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2 min read

Hi, how are you, Joseph in Portland?

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Things are good here. However, all schools, restaurants, shopping centers, gyms and even campgrounds now are closed. The government is still encouraging people to stay at home as much as possible & maintain social distancing. 
 
We are doing our best to keep our kids busy, keeping up with the homework their school is sending home and taking walks around our neighborhood to stay active. However, with active COVID-19 cases starting to decrease in many areas, we expect to see some of these restrictions easing up in the coming months. 
 

Here's my best tips and tricks for working from home.

Establish a comfortable, welcoming, & ergonomic work environment at home is essential for your effectiveness. Here's my best practices for for creating a balanced space for working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Location 

 

How are you joseph

Try to create an area in the home that you use only for work that is separate from where you relax. Also, a desk is important, if you don't have a desk, set up a card table or make use of the dining table. This will help you engage fully when you are in your "office" space, and just as important, disengage to recharge when you leave the space.  

Monitor(s) 

If you work from a laptop, set up an external monitor… or two! Or, use a tablet stand to prop up your laptop to eye level.

Raise the monitors so the top of the screen is just above your eyeline when you are sitting up straight. Placing your laptop or monitor on stacks of printer paper can work well for this.  

Try not to directly face a large window. Having a strong backlight behind your monitor(s) can cause eyestrain and lead to headaches.  

Chair 

Find a comfortable office chair with back support. For the best ergonomics the chair should be at a height where your feet can be flat on the ground, knees at 90 degrees, and your elbows should be a 90 degrees and forearms parallel with the desk when typing.  

 

Stay connected

 

Headset 

A comfortable headset with good sound quality can improve privacy and block out external sounds in the home with a noise cancelling microphone

Webcam 

When you conduct remote meetings using a webcam can improve communication and reduce feeling isolated 

Try to place your webcam directly above your primary monitor where you see others. Use an external webcam if necessary.  The monitor suggestions above can help with this. 

Collaboration Software 

Microsoft Teams has great features for remote meetings such as live annotations, webcam background blur, and now background noise cancellation.  

One Drive & office 365 allow you to collaborate and share content easily, allowing multiple people to work on the same document remotely at the same time.   

 

Manage distractions 

 

Develop a signal or que for others in the house, so they know when you are not to be bothered.  

E.g. My family knows that when my door is shut, I’m working. If they hear me talking on the phone, they know not to knock. Other ideas I have heard of: placing your briefcase on the table means “I’m working” etc.  

A door draft stopper and weather stripping around a door can help keep noises out. 

 

Leading 

 

  • Weekly to bi-weekly Video Meetings can help the team feel connected.  
  • Develop, set, & track goals together. Help keep each other accountable. 
  • Measure Output, Not Input 
  • Agree on performance metrics 
  • Track & follow these metrics 

What are your best practises for working at home? Feel free to share or comment below.

Watch out for more stories and updates from the X-People on how they are doing and their best tips for working from home.

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