Seven Tips for Working From Home - Dr. Ivan Misner®
working from home

Seven Tips for Working From Home

In the early 1980s, I spent one of several evenings in the home of an entrepreneurial couple who lived in the foothills of Los Angeles.  This couple would regularly invite people over to their home to talk.  Talk about what?  Everything.  Life, relationships, business, and most of all – the future.  It was an informal mastermind group of people who loved good wine, forward-thinking, and great conversation.  One night after an interesting discussion among that night’s guests, the husband invited me into his office (but not working from home back then) and showed me a fairly large rectangular hard-plastic box.  It was a box with a very small, 5” screen on it.  He turned it on and it lit up with bright yellow monochromatic characters that flashed on the screen.  He said – “It’s an Osborne!”   “An Osborne what?” I asked.  “An Osborne computer,” he said.

By today’s standards, this precursor to the personal computer wasn’t much to look at.   The least expensive mobile phones on the market today have infinitely more computing power than that big box on his desk.  Nevertheless, I was impressed.  More importantly, I remember the words he said next:  “This kind of technology will change the world and the way people do business in it,”  Clearly, I could see how computers would enhance the business but, I still didn’t understand what he meant.  He explained that this type of technology “will allow people to do business anywhere – even at home!”   This was a prophetic comment if ever there was one.

Working From Home Tips

working from home

Working from home has become more common, and sometimes like today – more necessary. So, if you’re working from home these days, here are some things to consider:

  1. Establish a dedicated area as your workspace.  It could be a room or just a table.  But that is your workspace.
  2. Focus.  Don’t get distracted.  Your home is now your office.  Treat your workspace like your office.  Structure your day like you would in an office.
  3. Use the technology that is at your fingertips.
    1. Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting or any other platform that allows you to talk to people online.
    2. Here’s a crazy idea – talk to people using that 21st Century version of what Alexander Graham Bell invented – your telephone.
  4. That technology is great – but stay OFF social media unless it is directly work-related.
  5. Plan your day.  Schedule your work on your calendar, hour by hour.  This will help you stay focused and on track.
  6. Communicate your expectations and ground rules with anyone else that may be at home with you (toddlers and younger are an exception).
  7. Take breaks away from your “workspace” and go back to your workspace immediately after your break time is over.

Working from home can be productive, I know.  I’ve done it off and on for more than 35 years.  The trick is that you have to have a plan and work that plan… even when your work is also your home.

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13 thoughts on “Seven Tips for Working From Home

  1. Super great idea. I usually never tried this Work from home. Thanks for the Tips.

    One of my vertical.is inspection and certification.
    Safety Audits, structural certifications etc….

    I certify structures for its stability. And I need to physically verify visiting the site. It will be a challenge.

  2. I agree with these tips. If I can add to tips 1 and 2. It can be hard to avoid the home duties distractions so it’s best to set your space NOT in a communal area. And don’t be tempted to hang ‘just this one load of washing’ as those tasks can easily snowball into hours.

  3. Im a ( mostly) work from home Leadership Coach and i love all the tips from Ivan. Staying off social media, taking breaks, planning the day and have people at home respect your working time.

  4. Excelentes consejos, y además de la tecnología de comunicación, tener siempre disponible tu material de trabajo como libros y manuales de uso frecuente. Yo como arquitecto puedo realizar proyectos desde casa y enviarlos a cualquier parte del mundo.

  5. working from home for me is the best. i am with my animals all the time and i go out to do collections and deliveries.
    i have now got one of my cottage to be my factory and my office and its working so well.
    i spend time in my office at night listening to my podcasts and doing my work.
    very good ideas from Dr Ivan Misner.

  6. Great advice, especially since we now have more people working from home (at least for the next 2 weeks) than we ever have in history. We each just moved our work spaces to our homes last Friday afternoon and Monday was our first day from home. Our team starts the morning off with a video call to see how each of our days are shaping up and what help we may need from each other and then end the day with a sign off on our messaging app. We are using Slack for these meetings and communications. It is working great.

  7. I have been working from home for over 20 years! I own a bookkeeping firm and we are all virtual. Up until last week I had around 4-5 clients that I would actually go to but I am working on gradually moving them each to virtual – one client yesterday said “I didn’t know this would be so easy and such a smooth transition!” While this situation is sad it has proved to me that I made a good choice all those years ago. Thank you for confirming my choice!

  8. Get dressed in you “work clothes”. Leave your “house”, step outside and then go back in to “work”. Treat your home duties as your “side hustle”. That stuff needs to be done to show your family you care, but it has particular times in the day too

  9. This is a little long, however, hoping you may be able to use a tip or two!
    How I am managing my work at home in March/April 2020.
    The evening before I make a list of goals to accomplish for the next day. Shower, Makeup and Dress for Success! Grab my diet coke, go to my home office. I am fortunate to have a cubicle in my craft room and have brought my work office to my home office, which looks identical to what it would at work. I feel being organized, keeping my routine and just plain normalcy keep me focused on my day and my goals. I set my alarm on my computer so I get up from my office chair, even if it is just to stretch, walk down the hallway or pet my two little dogs. I am in sales and marketing and building relationships with the senior market for a continued care retirement community. I don’t sit in my office, so this is different. I educate families on transitioning and downsizing from their home to independent living apartments, assisted living apartments, long-term care or memory care. I hold events, volunteer, active member of BNI, Zonta, and Rotary….I don’t sit still much! My typical day now is writing and answering morning emails, Zoom meetings, and working on future projects. Breaking for lunch is a must to clear your head! After lunch, any committee work that I have for one of my organizations, update collateral, brainstorm, phone calls to check on current residents (retention is important) and waiting list follow ups. During the conversation, ask if they know a friend/family member that would be interested in being their neighbor when they make the move to our campus.
    Being in healthcare…I make sure they are staying at home, washing/sanitizing hands, taking advantage of grocery delivery, ask if family has set them up on Zoom, Duo, or Face Time to stay in contact with everyone. And last but not least for them to be safe, ask if I can help in anyway, some seniors don’t have adult children to help them.
    It’s all about building relationships, helping others, making new connections and staying in contact!
    Good Luck and reach out for a one to one and see how you can make a difference in someone’s business.
    Thank you for the tips Dr. Misner and know that I enjoy your wisdom and positive attitude!

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