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Remote Work Resource Roundup: How to Successfully Work From Home

Remote Work Resource Roundup: How to Be Productive and Stay Sane While Working From Home

Originally published March 17, 2020. Updated March 31, 2020.

In light of COVID-19, companies across the country are encouraging employees to stay home and take part in the "world's largest work-from-home experiment" — including Influence & Co. Working from home might seem like a comfy-cozy cakewalk, but after a few days, most people start getting a little stir crazy. I know this from experience because I've been working remotely for Influence & Co. for over four years now.

When I moved away from the office and started working remotely, I went from excitement to loneliness to disconnectedness and back again, and it's still a cycle that I have to consciously work through from time to time. Thankfully, my Influence & Co. team does everything in its power to keep me connected with the company culture, including regular video meetings, surprises in the mail, and check-ins on Slack. And there are so many helpful resources at our disposal to make working remotely not only effective, but also enjoyable.

If you're one of the many who are starting to work from home — whether you'll be working alone or have family members and pets around — below are some helpful resources and pieces of advice to help you stay sane and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Resources for Working Remotely and Staying Productive

Resources for Keeping Your Kids Engaged and Learning

Remote Work Tips From Influence & Co.

  • Change out of your pajamas. Even if it's into yet another pair of yoga pants. Changing clothes will help you feel like you're actually "going to work" and get yourself into that headspace. At the very least, make your upper half presentable so you feel a bit more professional and ready for video calls.

  • Take breaks. Schedule 15-minute breaks between calls and meetings to get up and stretch, take a walk, sit on your porch, etc. Just give yourself some breathing room.

  • Don't forget to eat. Try to take an actual lunch break where you close your computer and sit and eat. And be sure to schedule your snacks in between calls and meetings — eating during a video call is louder than you think.

  • Designate an area specifically for work. Avoid working in bed or on the couch unless you're feeling under the weather, as those spots are typically used for relaxing and unwinding. During the workday, make your workspace feel as much like a protected office space as possible — even if you're turning your kitchen island into a temporary desk during the day. One of our salespeople even put a framed photo on her island next to her computer to make it feel more like her desk at the office.

  • Keep a separate personal to-do list. It's easy to get distracted by things you want to do around the house. Separate from your work to-do list, make a second list and write down personal tasks as you think of them to free up that brain space and ensure you won't forget to do them later.

  • Find a playlist that motivates you. Having background noise can help my productivity so much when I'm feeling restless working from home. And if you have family members and pets home with you, putting in your headphones can help you drown out the chatter and focus. If lyrics distract you from your work, find a good instrumental playlist. I love listening to this Spotify playlist when I'm writing and editing. If you'd rather recreate the coffee shop experience at home, put on a pot of coffee and play some coffee shop sounds on Noisli.

Tips for Being a Good Co-Worker While Working Remotely

  • Trust your team members to do their part. Working remotely means you can't always "see" your teammates, which can sometimes make gauging progress difficult. One of our core values is "Treat others with trust and respect," which is especially important now as we're all trying to find a new normal. Try not to check in too much throughout the day on the status of projects. Trust that your co-workers are doing their part, and limit status update check-ins to once a day, twice tops.

  • Be patient and kind. Right now, you and many of your co-workers are potentially trying to work from home for the first time. And some are likely trying to do so with family members, children, and pets around. The occasional hiccup is inevitable. Someone's cat might walk across the keyboard, or a child might venture into the background of a meeting. Be patient with your teammates and reassure them that we're all doing our best and we're all in this together.

  • Have fun and stay connected. Just because everyone is in a different location, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy one another's company! Share photos of your workspace in Slack, have virtual happy hours (our team is doing this weekly), and check in on co-workers to see how they're doing.

There is so much advice out there that can help us make the most of remote work. I hope this digestible list of resources and tips will help you stay productive — and sane — while working from home. If your company is joining Influence & Co. in working completely remotely, drop us a line on social media to share how it's going! We'd love to learn from your experience and stay connected.

Facebook: facebook.com/InfluenceandCo

Instagram: @InfluenceandCo

Twitter: @InfluenceandCo

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Picture of Lauren Tellman

About Lauren Tellman

I'm a content-obsessed word person with a passion for finding the coziest coffee shop in town. By day, I'm the director of content at Influence & Co. In my downtime, you can find me reading a book, sipping a latte, drawing, hand lettering, or watching "The Office" for the zillionth time.

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