8 Tips for 8 Hours at Home…Working!
Amelia H. Beard is an attorney in Clark Partington’s Santa Rosa Beach (Grayton) office.
Her practice areas include civil litigation, real estate transactions, business formation, estate planning, and personal injury.
Santa Rosa Beach (March 20, 2020) –
I worked from home for over 6 years prior to joining Clark Partington. For a portion of that time, my paralegal also worked from home about 300 miles away from me. Both of us were several hundred miles from our firm’s nearest office. It worked. I worked hard. I knew I had to prove myself, be accountable, and build/maintain trust. Here are few pointers I found to be helpful in accomplishing those objectives:
- Under promise and over deliver. This is an opportunity to shine. Seize it.
- Your work-space. A room to yourself is preferable, even if you have to set up a table in a corner of a bedroom. You do not want to start working on the couch or your bed… with the TV on. You will not feel good about your work accomplishments and you will not feel rested… I tried it.
- Recreate your environment/habits. Do you watch TV while you work in the office? Do you listen to music? Do you eat at your desk? Do you chat with your friend in Arizona? Try to keep the same good habits at your home-work station that you have in the office. Again, the TV on is a HUGE distraction. You are likely already down one monitor – don’t think turning on the TV is going to replace that second monitor.
- Double monitors. If possible, get a second monitor. Most of us are accustomed to having multiple monitors at work and so to transition to one monitor is painful. If you cannot hook up a second monitor, then just know that you will get used to the one monitor life again.
- When face-to-face time is limited and most of your communication is via email, it becomes imperative to remember TWO THINGS: (1) as a sender, take extra care to be sure your emails are pleasant, and (2) as a recipient, give the sender the benefit of the doubt. Pick up the phone at the first opportunity to clear up any confusion or misunderstanding.
- More Emails. If your inbox was out of control before, just wait. Working remotely results in a lot more emails.
- One trick that helped me tremendously was using standard Email Subject Naming Conventions. For Example – If a document needs my review and/or signature then the sender uses EDIT/E-SIGN [insert description/name/file no] in the subject line. I had a rule set up so these were flagged and moved to a folder. I checked that folder several times per day.
- Be mindful of the amount emails that are being sent to everyone. It is time to chat with your team about whether those “thanks” or “will do” acknowledgment emails are necessary. Equally important – think through the purpose of your email. Is this something I can figure out on my own? Am I including all of my questions/answers/instructions in this one email to avoid a 5-6 email exchange? Would a phone call get this accomplished faster? Do all these people really need to be copied on every email?
- Working from home is not a substitute for childcare. I worked from home since before both of my sons were born. There were a few instances where my childcare fell through and I had no choice but to try to get work done while also keeping them alive. It was so stressful and nothing really was done well. Yes, I accomplished some work, and yes I kept them alive, but it wasn’t pretty. And it wasn’t fair to them or to me/my work. Maybe there are no other options, and so exceptions have to be made, especially now. Nevertheless, as a general rule, working from home is still working.
- The Perks. I am going to share some of the perks that I found to be “day changers” for me. If you have a dog, take them outside! How fun to get a few minutes to take your dog out in between emails, phone calls, or a project. Go get the mail, say hi to your neighbor (from across the street or down the hallway), eat lunch in a comfy chair or with a family member, take a power nap at lunch, start a load of laundry, work in your PJS… WORK IN YOUR PJS! Just remember to shower.
Download & share a printable PDF of Amelia’s tips!
Also download & share Clark Partington’s Suggestions For Working Remotely During COVID-19.
Amelia Hallenberg Beard is an attorney in Clark Partington’s Santa Rosa Beach (Grayton) office. Her practice areas include civil litigation, real estate transactions, business formation, estate planning, and personal injury. Amelia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 269-8860.
About Clark Partington:
Clark Partington is the largest business focused firm in the Florida panhandle with offices in Pensacola, Destin, Grayton Beach & Tallahassee. The firm also maintains a presence in South Alabama with an Orange Beach office. Since 1976 Clark Partington has grown to over forty lawyers and has served the people and businesses of Florida through an innovative and collaborative approach to practicing law. Our lawyers are consistently recognized for their service to the profession and excellence in the courtroom. More information about the firm’s practice, its attorneys, and recognitions may be found at www.clarkpartington.com.