tips and advice for working from home

At this point in our year of social distancing, many of us have gotten to the point where we’ve gotten frustrated about being stuck at home working, while others have picked up a few tips to still be productive despite the challenges.

DistractionDescriptionStrategies to Overcome
1. Family and Household Noises Sounds from children, partners, or household activities. Set up a dedicated workspace. Use noise-cancelling headphones. Establish boundaries and work hours with family members.
2. Personal Tasks and Chores Temptation to handle personal responsibilities during work hours. Schedule specific times for chores.<br>- Prioritize tasks with a to-do list.<br>- Keep work and personal life separate.
3. Social Media and Internet Easy access to distractions like social media, news, or videos. Use website blockers during work hours.<br>- Allocate specific times for breaks.<br>- Turn off non-essential notifications.
4. Lack of Routine Without the structure of an office, it's easy to lose track of time. Establish a daily routine. Dress for work to mentally prepare. Set specific work hours.
5. Overworking Difficulty disconnecting from work leading to burnout. Set clear start and end times. Take regular breaks. Create a physical separation between work and leisure spaces.
6. Isolation Lack of social interaction can lead to feelings of isolation. Schedule virtual check-ins with colleagues.<br>- Join online professional groups. Take time for social activities.


Eliminate Distractions

Some of you may have a door that you can close. I don’t. I have a wide-open loft space and my wife and I both work from home now. That means simple things like client calls, Zoom meetings, or simply taking a break to watch TV while the other work is a constant challenge.

Being able to close a door is an easy solution for most people, but we’ve invested in good, comfortable headphones to help eliminate noise. The key here is that the headphones must be comfortable. Simple earbuds might be fine for walking on the beach, but if you expect to wear headphones while listening to music all day, then getting something like studio monitor headphones may be the best option with a closed back. These are designed to be comfortable when worn for hours at a time and tend to have fabulous sound quality while also blocking out external noise.

Schedule Your Time To Work

I have a bad habit of working 20-hours per day and not taking time to enjoy life. It’s a heck of a distraction, and I love what I do. However, that isn’t being a good husband, and since I love my wife very much, it is important to schedule family time too. No matter how much she might want to help motivate me, the reality is that this is something that I need to do myself and in my own way.

With that being said, it is equally important to schedule timet o spend together as a couple!

For us, that includes watching TV together as well as a weekly trip to the mountains where we can drink wine under an apple tree while enjoying fresh clean air.

tips for working from home

Create a Healthy and Comfortable Work Space

Last year, most of us looked at our “home office” as a part-time alternative to our full-sized desks at work and so many of you normally worked on your laptops while sitting at the kitchen table. That’s just not cutting it anymore.

Desk and Chairs

Instead, I encourage you to invest in things that make your work experience more comfortable and healthier too. For instance, I have a standup desk and an adjustable chair. This allows me to be comfortable while sitting down with good posture but also allows me to stand while working too.

Lap Desks

For others that don’t have a dedicated space for their desks, invest in a good lap desk to help make it more comfortable on the couch.


Eye strain is extremely important to avoid too. Make sure you have good lighting including potentially colored lights or an illuminated keyboard if you otherwise prefer dark working environments.

Air Quality

This is something most people ignore but it is extremely important to make sure you are able to maintain a safe and healthy environment for working at home. While you can go out and purchase an expensive air purifier, there are other less expensive options. These include simply upgrading your air filter on your furnace from a simple and cheap fiberglass air filter to something with a higher MERV Rating.

In fact, I did just that but since I don’t have central air, I had to create my own by placing a MERV 13 pleated air filter on the back of a box fan. This simple and easy solution will help circulate air while pulling dust, dander, and other debris out of the air.

While it is hard to judge the full impact, healthy air means better lung health and more oxygen going to your brain while also reducing allergies.

Natural Elements - Light, Plants, and Organic Design Elements

By letting the indoors in, you will be to be more productive compared to guys who might have placed their office in a cold, damp area of the basement. Air quality is only one part of the equation - but incorporating natural light, plants, and organic design elements such as water features, natural wood furniture, or even tabletop zen gardens can help improve productivity and help you feel connected with the outdoor world.

I know I can feel a rush of endorphins when I look up and see the squirrels playing in the tree outside my office window. This might be a little thing, but sometimes you just need that push to stay on track rather than flip over to your Xbox input and play a couple of rounds of Halo.

Schedule Time To Exercise, Relax, and Get Out Of The House

One of the biggest traps that you can fall into when working from home is not breaking free of your computer and taking a break. While different parts of the country might have different conditions going on with regard to health and safety protocols, even taking breaks from the computer can have a massive impact on your attitude, mental state, and overall productivity. I like to take some time off to go to the beach in the afternoon at least once a week. That helps me clear my head, get some fresh air, and get some exercise, too.

When I don't have time for that, simply going downstairs and jumping on our rebounder for 15-20 min does wonders to get me centered again.

Combined with the methods above, you will be much healthier working from home and that will lead to reduced stress and happier families while being more productive.