Some thoughts for those "tele-working" for the first time

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Troy, NY
For 17 years, I was a full-time freelance writer, working from a home office.

Some observations:

1. Self-discipline can be the hardest thing to come by, but it is the most necessary thing for successful tele-working. Distractions are too easy to find. Determine that you will be self-disciplined, and stick to your guns. At the same time, breaks are a necessary and good thing and a nice way to reward yourself for a period of concentrated effort.

2. Maintain a clearly written or typed to-do list. Since I served multiple clients are the same time, I found it useful to review the list first thing in the morning and to cycle through it periodically throughout the day, adding and removing items as needed. If I got stuck on any given project, I would keep ratcheting through the list until I found something that I could move forward.

3. Get and stay organized. As soon as something comes in, put it in the appropriate folder (electronic or otherwise) so it can be found quickly when needed. Chaos will kill your productivity and wear you out.

4. Make sure others in the household understand that there are times (conference call, etc.) when you cannot be interrupted (an office with a door that closes and don't disturb sign can be helpful) unless there is an actual emergency. Find ways to reward those you care about for their understanding.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, Jock


Hall of Famer
Very difficult for me. My residence is deliberately set up to be a relaxing setup the opposite from my office. A work in progress to put it mildly. Still, I seem to be acquanited sufficiently with Teams and Zoom. Maybe one day I'll be on top of the four correct points you raise but it does feel like a long way away.


Code Monkey 🐒
Find ways to reward those you care about for their understanding.
Good reminder! I know for me it's been a little bit of an adjustment for my wife realizing that sometimes I really can't do something or talk at any time just because we're both home. It's been a bit of an adjustment curve for the household.
dedicated head-phones with mic that drowns out ambient noise
I ended up getting a cheap over-the-head bluetooth headset for my phone from Amazon. Since my wife is now home during the day I've been finding myself using it for non-work conversations as well instead of just using the speakerphone.
Don't get caught up in never-ending snacking
I am so, so, so guilty of this one. Before this all started I was losing a good amount of weight, now I'm starting to put some of it back on. For anybody who uses a Fibit, don't fall out of the habit of recording your calorie intakes now that you're always home, it becomes way too easy to slip into a 'snacking' mindset.

M. Valdemar

Top Veteran
New York City
I'm a full-time professional copywriter employed by a large international company. We are massively redoing most of our online pages and ads to reflect this new reality.

I've been working remotely from home for many years so this is not new to me.

I find the structure of having assignments to do and deadlines helps with the anxiety of being in NYC during this dangerous pandemic.

The problem is my kids are home now 24/7 and my wife is also home, and it is hard to get a stretch of peace and quiet now. But I'm soldiering on and very grateful for both the work and the steady income.

I'm 66 and I started having kids late. They are only 10 and 12 years old. So I feel responsible for staying alive and healthy.

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