In the wake of shelter in place orders, our teams moved to a virtual workplace that is physically located in each of our homes. Working from home presents a new set of challenges, and I am happy to say that we have all risen to the occasion. We’ve rounded up tips and tricks from our attorneys, paralegals, and support staff that help us stay centered, focused, and productive.
Tech Tip: Two Computer Monitors in One!
“Now that I’ve gone from using two monitors at the office to just one monitor at home, one of my favorite and helpful software tips (I use often) is the “drag and drop” method to view two documents or screens side by side. For us accounting people, we need two screens quite often. Using this feature makes it almost like having two monitors, as long as you have one good size monitor! My 24-inch monitor handles the job well.” – Debora Allen, Accounting
View and compare documents side by side
For Microsoft Word, and Microsoft 365
- Open both of the files that you want to compare.
- On the View tab, in the Window group, click View Side by Side.
- To scroll both documents at the same time, click Synchronous Scrolling icon in the Window group on the View tab.
If you don’t see Synchronous Scrolling, click Window on the View tab, and then click Synchronous Scrolling.
- To close Side by Side view, click View Side by Side Side by side icon in the Window group on the View tab.
If you don’t see View Side by Side, click Window on the View tab, and then click View Side by Side.
Maintain a Schedule
“Try to keep a work and personal life balance. I do this by keeping work during work hours only. Once off the clock then it is family time. I say this because I tend to check my work e-mails late at night to see if clients have responded to my e-mail or it is just a bad habit I’m picking up.”
– Tekisha Rooks Carbajal, Paralegal, Sandoval Legacy Group
“When the workday is over, turn off the work. Make sure there is a definite end! Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you are now available to work 24/7.”
– Chandra Moss, Family Law Attorney
“Start each day with a plan. What will you be working on, who do you need assistance from, who will you be able to help, and any issues that you are facing.”
– Brian Weiske, Director of Marketing
Dedicate a Space for Work
“My partner is a college professor and is now lecturing from home through Zoom on his regular class schedule. We are sharing our dedicated home office where all our technology (‘studio’, network printer, large desktop computer) is located.“
– Chandra Moss
“It is easy to get distracted at home. Your spouse, kids, pets and delivery persons can all demand your attention. Ease of access to other entertainment, whatever that may be will pull at your attention. Try to isolate yourself in a separate room, if possible, and set a schedule as to when you can be disturbed and when you can’t.”
– Dennis Sandoval, Managing Partner, Sandoval Legacy Group
Keep Up Healthy Routines
“Keep up those daily routines. Treat yourself with pride by getting up early, showering, and dressing well. Though you may go the entire day without ‘seeing’ someone from work this will help you feel refreshed, alive and motivated. Remember that Integrity is how you conduct yourself when no one is watching.”
– Brian Weiske
“Step outside whenever you can for some fresh air. My favorite thing to do is step out and get some sunshine during the day, it refreshes my mind and helps me focus. I also use my lunch break to exercise by either going for a jog or a bike ride.”
– Marissa Frantz, Social Media Coordinator
“If you look good, you feel good! While working in loungewear is definitely more comfortable, at some point, enough is enough. I like to get up, get dressed in “real” (albeit comfortable) clothes, put some make up on, spritz on some perfume and “go” to work in my home office.”
– Windy Lorisch, paralegal
“A sense of rhythm is important to me, so I keep my routine as consistent as possible to what it was before the shelter in place orders. I wake up at the same time, exercise, shower, and get dressed as if I’m coming into the office.”
– Adam Lovinus, Content Developer
Routines and Schedules are Great, but Stay Flexible
“Be flexible with your work schedule if possible. For those with young children at home, getting work done during standard hours may be difficult, working in the evening maybe not only more feasible, and significantly less stressful on you and your family.”
– NaKesha Ruegg, Family Law Attorney
“I think it has been working well that I am honest with my clients/opposing counsel the distractions around me. (I often apologize in advance for a 5-year-old screaming to go potty). It humanizes, lightens the mood but also puts our situation in perspective.”
– Jeremy N. Roark, Family Law Attorney
“The quote that is bringing me comfort right now is, “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” It is an important distinction that helps me keep the right perspective.”
– Melanie Cartagena, Paralegal
If you would like to deep dive into home office productivity, we recommend reviewing the Remote Work Handbook by Michael Hyatt. The New York Times bestselling author delivers a handful of do’s and don’ts of remote work you might find useful. It is full of good common-sense material that will help you manage expectations and stay on task.
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