How to Work From Home Effectively with Candiace Williams25:05 with Treehouse
We are working from home now more than ever. Candiace presents best tips and practices so you can optimize your home space for at home work and learning.
Hey everybody, I would like to welcome up Candiace Williams. 0:04 Candiace is a Louisiana native but grew up in the city of Decatur, Georgia. 0:05 Before joining MailChimp, 0:11 her career focused specifically in nonprofit organizations. 0:13 Should joined admin operations with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA, 0:18 then moved to marketing at the American Red Cross. 0:23 Candiace received a degree in business administration from 0:26 Georgia State University and a tech degree in UX design from Treehouse, 0:31 please give her a big Treehouse welcome. 0:35 >> All right, so let's get it going. 0:38 So again, I'm Candiace. 0:41 I'm here to talk to you guys about how to work from home effectively. 0:43 A simple topic, but 0:48 definitely something that I think people are absolutely doing wrong. 0:50 Just kind of digging into some information, 0:55 I kinda find out I'm doing something wrong. 0:59 So to remedy that, I'm gonna go over some tips and 1:03 tricks that will help you to successfully work from home. 1:07 So right now, working from home is a big thing for 1:13 everybody given the global economic situation. 1:18 So it seems like you live at work and 1:22 you steps from your office and it's all one big jumbled mess. 1:26 And It's hard to kind of balance the work and life when every everyone now is home. 1:31 But I'm here to rest assure you that working from home can be super beneficial. 1:38 And in today's workforce, especially when we're shifting and 1:45 we're learning new ways, and 1:49 we're realizing that you don't have to be in office to be effective to do things. 1:52 So, here's some tips that we're gonna go over. 1:57 Create an area dedicated for work, set your schedule and 2:02 boundaries, communicate and use your notification settings. 2:07 So by mastering these techniques, 2:12 you can be a sure fire or work from home expert. 2:16 So making working from home work for you. 2:20 Now what do you need? 2:26 So everyone doesn't have the options to have a extra room just for an office. 2:27 I don't, I have a little corner dedicated, but I have a desk, 2:34 a good chair, proper lighting, good Internet and 2:39 some other equipment to make working from home successful and ideal. 2:42 So creating that space kinda gets you in that mental place that, 2:47 I'm in this space, I'm here to do a job, I'm here to be productive. 2:52 And so that's why kinda creating an area even if it's the kitchen table where you 2:58 can pack up and move things if you don't have another place to have an office or 3:03 a desk or chair. 3:08 But even just a space that you can dedicate to work will be super effective, 3:09 super helpful to getting things accomplished. 3:14 Listen to your body, make sure you have a good chair, 3:17 you wanna have things that ergonomically correct. 3:21 So you want to have a desk with a good height, a good chair to support your back. 3:24 You wanna get up often and frequently. 3:29 I know sometimes there are days when it seems like I'm on Zoom 3:31 after Zoom after Zoom and I don't necessarily get a good break. 3:35 But I will get up to stretch, kinda let the dog out the back door, 3:40 grab some water, take a restroom break. 3:45 But on those days, I'm kinda prepared, 3:48 I kinda get things kinda lined up, so I know what's going on in the future. 3:51 So I have everything ready to go because it's gonna be one of those kinda days. 3:57 Making a small adjustment like just getting up, will reset your posture 4:01 because after you're sitting for a long amount of time, you tend to slouch. 4:07 And after eight hours a day, if not longer, 4:13 sitting in a chair, it could be really harmful to the body. 4:16 So make sure you got a good disk and good chair. 4:21 Proper lighting, proper lighting is gonna be key to being productive in my opinion. 4:25 There are some days when I don't have Zoom meetings and 4:31 I may not have the lighting on, I may not really be fully dressed. 4:35 But really working ain't saying checking Slack and messages and 4:39 things like that that works. 4:43 But when it's time for me to actually sit down and be super productive and 4:45 get things done, I'm turning the lights on, I'm getting that good natural light. 4:50 Getting in a mode to where I know that I need to work and 4:55 I know that the proper lighting can just affect your mood and overall productivity. 4:59 So lighting is great, 5:05 make sure you have somewhere where you can sit with the light. 5:07 And when you're taking those Zoom calls, turn on your camera, 5:11 like Michelle said before, it does create that human connection. 5:16 It does create those moments that aren't so dull and low and you can read and 5:20 feel what a person is saying just from their facial expressions and gesture. 5:25 And also don't sit with your back to lighting because 5:30 it creates an awful shadow. 5:33 And no one ever can see you sitting with your back to the window because the glare, 5:35 the lighting. 5:41 So if you're wanting to have that natural light, sit in front of the light and 5:42 it'll kinda illuminate much better than sitting behind it. 5:47 And then having good Internet and other equipment. 5:50 I mean, I love my mouse. 5:57 [LAUGH] I have a keyboard. 5:59 I have a laptop stand. 6:02 I have a second monitor. 6:03 I have although all those extra things to just help me be more productive. 6:05 My days kinda look at a lot of different things at one time. 6:10 So having that extra monitor, having that second set of screens to kinda see things 6:15 and get things going really helps me to be productive and make sure that I'm 6:21 doing all the good things and good Internet and things of that nature too. 6:26 So you wanna have all of the good things set up for you so you can minimize and 6:31 limit whatever kind of distractions you've got going on or whatever kind of, 6:35 this chair isn't comfortable. 6:40 I think when we all kind of started working from home, some coworkers and I, 6:41 we were like we need a chair because the chair was good for 6:46 working from home a couple days a week, maybe. 6:49 But literally, every single day working from home, 6:52 you got to get into that groove in that routine of having things where they 6:56 need to be and having a practiced set of things that go on. 7:01 And just all the right things in place so 7:05 that you can feel like you're at work even though you're at home. 7:08 This is a big one, getting dressed. 7:13 Listen, nowadays if it doesn't have an elastic band, 7:16 it's not cottoned or it's leisure wear, I don't want it, right? 7:20 I think one of the greatest perks is being able to work from 7:25 home because you don't have to really put on clothes. 7:30 That's true for some days. 7:35 Some days, I don't have to be visible and show my face. 7:36 But on the days that I have to show my face, 7:37 what you see on this screen is exactly what I like. 7:41 Business on top, party on the bottom. 7:47 And getting dressed does something to your psyche because when 7:49 you look good, you feel good. 7:54 And so, if you want to increase and boost how you feel, get out of the bed and 7:56 the pajamas that you slept in and put on a fresh pair of pajamas. 8:01 It'll change how you feel. 8:05 It'll change just your psyche and make you wanna kinda get into it and 8:08 do a little bit more. 8:13 Trust me, your mental will thank you for it, 8:14 but it is a perk working from home that you don't have to fully get dressed. 8:17 And some days I don't fully get dressed, some days it's just business on top, 8:20 party on the bottom. 8:25 But on those days that I do have to have FaceTime and Zoom meetings and 8:26 things like that, I tend to wanna to put on a blouse or 8:31 a T shirt that's clean and not wrinkled and 8:34 things like that because it makes me feel good when I'm communicating. 8:37 Setting your hours and boundaries. 8:43 This is gonna help to prevent that always on work culture. 8:46 The always on call because I'm at home and people are sending me messages and 8:50 should I accept that message at eight o'clock at night? 8:55 Should I accept that message at six o'clock in the morning? 8:59 We're gonna figure out how to get that done. 9:03 The easiest way to set boundaries is always to block time for 9:06 lunch because if you're going throughout the day and you're meeting at lunch, 9:09 you're not having time to step away to refresh. 9:14 You're gonna burn out, you're gonna burn out super hard and super fast. 9:17 And that overworked stressed feeling is a real thing 9:21 nowadays because on average, we're spending about three 9:25 more hours per day working then when we were in the office. 9:30 And then, there's been a spike in VPN usage, virtual private networks, 9:34 between midnight and 3AM. 9:39 So you're working more. So if you're gonna be working more, 9:41 you got to start setting some time for yourself. 9:45 And in my company, our culture is at no cost, 9:49 we'd wanna have to have a lunch meeting. 9:52 And sometimes we do have to have them, but it's very far and 9:55 few and in between, because we want to make sure that everybody has some 9:58 time Kinda take a break step away. 10:03 And you wanna do the same thing for yourself and other people too. 10:05 So if it's not an urgent meeting, try to avoid having meetings on lunch. 10:09 And also just step away even if you don't have an hour you have 30 minutes. 10:14 Make that sandwich open the back door and get some fresh air walk outside walk to 10:20 the mailbox, just kind of do something that breaks that routine of just 10:24 sitting in front of the screen all day because you really can bring yourself out. 10:27 Feeding yourself should be non negotiable because it's gonna help 10:31 with just making sure you're productive and things like that. 10:36 Taking your off days. 10:43 So, I'm guilty of this, I feel like why am I taking off? 10:44 I'm not going anywhere, I'm at home. 10:50 Well, you remember me talking about burnout, right? 10:52 Well, burnout is a real thing. 10:58 And Taking off and 10:59 stepping away, turning off your notifications, turning off, emails and 11:05 things of that nature will give you that mental break that you need. 11:11 If you're always in work mode, and you have that mentality of just work, work, 11:16 work, work, work, when do you get that time to just rest, relax and recuperate. 11:20 Even if you don't have anywhere to go and 11:24 you're doing like a staycation where you just at home, 11:27 disconnect completely and grab a book, take those walks. 11:32 Start that project, finish that project, do anything except for 11:37 work because that mental refresh that you'll get, 11:41 it will be truly rewarding even if it's just the day or two. 11:45 And I know I like to kind of schedule naps [LAUGH] in my days off because 11:49 it's one of those things that you don't get. 11:53 So even something as simple as just like a little 15 minute power nap to refresh you 11:57 on those days that you're off if you're trying to handle some of your own personal 12:01 business, it's just something you can do to make it [LAUGH] fun and exciting. 12:05 As you get older naps are important. 12:08 [LAUGH] So unplug from work at least one day a week. 12:10 On Sundays are usually my days where I'm just like I don't absolutely wanna see 12:16 Slack message, see your email, get a text message about work and that's, 12:21 you know, personal for me. 12:25 However you make it work for you cuz everybody's schedules may vary, 12:27 but at least one day a week you should limit. 12:31 Any kind of communication with work unless you're on call, obviously, but 12:34 that'll give you that break that you're looking for to and take those days off. 12:38 Like even if you're not going anywhere, 12:42 take those days off just to just rest your mental 12:44 So, I think the misconception of working from home is that people are hanging out, 12:56 going to the movies, everything but working. 13:04 But you have to start practicing saying no to people 13:08 when they think you're working from home and you're just available. 13:11 Hey, can you pick up such and such from the airport, or, hey, 13:16 can you come with me to this event that's in the middle of the day? 13:19 And, practicing no, say things like, well, 13:23 when I finish working, I'll see if I'm available. 13:27 Or I can't right now because I'm working and if you practice those things to keep 13:31 saying no, it'll put people in the mindset that even though so and so 13:35 works from home, they're actually working. 13:39 You don't wanna get caught up in being the go to person because you 13:42 wanna observe the hours that your team is working in. 13:46 If you're working on a schedule of nine to five and 13:48 you constantly are taking breaks, you're gonna have longer days. 13:52 And then your teammates may not be available to answer those messages, 13:57 because they're observing one set of hours and you're doing another. 14:00 So try to avoid as many errands for others and 14:04 yourself as possible because you are supposed to be working. 14:07 But hey, a quick 15 minute run to the post office definitely, right? 14:10 We are allowed to do those things ,we're allowed to have a quick 14:13 minute to ourselves but be mindful and communicate with your team. 14:17 So that disconnect and reconnecting, so you usually, 14:23 you're getting in your car, you're listening to the music, 14:27 listening to a podcast, grab that cup of coffee, have that run in the morning. 14:31 You're doing all these things to get prepared for work, but 14:37 what are you doing to prepare when you're at home? 14:40 It has to kind of be the same set of things that you're doing because it's 14:43 a mental thing that you're trying to psych yourself into. 14:47 Okay, I'm getting ready for work. 14:50 And the same thing in the evening. 14:52 How are you decompressing when you completely shut down and log off? 14:54 Take a long walk, take an extra walk, take the kids outside, do something that's 14:58 gonna take break up that space from you just working, working working all day. 15:03 So for me, I have a morning ritual where I go out with my cup of tea. 15:08 I take my dog and we kind of hang outside for a little while, 15:12 do our little thing and it kind of preps me and gets me ready for 15:16 the morning and then the same afternoon. 15:20 We walk to the mailbox or do our little thing and just kind of disconnect so 15:23 that I'm stepping away. 15:27 Because if you're just literally, going from the couch to the computer, 15:29 you're gonna get in this phone this this this cycle, 15:34 this burnout that we call in, it's no fun. 15:38 So, continue to do the things that you enjoy. 15:41 Find some hobbies, find some activities to break up the monotony when you 15:43 are working from home so that you have those things to do. 15:48 And I know it all is all like one big blur splash especially now with the children at 15:52 home, the kids are home, the spouses are home. 15:56 So creating this routine is not only gonna be helpful for you, but 15:58 it'll be helpful for your family. 16:02 I have a co-worker who calls her children, her little colleagues and 16:05 I can just imagine that while she's working there next to her 16:08 stapling paper and writing memos and crayons, so ever children to the mix, 16:11 if that's gonna be helpful and beneficial. 16:15 Because if you're doing something and 16:17 they're doing something you can keep them on task and minimize some of those 16:19 distractions that may come about when you're having to have a conference or 16:23 trying to get some downtime if you have the little ones. 16:26 Communication and working from home. 16:33 What can I say about this one? 16:36 Communicating is super important when you're working from home. 16:39 I don't feel like there's a thing as communicating too much when you're working 16:43 from home. 16:47 I think over communication is exactly what you wanna do because it's so hard. 16:48 When you're in the office, you have those coffee, 16:53 chats or those running into each others. 16:57 And if they don't see you in your desk, okay, such and such is not here today. 16:59 But when you're working from home and you're just online and 17:03 the lack of human connection makes it hard to communicate. 17:07 So communicating and working from home is a big one,. 17:10 Keep your team manager, clients when you're 17:15 out away so send, those email responses. 17:20 Hey, I'm on the office I'm not available so 17:24 that they know that they can get to you. 17:27 If you're running a quick errand or 17:28 something let your immediate team know hey actually, I'm running to the bank. 17:31 If someone pings me, can you take over, or can I send something to you, or 17:36 I'll be back? 17:41 But just putting those notification settings up, 17:42 I like to use mine in Slack where I put do not disturb on. 17:45 Or just letting them know it's 1:15 I'll be back at 1:30. 17:48 So someone has an urgent matter, I have shown them that I'm not available but 17:54 they know that I'm not available and 17:59 they can make themselves reach out to someone else as well. 18:01 Inquire on other team's communication purpose is to because the way you may work 18:05 internally with one team may not be the way another team works. 18:10 So if you have those different interdepartments 18:13 that do things different just inquire. 18:19 So how do you guys such and such or who's available when that da da da. 18:23 Kind of fill in those blanks, fill in those things kind of ask and communicate. 18:26 Just always let people know you don't the worst thing you wanna do is go dark, 18:33 going dark where no one can reach you, 18:38 no one can catch you by whatever mode of communication that your organization uses. 18:41 You don't wanna go dark that's definitely not a good thing but always communicate. 18:46 And that way if you do go dark, we'll know something is up and we'll seek help. 18:51 Keeping your office culture alive. 19:01 So where I work the culture is a huge thing. 19:03 And we scheduled happy hours after hours sometimes to just 19:09 kind of connect with each other. 19:14 We're big on giving kudos and shout outs to people. 19:17 We send those extra messages, although we're not in the office, 19:21 because we thrive on the culture that we have in my company. 19:27 So whatever culture that your company has, keep it going. 19:32 So send all those messages, send all those things that you need to send because 19:35 keeping that culture alive when you're not in the office, 19:39 when you get back into the office, you'll be ready to step right back in. 19:42 And lastly, without that human connection, without the feel that you get when you're 19:46 having a conversation like face to face with someone, you have to be intentional. 19:52 You want to delegate tasks. 19:58 Be as clear and concise as you can, take the opportunities to learn more, 20:02 it could be beneficial in something else. 20:07 Use all your resources effectively, incorporate breaks into your work. 20:11 Just be intentional with the things that you're doing. 20:15 Because the lack of the human connection to get that empathy and 20:18 that understanding, it's just me and the screen right now, 20:22 me and the Slack messenger, me and the email. 20:25 And sometimes you can't read all the feels that you get when you're actually 20:28 communicating with someone face-to-face. 20:32 So make sure you're intentional about the things that you do. 20:35 And again, using those resources, if you're in management and 20:38 supervision, delegate this as much as you can. 20:43 And communicate that with the team when things are a little iffy or unclear, 20:46 just so that all forms, up and down, of communication are available. 20:52 Now, putting it into practice, 20:58 that's where I feel like I lack some kind of, 21:03 am I doing this right? 21:09 Because some days vary, but 21:12 putting it into practice is gonna be the thing that really sets you up for success. 21:14 Getting a routine together will, again, 21:20 not only benefit you, but benefit the family. 21:23 So if the routine is everybody gets up at 8 o'clock, we get dressed, 21:27 we have our breakfast, we take our morning walk, we're ready to go for 21:31 learning, you have that time to do those things. 21:35 If the routine is we all stop for lunch, we have a sandwich, we take another walk, 21:38 or whatever you're doing, you wanna put those things into practice. 21:43 You wanna do them day by day, because by then you'll ease into this routine, and 21:47 you'll be doing it in no time, and you'll be working from home like a pro. 21:51 So again, create an area dedicated for work. 21:56 You wanna make sure you're working in optimal mode, mentally and physically. 22:00 So make sure you have all the things set up for 22:07 success with the extra pieces of things that you can have, 22:10 your your second screen, that comfortable chair, the proper lighting. 22:14 You wanna make sure you have all those things readily available to you so 22:19 you can be as productive as possible. 22:23 Set your schedule and boundaries. 22:25 Listen, a routine Is super, super effective. 22:27 It takes, what, 21 days to put something from habit into practice. 22:33 So all it takes is a couple of weeks for you guys to practice, practice, 22:39 practice, and then you'll have all the things that you need to be successful. 22:42 And communicate and use your notification settings. 22:46 Use all the resources that you have to let people know when you're available, 22:51 when you're away. 22:55 Just, yeah, use all the things. 22:57 And again, you may not be successful in your first attempts, but 23:00 you get a gold star with me for just trying. 23:03 So try, try, try. 23:05 And there'll be some tweaking that 23:07 will have to happen before you get it right. 23:13 But as long as you're practicing and improving upon the areas that you see fit, 23:20 because again, everybody's schedule is different, 23:24 you'll be on your way to be successful from working from home. 23:27 And one of my favorite quotes when I'm thinking about working from home is 23:31 from the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy says, there's no place like home! 23:37 We're at home, this is your environment. 23:42 You can make it work for you, you have all the things that you need, 23:46 all the resources, all the comforts, 23:51 all the everything that you need to be successful at home. 23:54 Make it work for you, make it efficient, don't get too comfortable, 23:58 try to stay out of the bed, don't work from the couch too often. 24:03 Put yourself in a productive mode to get those results that you're looking for, 24:08 to get the results that your team members are looking for, managers, 24:13 supervisors, whomever. 24:18 But you're at home, so make home work for you. 24:20 I can't stress how important it is to just be intentional. 24:23 Because when you're intentional about working from home, 24:30 you still have that mind frame that I'm at work. 24:33 You may not have the eyes of your coworkers, but if you're intentional and 24:35 you know you're doing good things, it'll translate over well to your teammates. 24:39 So we don't have any time for questions. 24:44 But thank you guys so much for tuning in. 24:48 Please feel free to follow me on LinkedIn if you have any 24:51 other questions or want some more tips and tricks. 24:56 But I really appreciate you guys for tuning in. 25:01 Thank you all. 25:03
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