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ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman, Editorial Director

Take ‘em or Leave ‘em

June 1, 2020
We realize not everyone in our industry has the good fortune of working from home. We profoundly offer our great respect and appreciation for you who are risking your health […]

We realize not everyone in our industry has the good fortune of working from home. We profoundly offer our great respect and appreciation for you who are risking your health to ensure the rest of us are connected — literally and figuratively.

For those of us lucky enough to work from home, that’s reason enough why we should step it up and pull hard for those out in the field.

To help, we’ve compiled 7 strong recommendations from a few experts to increase your productivity while working from home.

1. Wear pants. Or something besides PJs and fuzzy slippers. Taking the time to get dressed and perform some self-care may be a psychological booster.

2. Create start times and end times for work, as well as times for exercise and play. Post those somewhere for all to see. Maybe schedule a few activities at the end of each day so your family or "quaranteam" can look forward to them.

3. Block excess noise with noise-cancelling headphones or ear buds. Studies show that a blend of soft music, combined with soothing nature sounds, activates the calming part of your brain, helps you concentrate, and lowers heart rate and blood pressure. (Can you say Ohmmm?)

4. Check-in and over communicate. Update your boss and team frequently on everything you’re doing. Be sure to share whether your schedule and deliverables are changing in any way. Use video calls if possible.

5. Make time for regular meals away from your work area. Crumbs, empty packages, and dirty dishes, never enhance a productivity mindset. And… don’t snack. (Bwahaha! Who AM I kidding?)

6. Try to maintain sane business hours so you don’t get swallowed up by your workload. If possible, close the office door at the end of the day. If that’s not a reality, throw a sheet over the ironing board you’re using as a desk. Just find a visual way to close the day. A mind is a terrible thing to waste on work when we need to recharge.

7. Get outside, if at all possible. Mounting research shows that spending time in nature lowers stress, helps you relax, and clears your mind.

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Remember, you can control only your attitude during this surreal time. Don’t let your confined circumstances steal your productivity or peace. Someone once said that happiness is continually practicing the art and discipline of appreciation. It ain’t always easy — but I believe it is paramount to happiness.


About the Author

Sharon Vollman | Editor-in-Chief, ISE Magazine

Sharon Vollman is Editor-in-Chief of ISE Magazine. She oversees the strategic direction and content for ISE Magazine. She also leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996. Prior to that, she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Iowa.