Work From Home Survival Guide: How to Succeed Working Remotely | Michael Luchies | Skillshare

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Work From Home Survival Guide: How to Succeed Working Remotely

teacher avatar Michael Luchies, Entrepreneur & Writer✎

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction: Working from Home

    • 2. What is Working from Home? Working Remotely?

    • 3. Your Home Office

    • 4. How to Start Your Day Off Right!

    • 5. Staying Healthy

    • 6. Meals

    • 7. Breaks and Ideas

    • 8. Managing Relationships

    • 9. Phone Calls

    • 10. How to Stay Productive

    • 11. Community and Avoiding Isolation

    • 12. Final Tips

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About This Class

Working from home for the first time? 

Have you been working from home but something just seems off? 

My name is Michael Luchies, and have no fear -- I am here to help you work from home successfully. Although it might not seem like it at first glance, successfully working from home IS A SKILL. It’s something you can master and I’m going to help you begin to master that skill today! 


I’ve spent over 9 years working remotely, first as a nonprofit manager and now as a small business owner that provides content and marketing services to small businesses. Despite many distractions and limitations, I'm able to work from home comfortably and stay productive. 

In this course, we will cover:

- What you need in your home office

- How to start your day off on the right foot

- How to manage relationships

- Taking breaks, eating meals, etc.

- Avoiding getting stir crazy

- Staying healthy while working from home

- and much more!

I want you to be comfortable and successful working from home, and that’s the focus of everything I’ve put together in this course. 

Are you ready to start? I'll be here to help you every step of the way. Let’s go! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Michael Luchies

Entrepreneur & Writer✎


Have you made your wildest dreams come true, or are you still searching for the right help to get you past your fears and doubts and on the right track to accomplish your dreams and goals? 

If you are ready to learn and want to improve yourself, build a business, or learn new skills, look no further! My name is Michael Luchies and I'm an entrepreneurial writer who guides entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses towards growth with content. 

I am the Founder of TrepRep, Co-Founder of the Write Your Startup community, an experienced communications manager, amateur standup comedian, former contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine, TEDx alum, former Interview Editor and Podcast Host for Under30CEO, and Copywriter for Propllr. I have spent the past... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Working from Home: welcome to my home office. Are you ready to start working from yours? I know it can be a little daunting, but we'll get there together right now. Working from home or working remotely is a rising trend and something that many people around the world are now being introduced to for the very first time. Although it might not seem like it at first glance, successfully working from home is a skill that means that it's something you can master. And I'm going to help you get started off on the right foot. Now my name is Michael Lucchese, and in this course I will guide you through working from home with my newly created Working From Home Survival Guide. So what makes me qualified to guide you? Well, I spent nine years working remotely. First is a nonprofit manager and now is a small business owner that provides content and marketing services to small businesses. I have a wife, two Children, a dog and a cat. I also live in a condo with neighbors on both sides of me. Now, despite all of this, I still been ableto work full work weeks and at a pretty high level I've seen and overcome it all. And I can help make this challenging transition simple, productive and enjoyable and help you get on the right path as a remote employees because it can be really hard getting started. So join me for this course and let's get started by moving on to the next lesson, or we'll dive a bit deeper into what, working from home and working remotely, really are on what you need to know about each. So in this course we will cover what you need in your home office. How to start your day off on the right foot, how to manage relationships, which is a very overlooked aspect of working from home and very, very important how to avoid getting stir crazy and much more so. If you're ready, let's go ahead and get started. 2. What is Working from Home? Working Remotely?: So what is working remotely, anyways, And what is working from home? And what's the difference? Well, let's talk about it. Working remotely and working from home are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. So let me quickly explain, because I've done both for years now. Working remotely, which has never been more popular than it is today, means that employees air working outside of a big traditional office or corporate location . They're working at a remote location. There's no commute or a lesser commute to an off site location. And these employees, they're not coming into their company's main office. This convey a satellite office, coworking center, a coffee shop or your home. Now, when I first started working for a non profit organization out of Chicago, I worked in Puri about 2.5 hours away. Add an innovation center, the innovation said. It was about a five minute drive from where I was living, so it was very convenient, prevented me from having to move to Chicago and pay outrageous rent prices and spend hours commuting to work every day. So it's very convenient. Now let's talk a bit about working from home. The meaning is right in the title. This means you are literally working from your home or whatever that is. Apartment, house, condo or some other type of arrangement. You're working there instead of a separate remote location. People use this term pretty widely because you can work from home and be a freelancer who could work from anywhere in the world like me. Or you could work from home as a member of a corporation and be fixed to that location, meaning you can't work elsewhere. Now I'm recording this video during the Kurt Corona virus pandemic. On have several family members who are now going to be working from home, which one of the reasons why I'm creating this course. My wife and others are working from home instead of being able to work remotely from other locations because of security and the set up up that they need in order to do their job. She can't just go to a local coworking center or coffee shop, even if they were open right now. So recent trends, even before the virus, have put a lot of people at home to work. Cos like WordPress have a completely remote team with hundreds of employees, and they have been pretty successful with this model. So I'm able to work remotely from coffee shops or work from home. I do try to work out of my home about 1 to 2 times a week. Go to a local Starbucks or, uh, Coworking center. It's a bit longer drive where I am not in a big Metropolitan where there's a lot of options close by. But there are a lot of coffee shops, so I do try to leave home, but once or twice a week for a change of scenery. But since we all have to stay in their home for now, I don't currently have that option, which means that my office is very important, which is what we'll talk about next. 3. Your Home Office: Since we're talking about offices, I think it's only fair that you get to see mine. I'm sorry for the quality of the video and sound here. I'm using a different device, obviously, but I want to give you a tour of my office. So here we go. We have some curtains hung up to separate my office from the rest of the basement. I am in my basement. I have several computers set up. I get to move the laptops around to different places on my desk. I also invested in a very nice chair bookshelf set up with books that I like to take a look at a reference. Also, some books that I contributed to. I have a little dog bed for my shit suit when he chooses to join me during work, have a little bit of storage space down here and also a storage space over here. Also, as you'll notice on my desk, I have a couple little plants. I have some speakers. I have this bigger monitor, just different things that I used throughout the day for different purposes. So those kinds of the basics of my desk in my office it's evolved over the years, it's gonna be a work in progress. Don't expect it to be. You know the office you love from day one, But add to it, Think about what you what you really want your office toe look like what you need. You really want to be comfortable and be productive. Those are the two main things, and I've been able to find that balance. Another thing I'll mention is that I also got low wattage light bulbs. My eyes are extremely light sensitive. So you really want to keep your eye on that? Ideally, you want your computer to be the brightest, uh, light in the room that you're working on that still shouldn't be all that bright. I also use blue light blockers on my glasses that I'm wearing and also on my computer. So be sensitive that your eyes could take quite asshole working from home. Um, so, yeah, guys, I think that's about it. You just saw my office. Now let's talk about your office Now. You may be thinking, but Michael, I don't have an office, and there's no way that I can create one. Well, now, with that attitude now, in all seriousness. You may not be able to create an office where you live, but you need to do your best to have a designated workspace. The more organized and professional your offices that higher the chances you'll be successful working from home. I'll be honest. I've worked on the floor on recliners, on beds, at the kitchen table. You name it, but I always tend to do my best work at my desk in my office, right where I am right now. Now why? I think a lot of that has to do with your mindset, your offices of space, where you dedicate yourself toe work. Your mind knows that when you're at your desk, it's time to work. Also, it should be more comfortable to work at your desk. I worked 10 or even 12 hour days. I need a chair that supports my back, a desk that helps support my wrists on low lighting for my eyes. I can control all of this in my office, but it would be very hard to do that in every single room of my house. I think I drive my wife crazy, and it also be very expensive, so don't worry if you don't have the time or money to transform your home or apartment into a professional office in a single day, my office has been involved, been evolving for years, as I mentioned on has been located in four different places. I still want to get some better pictures up. There's still a lot that I need to do for the perfect office, but it's getting there and a productive and comfortable for now. So it works for me. You have to start somewhere with your office. So let's go ahead and do that now. It's well, quickly discuss each of these. This is the getting your office started checklist for things that you don't need. Go ahead and cross them off for things that you do. Make a check mark once you have them purchased. Make sure to look at your course materials. Um, and everybody's list is gonna look different. I would also open up. We're document and write down other things that come to mind. But some of the obvious ones here comfortable chair. As I mentioned, I've had lower back problems from working so much from sitting so much. Make sure getting comfortable chair desk is important to look at the technology you need. What do you need? Do you need three computers like I have? I don't need three. Um, but I have three and makes you comfortable. I do need to monitors at times, so figure out what you need. Also have wireless smells that comes in very, very handy writing utensils. I don't really need those around. My wife for her job. Does on also look at support items. Plants. Um, some people use salt lamps, lava lamps, anything that just brightens your day on. Also, look at different accessories. Like risk cards are coasters. I drink a lot of different fluids from coffee to water to t. So I always have to have some coasters around. So go ahead and pause here right down the items that you think you need for your office. Now, there are are some other things that come into play when setting up your office. One of those is the type or nature of your job. Your office should reflect and be cohesive with the nature of the job you hold. If you're gonna be in video calls, you obviously need tohave. Ah, presentable workspace. That is basic, clean and predictable. You don't want people walking behind you, dogs jumping on you or too much clutter in the background. Now your personality is also a really important consideration. This is your workspace, and you need to be comfortable making yourself comfortable relies on knowing your personality and catering your workspace to your personality. If you don't really know how your personality impacts your workspace, then pay close attention to what you want at your workspace. Overtime on what frustrates you. Once a year or so, we'll take a stroll through an office supply store to see what jumps out at me. During a trip to the grocery store, I ended up with two small plants, but I think you saw in the video I took, and I've had different things on my desk over the years. Ascension salt lamps had books on different things, and on my desk as any of them. I I also work better with a distraction, which sounds really odd, but my mind runs a 1,000,000 miles a second. Um, so with some work, it might help to have some light music on or even a mindless reality television show streaming in the background, and that seems odd. But for me, with certain projects it works. Keep two additional monitors up at each time so I can have my distractions separate from the main computer that I'm doing work on. Now. Here are some office tips Clear off your desk at the end of each day. It really helps start each workday. New. You're not carrying over the same clutter in the same problems that you had the day before , so take a few minutes when you're done each day. Clean off your desk. Um, set up your desk in a safe and productive manner. Also, keep an eye on what you're facing. I was once facing basically directly into a light bulb. The curtains helped block that out. I also got a light bulb of a lesser wattage, so didn't hurt my eyes. My eyes have gotten worse in the last couple of years, but now they're maintaining around the same level because of those changes that have made. Also, make sure you're setting up your desk in a way with your chair that's comfortable for a while. It's got embarrassing to admit. I didn't realize my chair adjusted, so the arms of the chair. We're running into the death, so I had to sit back too far. I adjusted it. Now my chair can go easily under the desk and m o m. Able to work comfortably at my computer. I would definitely recommend spend on a chair. If you're going to spend money in one area, get a comfortable chair. That's something you're trusting your body to for 8 to 10 hours a day by in this chair. Have area for storage that helps keep your desk clean when I clean off my desk. If I need something I put in that storage area or in that, um, basket that you saw, I have microphone feud, a few different things down there, and you have multiple monitors. If working from a computer, that can really help you separate your work from distractions or maintain different programs without too much fuss. Now, looking at technology now, the tech you need will almost 100% depend on your job. Now I could do work from any laptop with Internet connection in my email password. Now my wife, who answer calls all day. She requires a computer with the Ethernet connection to the router heads, that printer, dual monitors and a lot of software. But before you buy anything, ask your employer if you have one. I work for myself, so I don't but ask your employer what technology they recommend. In a lot of cases, they'll provide you with all the technology you need. If you are working for yourself, start with the basics and add on as you go Key things to keep in mind with technology are the following function. Can you perform your job with the technology You have security. Do you need a virtual private network? VPN Firewall Virus protection. You should always have a firewall in place and virus protection, especially if you're working for an employer. His ways that people could get into their system through yours. You do not want that to happen. You also want to look at efficiency. You don't want to waste time. You won't be productive and comfort as I mentioned. You want to take care of your body so you can keep working at a high level and you want to feel good. Take care of yourself. Make sure your desk in office are set up in a way where you can be comfortable 4. How to Start Your Day Off Right!: have you ever had a day That was terrible right from the start, I'm guessing you have. And it's probably not a coincidence. How you start your day is critical to how your day goes when the start of your day is less than ideal can be really difficult to dig your way out of it and to still have a great day . So here are a few tips. Your morning starts the night before we talked about cleaning your desk the night before. Don't bring those problems into the day. You can also prepare for your day the night before, so this can be anything from clean off your desk to preparing your food, making sure that anything you need is set up. Also getting a good night's rest trying to manage your anxiety. Do all that another tip. Eat a big breakfast. You don't want to go hungry. Prepare your coffee or tea that morning. Or you can also do that the night before. Now, when you're preparing for work as we mentioned, you want to block off distractions so and we also have the distraction checklist. Make sure to check that out on the course materials so you want it? I always turn my phone on silent. You might even want to put your phone away. That's what my wife does. She puts out of sight out of mind, she says, Um, so don't even have your phone visible because you might be tempted when you see the notifications to check tax or emails. Don't do that. I also prepare for work by giving to work early and may seem silly, But I come to my desk 15 minutes early each day on and then I can do things like check my personal email, check sports scores, do a few little things. Uh, get him off my mind, Get out of the way and really prepare to start working. You don't wanna be rushed on and then, you know, start your day off already with some anxiety around it, I would also recommend within preparing for work. I'd also recommend develop, be over, teen, get dressed, act like you're going into the office. Um, you know, wear a nightshirt where you want to be comfortable. But I was still dress somewhat professional. Your good. It plays with your mind set. It really doesn't might some silly, but There's a lot to it. So get dressed as if you were going to the office. You know, you can wear your slippers, but where a decent shirt pants shower, do your basic hygiene. You're going to feel better. You're gonna work better. I would also set a start time. Some jobs are kind of flexible. When you start, try to develop that routine. It's gonna tell your body in your mind this is the time to work. 5. Staying Healthy: health health Shouldn't He's, you know, really easy to take care of your health when you're working from home. Shouldn't be safer working from home than going out of the office. Well, you can control your own environment. However, working from home a tempt you to get less exercise and eat and drink more. I think we've all been there. You need to take care of yourself in order to perform at work. So here's some quick tips. I was stretchered stress. Stretch your legs once an hour playing healthy snacks. One thing I do is put in big Ziploc bags. I'll get pistachios, cashews, some healthy bars. I'll put those behind me in a storage area, but I have those healthy snacks available in case I get hungry on. I can't really leave my desk. That's really good tip to avoid getting too hungry and avoid losing track of time. There's been times when I've been really hungry. I go upstairs. I don't know what I want to eat, cause I didn't have any snacks available and then, you know, 45 minutes later I have this elaborate meal that I decided to cook and I wasted a bunch of time because of it. Rest your eyes. There's a 2020 20 rule. I believe my optometrist told me every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Just stare at the wall. This helps your eyes adjust. Um, and helps your eyes not get too fatigued. I'd also get a fit. Better apple watch. I wear my Fitbit sometimes tells me how to get off your butt every hour. Um, it just helps you remember to stretch your legs do exercises. I get up from your desk every now and then. Walk around. Don't skip breaks playing out your brakes. Make sure you're getting them. Most employers will give you 15 minutes every four hours. Take him. Don't work through him. Take your breaks, Manager Anxiety. What? You know, this plays into the comfort theme that we're going to talk about over and over here. It's really important, uh, working from home work in general can wear down on you working from home being stuck inside , especially if you're extroverts like me. If you're introvert, like my wife might be a little bit easier to be away from people. But for extroverts, you you might get anxious being cooped up in your home, you need to find ways to manage that anxiety, play some relaxing music, Um, do different activities during your break to help manage your anxiety, which I do, and we'll talk about it. Switch up your work environment. If you need Teoh, especially when you're getting started, you might get really sick of being at your desk. You know, try working from your bed. Try working from the kitchen table. Try working from your recliner. Just keep track of how that's impacting your work and your mental state, and you might want to stick to your desk. I really find that I do my best work here, and other people that I've talked with about this is well worth best of their desk. But you might need a change of scenery, and that's that's definitely okay to do 6. Meals: last talk about meals, man, I'm actually hungry right now. So you want a plan for meals? Don't just play it by ear. So if you fail to plan for meals Ah, few different things can result. You can get hungry, which can impact your mood and productivity. I know that I'm easily agitated when I'm hungry. I do not work very well at all. You also might make poor food choices. It kind of hits home for myself. So playing ahead. So you don't just, you know, grab that leftover pizza. Or maybe you want that pizza, but playing out healthy foods, Fruits, snacks, uh, vegetables, pick healthy options and playing those out. You don't wanna make poor food choices because that's going to impact your productivity and your overall health. Also, if you're failing to plan, it might result in overeating or spending too much time making food and getting behind which I talked a little bit about before. And that's something I tend to do. Unfortunately, so here are a few meal tips. Prepare the night before have sealed bags of snacks at or near your desk nuts, chips, granola bars, mentions before playing food breaks with enough time to prepare food. So if you are gonna be preparing food, make sure you give yourself enough time. So you're not blowing past those brakes on possibly getting in trouble with your employer for taking too long breaks. Leave a little time for clean up. Make sure you have at least five minutes. You don't want to rush back to work. You don't want to rush any aspect of working from home. It really can mess with your mood and impact your productivity. Um, I think you'll really be surprised when you hit one of those days and you're rushing and everything seems like it's going wrong. You don't want that to happen. Give yourself time to fail. Give yourself room in between breaks in between shifts. Give yourself space to adjust into this. It will take time. Don't get frustrated. You'll get there. And also don't eat meals at your desk. If it's possible that it really is important to keep a clean workspace also to separate, you know food and things that aren't work from your work 7. Breaks and Ideas: now taking breaks. Force yourself to take breaks. This is important for your mental and physical health. It's definitely at the minimum. I would take 1 15 minute break every four hours. I like to go out on a walk with my dog. Luckily, I'm about two minute walk away from a trail so I could do that for my brakes, if possible. Also, take a one a two minute break every 30 minutes. Just go walk around your basement or your house, go up a couple flights of stairs. Do something with that time and we'll talk about a few different break ideas. So here are some ideas. Four year breaks, which you should take no matter what it is. Lack. We talked about that. Eat a healthy snack I would recommend, but every now and then you can you can mix it up. I like to work in some dark chocolate into my snack. Already a five minute yoga or stretch. I'll talk about that a little bit more short walk. I'm really lucky toe. Have a trail about two minutes away so I can take my dog. Go for a short walk, Stare at the wall. I know that sounds really silly, but especially if you're doing creative work, it can really benefit you to shut off distractions. Rest your eyes, stared the wall, look at something and just just think, Just let your brain go. You'll be really surprised with the results of just turning off distractions and letting your natural creativity kick in. If you want to escape mentally from work, you can also stream a show. I'd recommend not doing that in your work computer, but a separate monitor or your TV. If you want to go to your living room but stream a show for a few minutes, get get your mind off work. Refresh. You also could check a couple items off your to do list. This is usually what my wife does during her breaks. She has this mental to do list that builds up through the day, and during a break she can knock a few things off dishes, laundry, write emails. Call somebody back. But sometimes it might help you to get a few of those things off your mental to do list. Now, whatever you do during your breaks, you don't do the same thing every day. But I wouldn't recommend creating some sort of routine. It could really benefit you. You'll be looking forward to it and intentional. When it comes to your brakes, you use them to your advantage if you play in them instead of just sitting there for 15 minutes unless you plan to say that there for 50 minutes for a specific purpose. As I mentioned, one of the other things I do offer breaks is. Is yoga. I'm not very good, but it doesn't really matter. It's all about stretching. Moving your money. Getting the blood circulating, I definitely recommend is checking out YouTube, seeing what they have for five or 10 minute yoga sessions. I've done all of these and Mawr, but, you know, doing 567 minutes. Even if you're a 15 minute break, it gives you a couple of minutes on both sides of that. Use the restroom, get something to drink. You know, check your personal email, your phone, whatever and still be able to do this. So I definitely recommend just going to YouTube or whatever place you like to watch videos and trials and yoga or stretches 8. Managing Relationships: how managing relationships is probably not what you were expecting in this quarter's, but it's probably the most important section. There are different types of relationships that you have to manage when you work from home . Your spouse if you're married or in a committed relationship. Children, roommates and pets. And let's talk a little bit about each of those. So in managing relationships, spouse is probably the most important one if you are in a long term relationship. Some tips. Things that I've learned throughout the years are one set boundaries. Discuss with your spouse that you will be working during this time. What is okay and it's not OK. Um, and we've had a lot of these discussions. It's taken a lot of time to really get used to me being home. But at work, you know, there's been discussions about our hugs. Okay, while I'm working, or should there be no contact and no talking and we've had to come up with different ways to handle that tonight? Phone on silence. She knows how to get in touch with me. If she she needs to. Hugs are okay. But there are some times when I can't take a break, and I'll let her know, you know, just a few minutes. So have those discussions, uh, and set some sort of boundaries? It might seem silly, but you're gonna need those boundaries. I can promise you that. Um, so you had discussed sharing space. You know, maybe your spouse works from home to my wife, didn't. But now she does. So she has her office space right over there. Uh, so things have had to change. Obviously. Can't talk out loud while she's answering calls, and vice versa. So we have to stagger some of our times. I have to work in a different room, so that's Ah, big consideration. Also, be flexible with each other. Understand? You don't get frustrated. Understand that problems are going to happen. I would recommend taking breaks together if possible. You might need that connection times. Just if you're both working 8 10 hour shifts, try to take that time together. Just so then you can get the things off your chest that you need to Don't have any serious discussions, but, you know, talk about what you want to do tonight, or, um, you know, give the person a hug. Spend a few minutes. It will help. It will go a long way in your relationship. And, yeah, figure out communication options and balance texting on the line messaging emails, phone calls, discuss what's OK and what's not. And turn off the distractions that you are not going to me. Managing relationships, Children. This is a toughie. So here's some tips. I have two younger Children. Both are six and younger, so arrange childcare if possible. As I mentioned right now with the pandemic, it's not really possible to get child care. Um, so you have to figure out workarounds. Luckily, neither my Children are one or two. Um, they're a little bit older, so they don't need 24 7 supervision. But they do need activities. Eso have activities lined up and recommend having a meal plan. If you have Children that are old enough, minor just there, you can line up snacks and baggies. You can have sandwiches that they can grab. You have things ready. Another thing that we've done is set a schedule so they know what will happen when we have little Velcro in little squares that says, you know, this is the time you eat and this is a time you'll take a nap. This is quiet time. That's when you can watch a show on. Then they know what's next. So they're not barging in saying I am hungry. Well, it's not time to eat yet because look at your schedule. It really helps organization. I know it's tough to spend all that time organizing things, what you're gonna need to invest in time in this. If you really want this to go well on, I'd recommend it because, you know, your Children are going to remember this time that you were working for home and you wanted to go smoothly with them as well. So set boundaries, let them know what they can and can't do. We have to lock the door sometimes, and they know. You know, when those times are, if its emergency that they can get one of us that is available or not in work that they can't get away from and also find ways to limit distractions, you know, give them distractions if they need evermore. As I mentioned, one of the ways that we limit distractions is by having a schedule that they know that will follow managing relationships. Roommates. So this might be unique to you. You obviously I have different types of roommates, but you might have roommates, and that's going to be really tough toe to deal with. I would have a discussion with all your roommates, Have some agreed upon method of telling them nicely to be quiet. You know, maybe have that discussion with them saying, if things are to aloud, how can How would you like me to communicate that? I need you to be quiet. And some of those conversations might not go well, but you need to have them. You need to be able to work. You need to be able to be in the right mind space, um, into the right mood to be successful and something that requires having those tough discussions with roommates find ways to repay them. If they are being quiet for you there, they're sacrificing something like, yes, you're at work. They should respect your work. But they are not doing your work. You know, if they're respecting your boundaries, figure out some way to repay them. Pay it forward, pay back. Um, you know, by and beer enema movie. I don't know something, but but just recognize the effort they're putting in. If they are putting an effort and figure out some way toe, make it up for them or at least thanked them profusely. It also avoid working on the weekends, if possible. At least let them have the weekends, too. Be crazy. Well, if you're younger, Um, yeah, just just trying not to limit them so much. You don't want to be that roommate that spoils all the fun, but you have to get your work done, too, so just make sure to have those discussions with your mates. Now let's look at managing your pet relationships. As I mentioned, I have a dog and a cat. Both of them have definitely interrupted calls on work before in different ways. So here are some tips for managing your relationships with pets. Make them comfortable. Incorporate into the workspace if they're well behaved. As I mentioned, I think you saw my little pet bad down here for my dog Chewy. He's very quiet and last. Somebody is knocking on the door and I'll talk about that a little bit, but you can. You can incorporate them in your workspace if they work well. Also, if you don't mind them popping up in a video conference call if you have those, I would leave out of your workspace. If distractions air likely if they're going. Teoh, I don't know piano floor, bar core or you just don't like having them around because you're trying to focus. Then I would figure out somewhere else toe. Have them another way to limit distractions with your paths. Take for a walk before your shift and on breaks, leave a note for a delivery driver not to knock or ring the bell, and that's really big for me. And fill water and food bowls. Make sure they are well taken care of so that they're not interrupted. 9. Phone Calls: phone calls. Let's talk about him now. My wife, She now works remotely with me and our Children nearby, and she has to take calls for eight hour shifts. Now I only have about two or 3/2 hour calls a day. Probably most Some of them are recorded interviews for a podcast. Others were just check ins with clients. Whether you'll make one phone call a day or 100 you need to be prepared. If you're confident that you will not have any work related calls while working remotely, you can move on to the next section. You should just put your phone on silent, put out of reach and forget about it until your breaks or lunch. Now, if you do have to take calls, the section is important. So here are some general tips about phone calls for working at home. The phone call could be anything you could be. Your actual phone teleconference video. A lot of people are using Skype or zoom. So few tips here mute is your absolute best friend. When you're not talking, I don't care if you don't think distractions air gonna happen. Hit mute. Put it on mute just remember, get used to hitting you often on, especially if you have kids, spouse, dogs, whatever it is. Saved me so many times, especially when I'm recording calls for different purposes. Um, make sure you're hitting mute. Also eliminate sources of sound. So right next to my office, there's a dehumidifier. I turn that off when I'm on calls. There's a washer or dryer right over here. Um, I make sure to have the door shut to that, so I can't really hear it. Um, there might be other things. Pipes, different things that make noise. Make sure you try to eliminate those sources of sounds. Closed doors, turn off appliances in another tip is record important calls for your records. Let the person know I was do that. I am recording this call, but I'm just using for my notes and not going to use the recording for anything. It's just so I could go back and source those Aaron longer calls with clients where I only have one time to talk to them. I recorded those calls. You could do that through Skype for free conference call that Qamar different places, but I would recommend trying to do that if you only get one shot at it and you want to make sure you capture that information and you can go back to it, Um, another tool called otter dot ai also allows you to transcribe calls. You can play a recording, and it can transcribe pretty accurately what was said during that. So then you can have those notes available, which is really helpful Now. There are two likely scenarios for taking phone calls when you're working from home. So Number one is you're like me and you have a few scheduled calls a day at most. Or you're like my wife and you have calls nearly nonstop during your work day. For those of you like me who have few schedule calls throughout the day, let's check. So here are a few tips when I would definitely create a time window for your calls and stay consistent. So and this is only if you can determine when these calls are going to be. So I set different windows when I could talk to clients. So hey, every Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. You know, do you have anything available in this time? You might need to be flexible, but I would try to create those windows. So, you know, these days and times are when you're gonna be available for calls. That also helps If you do have roommates, Children or a spouse letting them know that, you know, this is the day I'm gonna have calls. And if you have a call, a different, you know, outside of that window are day. Then you let them know so they can be aware of it. Also schedule calls for the best times of the day. For you, I am a night owl. I usually hit a little low, you know, around 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That I start picking back up later. So I like to have calls later on. Calls for five pm seem to work really well for me. Figure out what works for you on scheduled Those calls during that time Let others, as we mentioned before roommates piles Children, let him know when you have calls, you can share Google calendar with them, which is really good resource talk a little about that later, but let them know when you have those scheduled calls. And if distractions air possible or likely I would notify the other people on the call in advance. I've done that before. If I'm the only if my wife had to be out of the house, I'm the only watch my kids just saying, Hey, just let you know I'm watch. My kids were upstairs watching show. If they interrupt, I apologize. If you don't think it's likely, then you probably don't have to mention it. But if you do, when you're worried about it, just mentioned ahead of time. People are very understanding, especially if you're being forced to work from home. They're gonna understand. Now let's look, if you have tohave calls throughout the day, like my wife, I would lock doors or leave a sign up when you're working. So people really don't have any excuses. I didn't know you were working. Sorry. Well, the signs up there the door was locked where a comfortable headset. You know, this also goes back to the having comfortable chair. But if you have to have calls all day, you're going to be sitting. Make sure you're comfortable. Use your brakes really strategically for bathroom food or mental breaks with with my work I can leave at any time to go. Bathroom doesn't matter. My wife has to play, and you should get those 15 minute breaks every four hours. She can't just leave in the middle of her shift. Um, you know, then a call will come in and show miss it. Andi, that cannot happen. So use your break strategically, and I also make sure you're staying hydrated. But you're also being careful of how much you're drinking, so you're not having to take unexpected breaks. Um, also keep yourself happy. Smile. I've been on a dialer system in a call centre before is very difficult. You're you know, you're doing great. Stay in there. Figure out ways to keep yourself help. Help healthy, yes, but also happy. It's very difficult job. Congratulations to you for being able to do it. Do what you have to do to get through it. Try to smile. There's another reason to smile and say happy. It comes through and your calls just smiling. You could hear me smiling right now, and you might be annoyed, but most people, when they're talking to somebody smiling, they feel happy, too. So do that 10. How to Stay Productive: Let's talk about productivity tools, these air several things that have really helped me in different work situations. Slack. It's the internal messaging system, especially if you're working with several different clients. You can have a slack channel just for your company of your client who you're speaking with . So it's like an instant messenger. But it's just from the people in your work zoom video. Everybody's working. Everybody's using these days. I guess there are some security issues with it, so you be careful with that. Uh, try to see what your employer recommends. Four. Using video Graham Early is something I use all the time to check my grammar. Before I send an email or published an article, I will just throw it in Graham. Really? There's a free edition. There's also Premium that think it's like 100 bucks a year worth it for me is a writer may not be worth it for you, but they have free tools extensions as well. Ah, Google drive for storage and collaboration. You can host all your files in there and also work in real time on documents with other people. That's been very helpful for May. I want to use free conference call that come to host conference calls and record these calls and that it's free. And also Google Calendar, which I mentioned has been a lifesaver. I would schedule religiously, schedule everything if you need to switch it around, do it. But for somebody like me who's not just naturally organized, it's really helped me stay productive. Figure out what I want to get done and schedule when I'm going to do it. 11. Community and Avoiding Isolation: Now let's look at community and interacting with others. Working from home can be very isolating, even if you have family or pets around you. Surrounding yourself with the virtual community can really help ease those feelings of isolation. So I would schedule regular calls if you can have several other freelancers business owners like me that I will set up calls with that really helps me not feel isolated. Get out some creative ideas. Communicate with fellow employees, if you can. You know whether it vester instant messenger calls or emails, figure out ways to get some of your thoughts out there and connect with fellow employees. If possible, go to co working spaces. Those air closed right now. But get yourself in different environments. You put yourself around other people. You can also join online groups. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn all have different communities for people that work from home. Connect with people, figure out their best tips. You can ask me questions as well. Maybe even give me advice if you figured out different things on the best way to go about things while working from home 12. Final Tips: congratulations. You've made it through the work from Home Survival Guide Course. I really enjoy creating this course, and I hope that you found this helpful. Make sure to ask me questions if you have them. 70 recommendations. Make sure to review this course as well, so other people will understand what they're getting themselves into. Uh, so I also want you to reference the ultimate work from home tip sheet in the course Resource is, but I also like to share a few the most important tips that I have for you. As we close out this course, what is? Eliminate harmful distractions? I gave you a distraction checklist. It's really important to keep your head in the game. Also keep your employer happy is supposed to. If you're taking calls all day, you want to eliminate those distractions. I'm create a designated workspace. I understand that you might not be able to have the same type of set up that I have here, but you still want to create a designated workspace. You want to make sure that you know that place when you go there. It's work time. How is schedule religiously? Use Google Calendar, um, or or any other calendar of device, even if that's on paper. But make sure you're scheduling what you're doing when another thing I also do. Um, since I work with clients is within scheduling. I also keep track of what I do. One toe let them know during, you know, 10. 11 PM I am Well, sometimes I do work that late. So 10 to 11 a.m. I did this and this is why. And that's what got accomplished. That might seem a little burdensome, but some employers are adjusting to this, too, and they might not trust that you're working productively the whole entire time. So it's not a bad idea to keep track of that. Some employers already have tracking tools that are gonna tell them what you've been working out. But if they don't say just in case, keep track of what you're working on. No yourself play to your strengths. You know what you know, when what conditions you work well in and what conditions you work bad and play to that and also be proactive in planning. So whether that's with your office or just in general, be proactive. Take action. Don't let it be a problem. You really want to make this work? You want to show your employer that you're doing your best work, that you're kicking, but that you're a valuable employee for them. Um, and you could do that by being proactive, you know, ask them questions. State concerns. Get your office in order. If you can do all that, be proactive. So make sure you check your resource is and complete your tasks. For this course, there's a stress and checklists. You want to do that office item checklists and also check out the ultimate tip lists, which I've created based on my nine years of experience working from home and working remotely. Well, that's it, guys. Thank you so much. I'm Michael Lucchese. Once again, you really can contact me with any questions you might have. Lucchese that michael at gmail dot com. You can also connect with me on Twitter or linked in my user names. They're just at Michael Lucchese. Also, I really want to know what you think of the course. And if I should add things to the course, um, you This will be a living course, so we can always update lessons if we need to, um and I want to be able to do that. So give me your tips from your experience, let me know how working from home go is going. And if I could do anything else to help that you again pretending this course by