Top Tips for Working From Home

Mar 24, 2020

Top Tips for Working From Home
By Tabitha Hochscheid, Hochscheid & Associates, LLC
Health and Well Being Committee chair

Working at home, while making us safe, brings its own set of challenges. We all have work patterns we develop over the years and now we are being asked to change those while still servicing our clients. Practicing law at home means altering our routines and developing new ones. Here are some tips for working at home I got from my client Julie Niesen, a local food blogger and a ten-year veteran of working at home:

1. Shower and put on real clothes. Leggings and sweatpants count. The clothes you wore on Saturday do not.

2. Set timers so you take breaks. Dogs who must go out are great for giving you an excuse. If you don’t have a dog, get up and walk around or read a book or something. Mix it up.

3. Use video calls when possible. It’s actually a great way to connect. No, really. Brush your hair and see your coworkers. No one will care about your cat entering the scene. If they’re anything like my coworkers, they’ll enthusiastically introduce your cat to colleagues who haven’t met her.

4. Take a lunch. Block it off in your calendar. Do not take meetings. Eat away from your computer.

5. Do not drink alcohol until you stop working for the day. Seriously, we are all stressed and turning to alcohol is not the solution. Moderate your consumption.

6. Make lists and check things off. It’s satisfying.

7. Exercise is good. Stretching is good. Do some yoga, take a short walk or put on an exercise video since going to a gym is no longer possible. You will feel better if you move.

This week I maintained limited office hours (15 hours a week) and worked at home the remainder of the time with my husband also working from home. Working alongside your spouse and/or with your kids at home presents some unique challenges. I recently heard a great story entitled “When home becomes office, daycare and school all at once" on the NPR program Marketplace that addresses those issues. 

Whatever your home environment, you are better off working at home than out in the world exposing yourself to the coronavirus. Remember, this too shall pass. We are all doing our part to protect ourselves and others. Eventually, we will all be back in our office sharing stories of how we survived telecommuting with our spouses, children and or pets at home. In the interim, stay safe and wash your hands.