9 Tips for Successfully Working from Home

If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home during this time of Coronavirus (COVID 19) you could be facing a new reality of what your work day looks like. Working remotely is something that is new to so many of us right now during this time. It can be easy to allow yourself to be distracted or feel out of sorts when not sticking to your regular office schedule. Here are a few tips to help set yourself up for success when working from home. 

Stick to your schedule 

The biggest tip that has been helpful for me is sticking to my normal schedule. Make sure to get up at the same time as you would to come into the office. Sign in and be ready to go at the same time you would sign in at the office. Take lunch and other breaks at the same time as normal. Maintain your regular hours the best that you can.

Get up. Dress up. Show up.

This is actually a great quote that my friend shares all the time, “Get up. Dress up. Show. Up.” And we need that more than ever right now in order to feel slightly normal. It can be easy to get distracted when you’re at home in your comfy pjs. So show up and stick to your routine, including getting dressed for the office. I have made sure to shave, spritz cologne and wear comfy business casual clothes everyday so I can get into the mindset of work mode.

Have a dedicated work space 

This might be the hardest for most people to achieve, but having a dedicated work space is probably the most crucial tip for working from home. If you are lucky enough to have an home office, you’re all set. However, for some, finding a dedicated work space can be challenging. Make sure that you have a “working” space and a “living space”. Perhaps you work from the dining room table and use the sofa for relaxing away from the computer.

Schedule breaks 

It has been super important and helpful for me to take a few minutes to step away from my work and get some fresh air. I’ve been taking two mile walks around my neighborhood on my lunch breaks and it really helps to get outside for some fresh air. Studies actually show that taking short and regular breaks can actually increase your productivity. 

Water cooler chat 

Working in an office environment is pretty social, so it can feel pretty lonely when working from home. Schedule virtual meetings with your coworkers through plaforms like Zoom. Or start a group text and chat with coworkers throughout the day. Bonus points if can help brighten the boredom with some funny cat memes. Just letting your coworkers know you miss them and are thinking about them can make a huge difference in their day (and yours)!

Over communicate

We can feel pretty detached from what others on our teams are working on. So communicate as much as you can. Check in and let your team know when you finish or start new tasks. It is great for everyone on your team to stay in the loop about what others are working on.

Ergonomically speaking 

When setting up your work space, think about the ergonomics of your space. Make sure your furniture is comfortable and meets the needs of your set up. Do you have everything you need in order to work comfortably in this space throughout your day? You may have to come up with some creative hacks to your work space, but do what helps you get comfortable and stay focused throughout the day.

Stop scrolling 

Okay, to be honest, this is a struggle of mine even when I am in the office. However, digital distractions are a real thing when working from home. Social media can be a real time suck and it is easy to fall into a rabbit hole of your Instagram feed or cat videos on YouTube. Turn these off during your working time or set timers for short periods to check social media so you can quickly get back on track.  I like working off of the Pomodoro technique and there are several free apps based on this method. You can set a timer to work for 30 minutes and then take a 5 to 10 minute break (also on a timer), when the timer goes off, get back to work.

Get your tech in order 

It can be challenging if you don’t have the right technology in place in order to get your job done. Stock your office space with everything you need: computer, headphones, phone, etc. Here is a great resource if you need to scan a document to send to a coworker:

I hope these tips help you ease into a more comfortable working space. Please let me know in the comments what are some of your successful work from home tips that we can share with others.

How to Use Voice Messaging for Instagram

Instagram Voice Messaging

Instagram recently launched the capability to send voice messages within the Direct Messaging feature of the app. It was only a matter of time before Instagram added this, as many other Social Media platforms have this capability such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Many of Instagram’s users already use the Direct Messaging feature to engage with their followers, so how is the voice messaging feature useful for you and how do you use it?

One of the main reasons why this new voice feature is important is for connecting directly with your followers and customers is by being able to send a more personalized greeting. In cases where it is not as easy to type out text, this feature can be quite handy. Say you’re driving, or even have your hands full, and need to send a quick message. Another great reason, and this applies to how you market your business and services, is that this can become a more heartfelt and personal way to engage with followers. Say wishing someone a “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” on an event in their lives.

How to Use Instagram Voice Messaging

While in the Instagram app, open your direct messages and choose who you wish to send a voice message to. While in the message, you will see the voice message icon at the bottom in the fields (the little microphone icon) where you would reply with text, picture, etc.

Simply, hold down the microphone and start recording your message. You will see your message being recorded as a wave form within the chat thread. Right now you are only able to record voice messages up to a minute in length, but I suspect that eventually that may change. If you need to send a message longer than a minute you can simply send multiple voice messages.

When you let go of the microphone you will automatically send your voice message. Before letting go, you have the option of deleting the message before sending if you change your mind (slide over to the blue trashcan icon before letting go). If you have sent the message but change your mind before it has been heard, you can tap the message and choose to “unsend” it.

Although this is a feature I’m not sure I would use very often, I do like the ability to send personalized voice memos to my followers if I wish to. I think that as far as marketing it will be a more personalized and creative way to engage with your followers and customers.

What do you think of this new Instagram feature and how will you be using it?