Tips for Working at Home

by | Mar 23, 2020 | COVID-19

Working from home is a new idea for some, but the concept has been floating around for a very long time and employed frequently on a much smaller scale. A few things to consider:

–Do you have the kind of job that can be done at home? Do you have access to applicable manuals, handbooks, guidelines, etc. job? Early on this was a problem as few manuals and handbooks were online. If your company has not done this, it can be a godsend, but only if you can access it. Security limitations may require a different strategy…

–Do you have a home office all ready with the gear that is needed (connectivity, computer, printer, etc.)? How about a good chair? Lighting? Is there glare on your screen? Is your office space free from disruptions and distractions? Is it out of the internal travel route or noisy areas? Will noise or the cat interrupt conference calls, and other electronic communications?

–Is the home workspace cluttered and stressful? Ergonomics is as important at home as it is at work. Make sure that you can safely work without irritating your neck or straining your eyes. Don’t forget to take stretch breaks, just like you might at work. For more information see the Mayo Clinic’s article “Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide” at

–Can you make an electronic backup copy of the references you need and create a backup for the data you create? There are so many options for backing your data up. Using automated functions such as having WORD automatically backup a file every 10 minutes is wonderful at home and at work (Select FILE/Options [near bottom], and explore the SAVE options). This type of function is common for most editing programs.

–Will you be tempted to do other work such as child care, home schooling the kids, walking the dog, prepping dinner, or playing solitaire instead? Focus may take practice and cooperation with the folks around you. Set a timeframe for working and take regular breaks. Take care of yourself. Your end product will benefit.

–What if the power goes out? No power, no work, NOT QUITE. Depending on what you do, there may be other opportunities such as research, writing by hand (really? What’s that?), phone calls, and more. The key thing is protecting yourself, your data, and your equipment.
The thing I missed when working from home is the comradery, collaboration, and cooperation that can happen in a healthy work place. This interaction is not just social, but can help with your mental health and creativity as well.

Lastly, no one else needs to know you are working in your favorite pajamas and bunny slippers… consider how you look when the webcam comes on!

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