Work At Home Tips from The Experts

Best Home Office Practices

  1. Create a Routine & Stick to it
  2. But Plan for Flexibility
  3. Maintain A Designated Space
  4. Take Simple Steps to Stay Organized
  5. Practice Time Management (Working Smarter, not Harder)
  6. Communicate Expectations (Family members, Employer)
  7. Set Boundaries/Work Limits & Stick to them
  8. Be Prepared using a To-Do List
  9. Be Prepared to Manage Young Children/Family Needs
  10. Be Prepared for Unwanted Interruptions
  11. Balance Focus with Necessary Breaks
  12. Find Opportunities to Exercise While Working
  13. Enlist “Help” – Otherwise known as “Put Your Kids to Work”
  14. Finalize your new to-do list for tomorrow

After Work:

  1. Close up Shop-literally
  2. Enlist your helpers again: “Who is in charge of what?”
  3. Make Necessary Moments (aka chores) part of Family Time (cook dinner together, clean up together, plan/prep for dinner the next day)
  4. Remember your Boundaries: If you must check email, limit to once or chunk
  5. Be willing to let little things go

Working with Young Kids:

  1. Routine is Essential
  2. Work around children’s natural schedules
  3. Set Expectations (with partner and children)
  4. Plan How You’ll Handle Interruptions: Examples: Mute Calls, Tell Clients You’re Having a Technical Difficulty,  Tell Clients the Truth (everyone’s in the same boat),
  5. Use Quiet Communication Tools (Sign on Door, Closed Door, Wait until I’m off the Phone, Signal for Emergencies, What is an Emergency)
  6. Set up Space Next to You (a makeshift desk/office)
  7. Set up nursery or play pen next to you (bouncy seats, baby swings)
  8. Have plenty of Quieter toys/Activities
  9. Allow Healthy Virtual Distractions (age-appropriate dance videos and music, Virtual visits with grandparents, friends)
  10. Use white noise/noise cancelling headphones/soft music
  11. Be sure to reinforce positive behaviors from your children. Each “thank you” and “great job” goes a long way.
  12. Work in Chunks if possible (including tasks at night)

 

If you deal with clients or set hours (babies, young children)

  • Have an emergency plan: the mute button, expressing you need a moment for technical reasons, be honest (everyone is aware of worldwide changes and most people are very patient). I’ve heard babies, dogs, children, televisions, etc.
  • Work on children’s schedule as best as you can (chunking tasks if possible, communicating with clients during nap time or while nursing)
  • Work in chunks of time if possible
  • Snuggle/work with your baby often when/if possible
  • Use alternative methods of communication when possible: email, messaging apps or texting
  • Use audio monitors or volumes turned down low enough for you to hear, but clients remain unaware
  • Use white noise or noise cancelling headphones while working