reason, even if the volume's not on, I burn incense and I have the heat cranked to ungodly levels. You know, there's a lot of downsides to working from home, but there are some upsides, so I would say take advantage of the upsides.
- Personal habits and routine are all so tremendously important, not breaking your routine and preparing properly for every work day.
- Be camera ready the whole time. Get up in the morning, put on clothes, don't work in your pajamas, do your hair and makeup. My name is Sigrun and I have been doing home office for the last 10 years. My day is very scheduled, so I know when I have meetings. I still put on my clothes and do my hair and makeup.
- Now, I've had the luxury of working from home for 14 of the 18 years that I have actually been out in the real world. Working from home, for many, can be distracting and well, as you can see, even my setup can be a little bit overwhelming. Is that, each morning, when I wake up, I actually go to my desk, here and I write down what I call my priority must do checklist, but here's the thing, everyone will tell you to make lists and checklists. For me, it's about incentivizing myself to do those checklists. Sometimes I'll write the checklist and say "Brian, if this is done by lunch, "you can go out to Chipotle and get lunch." It's all about finding ways to incentivize yourself to get things done. Now, I can tell you, for me, today, it was like, I wasn't feeling it, so I was like "You know what? "Brian, if you get your list done, well, "you can enjoy some Nutella by the spoonful," which is what I'll be doing now, as I'm getting this done.
- Giving yourself rewards, whatever it is that works best for you and there's also another issue, which is paying attention to what's happening in the world around us and the effect that the news and the effect that the situation in the world has on our sense of wellbeing and our productivity. We're bombarded with all sorts of different opinions and different news sources and it's sometimes difficult for us to concentrate on what's in front of us, as far work, with everything that's happening in the world. Ah, my good friend, Juhli Selby, she's got the solution for that.
- My tip is to use Twitter lists. So, sometimes we feel like we don't have a lot of control about the news we're getting served on Facebook. It tends to be what our friends or our friend network is engaging with, but on Twitter, the feeds are whichever accounts we add to those specific lists and it will serve us 100% of the tweets from the people we follow. There's every news agency you can imagine, in the world, all kinds of fantastic health information, lots of really smart people with, also, great insight and like I said, real time news. Set up a Twitter account, set up your list, so that you can follow the information that you like in the most efficient way possible, so that you can check the news in the morning, so you can check the news at the end of the day, but still manage to get some work done.
- But remember to give yourself a break. There's no right and there is no wrong way to work from home. There is your way, the way that works for you.
- The other thing that I do is I remove all of the social media apps from my mobile device from Monday to Friday, because I get tempted to check on things all of the time and that really helps me to stay focused, as well.
- Because I go out there and I'm one of these people that will soak up what other people say and think "Oh yeah, I've gotta do it like you say," and there's loads of people sharing how to work from home tips at the moment and a lot of them will be saying "You must do this," or "You should do that," and I just wanted to say, actually, the best thing you can do is work out how it best works for you, so take some of these tips on board, maybe try them out, work them through, but if they don't work for you, don't feel that you've got to do it.
- My thanks to all of my friends who took time out of their day to share with you their best tips and I would love to hear your best tips in the comments below. How do you stay sane? How do you stay productive? How do you stay married, as we sail these uncharted waters? I'd love to hear your comments. If you found this video to be useful, maybe a little bit inspiring, please, a thumbs up would be greatly appreciated, as well. Make sure that you have subscribed to our channel and be sure to ring that notification bell. Till next time, I'm Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle.
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