How to Work From Home
You know, things are changing really quickly. And so many individuals are now working from home or working in some other remote environment. And you know, it’s either good or bad, depending on how you manage your remote work life. Now, I’ve had the great opportunity to work as a management consultant. And as a CEO of several organizations, and much of that time over the last 30 years, I would work remotely because our corporate offices were located in another city. And I had four children and two dogs during that period of time. So I had to create a work life that was remote that was also productive, and you know, really a happy work life. And, you know, I made a lot of mistakes. In the beginning, one of the biggest mistakes I made is that it took me some time to manage the number one cardinal rule of working remotely. And that is compartmentalization. In other words, you really have to create both spatial spaces, spatial environments, to work, but you also have to create psychic spaces, meaning that you kind of have to feel like you’re at work. And I know that may sound superficial, but the truth of the matter is, if we don’t know how to feel like we’re at work, then the way in which we approach work is very, very different. And usually defunct, for an example, I have people that I know that try to work from home from their iPad from their couch, it just never really works. Because you always feel like you’re at home. And you always feel like you’re at work, and you never feel like you’re at home, and you never feel like you’re at work. And it’s incredibly stressful. So the first recommendation I would have when working remotely is master compartmentalization, both psychically and spatially. Go to a place that feels like work. Always work in that space. When you’re home, never work in any area of your home. That is not a pre designated workspace. Now, again, I know this sounds superficial, but trust me, I’ve done I’ve done this for 30 years. And as a management consultant, I’ve worked with a top brands to help their teams do this better. So the first thing you have to do is get to that space, where you’re really and truly, both physically and psychically divided. Now, there are four things that you really need to do to thrive and prosper as a remote worker. Number one is you need to learn how to manage, monitor and improve your quality of work life. Now, I’m going to say this emphatically and I say it in my certified remote worker training program is that you come first, your self care, your happiness comes first. Because you can never be a productive employee, you can never do the work that you need to do for your enterprise if you’re not happy. And happiness requires, again, the divisibility of where you work and where you live. Right. So managing that quality work, life is important. There’s some other things you should definitely factor in, you need to create both virtual slash digital, and physical external connectivity. Now, what I mean by that is, is that we humans are happy when we’re social. And we really need to be able to collaborate with our team, our team members and our co workers in a way that is satisfying to us because we we love that we love to co create into Ida. So always schedule time to be able to collaborate with, with team members and co workers so that you feel like you’re part of a collective effort, that social engagement is really, really important to your quality of life. Now, here’s the other thing. One of the biggest pitfalls of working from home is that it’s 1130. You’ve got a proposal Do you look up and it’s now six o’clock, you didn’t take lunch, you didn’t take a break, you didn’t really move. That’s only something that you can do for a short period of time. It’s not sustainable. It really is not sustainable. Be legalistic. Be legalistic about your breaks, and about stepping away from the compartment of work, to a compartment of relaxation to a compartment of collaboration with family members and others. What I do is I work out every day before I go to work, and I do it with other people and I get a chance
To start my day collaborating, sometimes I work out virtually using video, I have some folks that I that I lift weights with that we do it via zoom, find some way to serve you. Before you even begin your day. Make sure and serve you and exercise is the best way to help you begin the process of managing your stress. Now, here’s another really cool tip. Everybody’s talking about the Apple Watch, and the Fitbit and all the other great technologies and they are great technologies. But you know, you don’t have to buy a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. In fact, you might find as I have, that an inexpensive $20 pedometer that you can buy on Amazon is a much better way to track your physical movement. Your physical movement, believe it or not, is part of your stress mitigation. And therefore it’s part of your happiness by a pedometer and then target 10,000 steps a day. Now these mount on a belt. So they’re far more accurate, in my opinion than a risk based technology because they’re actually checking how your trunk or your core body is moving. The other thing that’s really fun is gamify this, have a competition with your team members to find out who gets the most steps every day. It’s a lot of fun. And it is a way to ensure that you are moving. Here’s another million dollar tip. Six years ago, I made the tragic decision
to increase my energy to increase my presenteeism that mental state of being there. By removing every chair in my office, there is literally no place to sit down in my office other than the floor, which seems a bit indignant. What I did is I bought a standing desk. Now you can buy adjustable standing desk, one of my favorites is the ergotron. And it allows you to stand up at least half of the day. In fact, they find that people who are standing up all day long, it has the same sort of physical impact as if you were doing a five k run every month every week. In fact, when you look at human robots, the robots that look like people, what are the biggest problems with a humanoid robot design is it goes through batteries really, really quickly. Why is that? Because the robot is constantly moving to try to avoid tipping over, that’s what we do as well. And that’s where the energy consumption is. Also, when you’re on zoom calls, and you’re doing presentations, you’ll find you come up far more powerful. When you’re standing up. There’s a great resource called just stand.org that provides all kinds of great information that shows you the health benefits of standing. So those are my two big health tips. Number one, use a pedometer. They’re cheap, and they work really good. Number two, stand up. Think about getting a standing desk. Most organizations are now providing standing desks for their employees even remotely, go to just org calm and take a look at the incredible resources that are available there. All right, manage your health and happiness. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure that when you’re working, you’re working. When you’re home, you’re home, don’t ever work at home. And don’t ever leave your work environment to hang out in your home environment to do work, not just because it’s a bad idea in terms of losing that division, you’ll find that you’re training yourself to believe you’re never at work. And that really does have a bad impact. The other thing that you need to do is you need to develop project management skills. And since we have a not enough time to cover project management skills, what I will tell you is is that Sprint’s work really good, they work really, really good to manage your week because if you manage your week and you schedule your week, you will be less stressful, more happy, more productive, and you will find what I found and that is working remotely is beautiful. When my kids got off school at three o’clock, I was done for the day. And I would sit there and make raw healthy natural food and really taught my kids the incredible power of what it means to architect food that that nourishes them. And to this day, my kids are now in their 20s and they’re all incredibly healthy because of the lessons that they learned from us cooking healthy food together. I was able to spend more time with my family and I was present when I was there. That’s the other problem about not creating compartmentalization. When you’re home, you’re really at work and you can’t do that. And when you’re at work, you’re really at home. I also recommend developing rules of engagement. I actually have a sign on my door that says in session. I know friends of mine that actually bought from radio supply companies a on the air light or red on the air light like they haven’t radio stations so when the red lights on, and don’t come in. Now obviously if you need to serve your family and something that’s urgent, you obviously have to put your family
First, but the point is sometimes they just want to ask you a question or something like that it derails us it, we lose continuity and productivity if we’re constantly being interrupted. So make work time work, make home life, home time, home time. I know I say it a lot in this program. The reason I do is that it’s the difference between success and failure. It truly is. Okay. Now, here’s the Another thing I’d like to point out is reporting, you know, your employer, probably, or even your client, if you’re a remote worker serving clients, they really think you’re sitting by the pool, smoking a cigar probably all day long, right. And it’s not their fault you get, I mean, we were making a transition from traditional work environments. And so you know, it takes a while for them to get there. I like using Excel sprint
programs because it does a really good job of managing weeks for team members. But it also provides really cool reporting. You can also use con bonds, traditional Gantt charts, you can use PM, project management type tools, including executive dashboards, all these things are great, but make sure you’ve got a way to perp that really communicates your productivity, because really, without that, they don’t really know what you’re up to. And lastly, I want to leave you with just a few more things here. We are now digital television. talent,
we are actually talent, meaning that we wake up every day get on a zoom call, get on a team call get on this is a Skype call. And we are presenting ourselves with with audio and with video and we are being looked at with the same level of scrutiny that the average person looks at when watching television at night. In fact, the average American watches about two to $400 million in video production every evening. So if we don’t manage our digital brand, we are sunk. It will adversely impact your career. And it’ll also make it impossible for you to serve your enterprise when talking to vendors and partners. So here’s some quick tips on what you must absolutely do if you want to succeed as a remote worker. Number one, your camera on your desktop or laptop isn’t good enough. Use an external 4k, our true HD camera, I use the Logitech Brio. And in fact, I do keynote presentations virtually around the world using that camera. It’s flattering. It is got great, great light sensitivity, and I look completely better when I’m on that camera. Remember, we’re judged superficially, is that right? No, of course not. We should be judged by our character and our integrity, not by our physical appearance. But it’s really not a beauty content contest, what we’re trying to show people on the other end of that zoom call is that we care enough to be prepared. And that means that we’re going to look good, we’re going to be we’re going to be as professional as a person would be that’s doing webinars or broadcast programs. I know it sounds like over the top, but it’s really required today. And studies show that your income, your productivity, and ultimately your success trajectory is really based on your ability to have great communication and presentation skills. You may also want to look at our presentation program, we have a new, impactful, certified impactful communication certification probe program coming out in a few months, which really teaches all these skills. Okay, so you need an external camera, that’s good. I would also strongly recommend doing strongly maybe required that you use a lavalier or lapel microphone, you can buy a USB Lavalier or lapel microphone so that you can be heard just like you’re hearing me in this program today. If I was faint, if my voice started to fade, I would likely not be very interesting. Let’s give it a try. So what do you think about right now?
What do you think about when the sounds going in and out, right? If you do that kind of stuff, it drives people nuts, right? We communicate using crisp, loud, thoughtful language. So make sure and use a USB mic there about 20 or $30. You can get the one that literally plugs right into the computer, you clip it to your lapel or to your the collar on your dress and off you go. Alright. The other thing is the reason that all the makeup superstars on tik tok and Instagram are using ring lights is because it makes you look good. If you don’t use ring lights, you have hollow dark circles around your eyes and it’s not that great. Okay, the other thing is you absolutely have to make sure that you have enough bandwidth to be able to do what you do with the digital medium. So do a speed test, simply google speed test to make sure that you’ve got the upload speed necessary to be able to have reliable communication over zoom. Okay, so those are the technical recommendations. A good external microphone, I mean, video I recommend briault a lavalier external mic
clips onto your person, not a big giant microphone on your desk, fill it in flat LED panels or ring lights work beautiful, and they’re inexpensive. And lastly, I mean, come on, let’s make sure we got enough bandwidth to do this because your bandwidth is you know, really the the shipping methodology for your brilliance. All right, I’m going to leave you with one more tip. And that is you are a brand,
plain and simple. You are a brand, the way you look, the way you talk, your enthusiasm, your attentiveness, your engagement all determines how people are going to respond to you. And you know, the importance of being a good brand is that I believe in life Our job is to is to serve others. And if we want to serve others and impact others, we have to bring them along with us. And the only way to do that is through crisp and clear, thoughtful communication. So avoid these pitfalls. When you’re on a zoom call, you are on camera, always. Just because you’re not speaking doesn’t mean that people aren’t looking at your thumbnail, because the truth of the matter is, they are you are always on camera. When you’re on a zoom call. Don’t look down at your phone, Don’t look away from the computer, don’t type an email message. Don’t do anything other than to make sure that you’re perfectly framed in the environment. With a background that has little or no distractions whatsoever. No knickknacks, no clutter, nice, crisp, clean, don’t do it from your bedroom, don’t do it sitting on your bed. Don’t do it by your pool. Don’t do any of those common zoom mistakes that people make. Have a environment that looks like a business environment have virtually nothing behind you other than some very minimalistic decorations. If it’s a bookshelf, get rid of knickknacks that people are looking at to try to figure out what they are. These are the things that make a difference in your career and the way in which you impact people on behalf of your organization. So be thoughtful about those kinds of pitfalls. You’re always on camera, you need to be lit, they need to hear you with a great microphone, they need to see you with a great camera, you’ve got to have the pipe to be able to send your signal out to the universe. These are the things that are so important for you to be successful as a remote worker. There’s so much more than I’d love to cover with you today. But the good news is we have an inexpensive program called the remote worker certificate. And this lets employers know that you know this stuff and that you’re going to serve them well. I believe that my employer, my students will make multiple returns on their investment into this inexpensive certification program. We also provide you a workbook where you can create your own work remote strategy, you’ll also get the templates to build out your your own actual, which is really cool your own actual sprint plans for the week. And one of my great friends and colleagues Dr. David Barron, a Board Certified psychiatrist is a bonus module talks about how to identify stress and what to do about it. All right, well, listen, I hope you enjoyed this podcast today. Thank you so much for listening. I love the fact that you are entering this stage of your life of working in a remote environment. I believe it’s beautiful. I believe it’s beautiful. But remember, you are the most important thing. Think about your health and your safety and your stress. You know, do the 10,000 steps a day. share recipes that are healthy with colleagues use gamification and competition to get to those 10,000 steps. Make sure and take your breaks. Keep yourself divided from work and home. And you will love this journey. Thank you so much, and have an incredible day.