How To Improve Your Working From Home Game With These Hacks

from Forbes

Working from home for the last eight months has certainly created its share of challenges for me as an entrepreneur and I’m willing to bet that I’m not alone. It took me a short while to get myself and my team situated, and, thanks to their adaptability and dedication, we were able to flex to our new reality and demands rather easily.

As the months of working remotely wore on, I decided to begin adapting my home office to better meet my needs on a more sustained basis. I did a lot of research and was pleasantly surprised to find some key products that have made my home office a work environment that really supports both my work style and productivity as well as my comfort. I thought that it might be interesting to share some of the more innovative and helpful office enhancements that I’ve benefitted most from in 2020.

I realize that everyone has their own preferences and tastes and that the nature of work can vary quite widely so I am not suggesting my favorites would be a surefire hit for you but, if you’re interested in getting settled in the work-from-home situation over the long-term, then these might be worth checking out.

More here.

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51 Comments

  1. This article stood out to me as soon as I saw it because working and studying from home has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. What I found most interesting about the tips was the mindfulness exercises and the CalmStrips to stay concentrated while on a long zoom call. I was very curious about this, since staying engaged for long periods of time without any interaction is quite difficult for me. I don’t know if I believe that rubbing my finger or nail on a calm strip will do the trick for me, but I may be more open to some type of toy to hold on to while on the call. I completely agree on the points about the desk set-up. I absolutely think a good, clean, organized desk or workspace can have a huge impact on somebody’s work. Also, somewhere comfortable to sit, since we tend to slouch when looking at our computers all day. Even though it wasn’t mentioned in the article, I also believe keeping a log of the responsibilities one has during the day is essential. I find it to be incredibly helpful to have a list of things I need to do for the day or week and to cross the off. This gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to finish all my tasks. At the end of the day, I believe different things work for different people, the important thing is for one to feel comfortable and productive. I really enjoyed reading this article and I might be trying some of the hacks for myself.

  2. In the article, “How To Improve Your Working From Home Game With These Hacks” by Chris Cancialosi provides some helpful tips to use while dealing with working from home. Everyone has been dealing with the ramifications that this pandemic has presented us in different ways. Being an entrepreneurial studies major I can relate with the author because he is an entrepreneur himself and the difficulties that entrepreneurs have faced during these challenging times. After researching what has worked and what hasn’t worked for himself the author goes on to show some life hacks, he has used to improve working from home. First off, the author states that noise cancelling headphones are a must have to block out all the outside distractions and allow you to focus in on the virtual meeting or task at hand. Next, finding mindfulness activities that help you from dosing off in long/multiple hour work meetings is key to staying sharp and focused. Staying comfortable and relaxed is crucial when sitting a chair for hours at a time. Cancialosi suggest that one find or make room to have an adjustable desk. The author goes on to say finding a good charging device is key as well as being creative in decorating your background because nobody wants to see a virtual background or even a blank wall. All in all, everybody has their own different preferences when it comes to dealing with working from home but some of these recommendations may enhance working from home.

  3. I definitely think there have been many adaptations made by people who have been forced to work from home, especially if they have family living with them as well. I thought this article would be interesting to read because while I am HyFlex, I have been choosing to just take my classes virtually because I am nervous about going to campus. I currently live with seven roommates so the noise-canceling headphones Mr. Cancialosi mentioned seem like they would be extremely helpful to me, seeing as though it is never completely quiet in this house. However, while this can e helpful for people with young children who are participating in virtual learning, I think a product like this can be dangerous as well. For example, if a child was to get hurt and the parent had these headphones on, the parent would not be able to hear, let alone help.

    I also think getting a separate microphone is a good idea because there have been many times when my professors could not hear me, and it was just a laptop microphone malfunctioning. However, people who are not as technologically savvy may have a hard time learning how to connect the microphone or may get too close to it, leading them to speak way too loud in the speaker. I think what COVID has provided us with is the opportunity to adapt to the technological changes that have been happening all around us that we may have not had the time to try out earlier. Before COVID, I never opened Microsoft Teams or Zoom because I did not see a purpose. However, now I believe this is a learning experience for all.

  4. The article provided by Forbes describes the actual professional situation during the pandemic. Many workers have started to work remotely. Many workers had never have worked remotely, so they have been forced to do their daily operations from home. The situation is not easy since it has showed how many workers do not feel comfortable working from home, and they do not have the right resources to keep up with their job. The author of the article has purchased new products for its new work environment in order to be successful in whatever has to be done. Having an enjoyable work environment helps workers much, in fact, new offices have new different resources and commodities to create a successful work environment. Students as workers have been incurring difficulties when they have started to study remotely since they had not the right resources in their environment. As it has happened to myself, I had to leave my accommodation in New Jersey to go back home to keep studying and to be successful with all my courses. I had most of my student resources in New Jersey, but many of them could not be carried in the airplane to go back to Italy, so I found myself in a difficult situation when I arrived back home. First, I had to purchase a new chair for my desk since the previous chair was really uncomfortable. I needed a chair that helped me to focus for about six to seven hours each day, so I bought a new one. Then, I had to purchase a printer. I print many documents such as physical notes that help me to review the material for the course. Finally, I had to purchase again a second screen to work with different articles and papers in one time. Setting the work environment as it is in a office helps the workers to be successful. Work environment help workers to organize their schedule better and to be faster in completing a task. The author has touched a crucial point that helps workers and students to keep up with their work while they are inside their house.

  5. After reading this article, I found that there were many helpful tips and tricks that could possibly help me as I continue to take classes remotely. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been so difficult for me, and so many other people to adjust to this new way of life. Working from home can be very challenging, and things arise that you may have not even thought could be a problem. One huge problem that this article actually addresses is the ability to stay focused over long periods. It is really interesting to me how this works, because when I would go to class in person, it was not a problem for me to focus on the class. When it comes to remote, it seems to be much easier to get distracted or to dose off. I feel that the reason this happens is because we are in the comforts of our own home, and it is easier to be more relaxed and less focused. It also could be because we do not have the professor right in front of us, so it feels easier to slack off. I really don’t like these tendencies and the article discusses one product called “Calm Strips” which author Chris Cancialosi describes as “sensory adhesive strips that can be easily secured to a desk, laptop, or phone. During those periods where I find my mind beginning to wander, I can rub my finger or nail along the approximately 2.5” strip and I find that similar to a fidget device, it provides just enough stimulation to keep my focus without anyone being aware.” These sound like an awesome idea that could really be beneficial to people that need to stay stimulated. Another problem has been the fact that I have been doing this work while my whole family is also home. This is something that has never happened before. We would all be at work or school, but now, we are all working from home. Another great product that Cancialosi suggests are the Aonic 50 noise-cancelling headphones. They seem like a great addition to the stay at home work place because sometimes it can be difficult to focus with all of the commotion of your family talking or doing things, as you try to take class to exams. Although these are tough times, it is nice to see that there are products that will help us thrive and succeed at school and work when we have to stay at home.

  6. The outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year took most individuals by surprise, especially students, teachers, and institutions at large. Mandated to stay home, students were required to learn remotely while teachers quickly transitioned their classes from in-person to virtual. This experience was especially challenging for teachers who typically did not integrate technology into the classroom, as they were then required to teach, grade, and communicate through a screen. These challenges trickled down to students, which could not only be frustrating, but ultimately affect their learning experiences.

    With the fall semester online again, most universities returned more prepared, holding information sessions over the summer to assist students and professors with the transition of course learning. While there have been significant improvements in the virtual classroom experiences from last semester to this semester, students are still facing challenges such as “Zoom fatigue,” as they are now spending dramatically more time on their computers. Attending lectures, completing homework, meeting with group members, and participating in extracurricular activities online can be both mentally and physically exhausting for students. This article by Chris Cancialosi shares great techniques for coping with this increased screen time, including mind exercises, desk “toys” and Calm Strips that serve as fidget devices to keep students engaged and present during long meetings or classes. Cancialosi, however, fails to discuss the importance of dedicated breaks away from screens or electronics, which can also assist with fatigue. This dedicated time gives the mind a break from constant stimulation and can help students relax without the brightness and eye strain attributed to viewing a screen.

    The author furthers his discussion, mentioning most students are attending school from home, in which they are facing the challenge of locating a reliable place to learn; they are also in the same space with other siblings in school and parents/relatives working from home, increasing their amount of distractions. Cancialosi stresses the need for students to be comfortable within their workspace, suggesting special office chairs and sit-to-stand desks. While these options may be feasible for full-time employees in the workforce, most college students will need inexpensive solutions to this challenge. This may include creating a space that not only fosters a comfortable work atmosphere, but also incorporates a student’s personality. For example, students should designate an area in their homes to complete their schoolwork; it should have appropriate lighting, furniture to assist with back support and posture, and limited distractions. This space should also be customizable with pictures, hobbies (sports, music, art, etc.), and other décor to help “set the mood” for a bright and motivating atmosphere, as these small details can truly impact a student’s attitude and productivity.

    While students continue virtual courses this semester, working, learning, and collaborating on Zoom will not being changing in the near future. Thus, with the tips provided within this article, students can reduce their Zoom fatigue while improving their work productivity and attitude while attending classes from homes. This can truly improve their school year while distanced from their peers and professors.

  7. Making the adjustment to being a fully virtual full-time student was not something that came easy to me. In many aspects, it is still something that I am adjusting to dispute being in this new environment for about eight months. Every now and then, I find a new way to make virtual living a little bit more convenient or easier, and it makes a world of a difference in the overall atmosphere and climate of my workspace. While I haven’t invested in any new lighting, high-tech audio, or microphone features throughout the pandemic, I made many changes to my bedroom (my main workspace) and specifically my desk. These changes may not seem astronomical to some, but improving things like my comfort or productivity has given me tremendous benefits that I know will continue into the future.

    Since I got a desk in my bedroom, I never invested in a desk chair. All I did was go into my basement, grab a black, metal folding chair, slapped on a cushion, and started sitting on it for several hours at a time. This probably wasn’t one of my best ideas, as, after a while, I started feeling the need to see a chiropractor or getting a back massage because of the aches and pains I was beginning to feel in my lower back. I am a nineteen-year-old whose worst back “injury” occurred from sleeping on the floor in a friend’s house and woke up achy. I knew I should invest in a better chair but spending money on a desk chair was not something high on my priority list as I did not and still do not have a steady source of income and bills to pay. A blessing came when my dad’s work underwent an interior redecorating and he was allowed to bring home a cushioned office chair. This change in seating has already made a huge change for me. I don’t have to constantly stand up and stretch or shift in my seat as the metal begins to feel uncomfortable. Since I changed my chair to my dad’s hand-me-down, I can sit and do school work for longer than ever before. This small change improved my ability to focus and be productive despite the change being insignificant to most.

    While I have made some other changes to my workspace, such as becoming more organized and rearranging some furniture, there are many additions I can still make. Regardless, I have learned the importance of designing a workspace that is tailored to my specific personal needs. Whether at home virtually or in an office setting (an environment I hope that many of us can return to soon), a workspace should work for you and become what you need it to be. As described in the Forbes article, Chris Cancialsoi makes several suggestions and offerings of advice that stem from his research into what makes him more comfortable and productive. He mentioned devices and pieces of technology or furniture that I never thought could lead to better productivity and a better workplace. As long as we remain virtual, I know that I will continue to make changes and additions to my bedroom workspace for as long as I have to. Maybe in the future, I will prefer this workspace over one on-site!

  8. Twitter and other similar social media entities have become the primary way through which people communicate and discuss topics like politics and current events. The President of the United States, as well as many other major world leaders use Twitter to communicate with the rest of the world. This reality means that Twitter’s company policies have a large impact on the nation and its viewpoints as a whole. Twitter’s legal executive Vijaya Gadde was quoted as saying “We tried to find the right balance between people’s privacy and the right to free expression, but we can do better.” The question I keep coming back to with stories like this is what gives Twitter the right to make these major decisions? Much of our legal system is designed with the assumption that our government is the highest authority in terms of speech and our basic rights but many of those assumptions have been undermined in recent years. The decision to stop users from tweeting links to news articles containing Hunter Biden clearly carries has some political consequences in terms of how this story gets exposed and to what degree people are actually exposed to it. Additionally, networks like Twitter can alter how much traffic specific news stories get without the knowledge of the average Twitter user. Because of this, I think it is self-evident that some form of government intervention should occur. Jack Dorsey has far too much power for any person with no ties to any government, and who was not elected by the citizenry of any county. With social media networks like Facebook or Twitter, as long as people continue to use their websites and engage with each other, their influence and power will remain unthreatened. Websites like twitter are allowed to moderate their platforms with the expectation that they will not be partisan towards one specific political view. If this action is indicative of some sort of political favoritism, it could set the foundation for a solid legal argument that could remove Twitters legal privileges as a public platform. Given how social media censorship has been a popular topic of discussion in recent months, I would not be surprised if we see Twitter and similar organizations taken to court over this issue in the coming months.

  9. This article stood out to me as soon as I saw the title I was interested to continue reading because learning how to adapt to studying or even working from home is not easy. One thing that I really like that Forbes did in this article was to provide helpful tips and new ways to adapt to the home environment. I personally do not mind studying and doing school remotely because I am an only child, so my house is often pretty quiet and ensures me a very calm and peaceful place to learn in. While other people do not have the same environment to live in and cannot focus, Forbes provides tips on how to study in a more efficient way from home. There are many things that I have realized over the passed eight months that have helped me become a better student while being fully remote, but there are still more things that I have to learn and better myself at.
    Everything is in your head. If you believe that you are able to adapt to the situation and the new environment of learning at home then you will be able to, but if you are filled with negative thoughts and reasons why you hate learning from home then adapting will be more difficult for you. As the article mentions, it is all about what suites you and how you feel comfortable. The article provides suggestions such as ways to get focused and stay productive. There are many things that he mentions that have been very helpful to him that I never thought of, such as a laptop stand. He mentions other things such as furniture that helped him in this remote setting. Personally, I have never really been the kind of person that likes to just sit in my room, I like to be in the living room or the kitchen. Ever since I chose to be fully remote this semester, I bought a desk with shelves for all my books and my computer and all my school resources so that I can sit somewhere other than my bed when I am in class or working on school work. I have definitely learned how to be on top of everything and make sure that everything is done ahead of time rather than wait until last minute because I realized how hard that is.
    With time I have also realized that there are two keys to remote learning is communicating with your professors to make sure that you are understanding everything, and if you are not then making sure that you are asking for extra help. Lastly the other key to remote learning in my opinion is organization. In order to be focused on school and all of your classes you must remain focused not only when you are in class, but when you are doing your assignments. In order to get used to this remote setting we must adjust our habits to assure that we are at our best potential under these circumstances.

  10. Coming from a family of six in a house with absolutely no sound barriers or privacy, working from home has been a huge challenge for me and my family members. I really appreciate the realness of this article. As someone who has a huge difficulty focusing on one thing for a long period of time, I found that the author’s suggestion of the Calm Strips. I often times fidget or find myself pacing my room in an effort to get our some restlessness, but, I have never heard of these before! I also have a bad habit of picking at my hands when I feel uncomfortable, nervous or awkward on screen. So, these calm strips are an amazing idea for those who need help focusing on one thing or just need something to do with their hands while working on difficult assignments. Returning home mid-semester in the spring, one of my biggest challenges was finding somewhere I could work and be productive while I was comfortable. Even now I still find it difficult to sit in one place for long periods of time. I usually do well in public places such as coffee shops or libraries, but considering the current pandemic, that was not possible. When I was co-oping last semester, one of my favorite parts of the office were where we had the option to stand or walk while working. But, at home this proved to be difficult and unrealistic with my desk space. After reading this article and seeing that this pandemic is most likely going to impact a good chunk of the next few months, I would 100% consider purchasing the UPLIFT desk product mentioned in the article. I do my best work when my entire body and comfortable and I find the absolute most comfort while I am standing or moving. While I understand that everyone works differently and feels most comfortable while set up in a certain way, I have yet to find this comfort and hope that some of these products help in the coming months!

  11. Working from home has grown in prevalence since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. People are adjusting to the changes to society by setting up their homes to be a compatible work environment. Consequentially, people are increasingly stationary and thus, need to be comfortable with staying in their homes for extended periods of time. The tips provided in this article can help people better adjust to working in their homes.

    Similarly to the author of the article, I have lower back issues due to a driving accident. The X-Chair, suggested in the article, could help make working at home for longer durations of time significantly more comfortable. Currently, I sit in a metal folding chair, and it is definitely not ideal. The reMarkable next-gen paper tablet also caught my interest. I prefer to take hand-written notes, and I like to write in my free time. With the tablet, I can still write by hand without going through piles of sheets of paper, which is environmentally friendly. I can also upload my writing to a computer to store my work. The products suggested by the author are helpful recommendations for creating a comfortable work environment.

  12. I found this article really interesting and helpful. Although, the article is written by and geared more towards those working a full-time job from home, I still found it helpful to me. Especially being that school, often consumes just as much of my time as a full-time job would. Being almost 8 months into the pandemic now, I have found what works best for me to work from home. A lot of the tips given in the article I have already implemented into my work from home environment and it has helped me immensely. When the pandemic first began and school became fully online, adjusting was a pretty big struggle. Coming from a family of six it was difficult for me to stay on task and get in the workflow like I was at school, it felt like there was always some sort of distraction. For me, I have found that the space and environment in which I do my classes at work is crucial to my efficiency, success, and focus. Living at home with my parents last semester, an office space was not an option for me. The only private space I really had to work was my bedroom and I found it difficult to get into the work mindset in the same place I am usually relaxing or sleeping in. The tip Chris Cancialosi shares about headphones I feel is an important one. Headphones have been a must for me for class and also for working on assignments. I find it hard to concentrate on what my professors are saying or what I am working on if I can hear a lot of outside noise. I also definitely agree it is important to have a comfortable and inviting environment for your workspace. I generally spend the majority of my days at my desk so I agree that having a comfortable chair is a necessity. Even after the pandemic I can imagine working remote will become part of the new norm, so adjusting and finding a workspace that allows you to work best will be incredibly important moving forward.

  13. I like to see that Jack Dorsey has called what happened “unacceptable” and that the Judiciary Committee is on track to Subpoena him. I do not know if what happened was the action of a poorly implemented policy, political manipulation, or both. It could be that Twitter implemented the policy so broadly so they could use it as a crux, or they wanted to stop the spread of the story and found a policy that allowed them to do it. But just as if not more likely than any backroom meeting is that Twitter policy wasn’t robust and the algorithm went wrong. At this point, it is hard to deny the political bias in twitters policy, though, as it is constantly conservative voices extreme and not who are silenced, as well as more moderate concepts like Brett Weinstein’s page dedicated to discussing alternative candidates or #learntocode. Twitter always falls back on miscommunication and changing policy to address their inconsistent, hypocritical, biased authoritarianism.
    It is a complicated topic because at the end of the day, Twitter is a private platform that controls their own servers, and if a user doesn’t like the policies, they can leave. But when social media has become such an integral part of our society, I think we need a path to applying the first amendment to the internet. Or, if the interpretation isn’t there, a new piece of legislation entirely that defends speech on the web. But that poses another issue. People can be “shadow-banned” where their posts don’t receive the same traction as others, and it can be impossible to tell it has to do with the individual’s content or their low rank in the algorithm. The algorithm itself is a black box, that means we know what goes in, and we know what goes out, but how the algorithm comes to its conclusions is incomprehensively complex. So holding internet companies to a standard of algorithmic equality might not be possible.
    The black box comes to the issue of is bias found in the program or the programmer. Is there something about how the code is written that projects the programmer’s bias, or are algorithms creating political ideologies they think will perform best for the company? Suppose it is the programmer that could explain the difference that a liberal and a conservative think about the world. In that case, they have a fundamentally different structure in their mind, and that structure finds its way to the program. Or if algorithms find ideologies that serve their needs, that doesn’t have to mean the algorithm wants people to vote for a specific candidate as much as it means one group will engage with the platform more if pandered to than the other. We need to analyze the incentive structures we give algorithms to maximize clicks and ad revenue instead of open dialogue. Good luck telling Facebook not to prioritize ad revenue.

  14. There have been many adjustments in which people worldwide have to become accustomed to when we switched to a virtual setting. There have been many challenges and issues in which have occurred that we have had to overcome in order to be successful through learning and working online. The initial adjustment to online learning and working was quite difficult at first, as you have to adjust to everything being done over a laptop or phone as compared to in person. Everyone has adjusted differently and came up with different ways to make learning and working from home most effective for themselves. There have been many factors that have made doing school and work at home very difficult from having your pets in the background constantly barking or having a lack of motivation to get ready for work. This year has been a major learning curve and we have to find ways to best suit us during this unprecedented time.

    During this time, I have had to adjust to a new way of learning, which was quite difficult at first, finding out what tactics work best for me. From finding a designated area to do my classes and homework, to finding out what ways best work for me to pay attention to the lectures in which I have, has been a significant learning curve. Also, with the switch to a virtual setting, I have to find ways to set up my day in terms of delegating which responsibilities and tasks I need to accomplish first over others. This year has caused a lot of change for everyone, and we all have to find ways that best work for us, especially within this virtual learning and working platform.

  15. Ever since early 2020, adults had to adjust to a workspace at home. This has many challenges along the way including at-home distractions, which the author of this article mentions, as well as communication. The author of this article states he is an entrepreneur and that he had a tough time adjusting himself and his team to the new work environment. He had done a lot of research in his free time to help him and his team in the adjustment process.
    The first helpful tool are noise-canceling headphones. I feel this would be a good tool as well, especially if there are kids around and dogs that bark often. You do not want to be in a meeting with co-workers and have kids screaming in the background. I know this was a problem for my dad when he would work from home as an accountant. He would constantly be telling my younger brother to quiet down to avoid interrupting his conference calls. The article recommends headphones by Shure, but I would rather have a pair of beats headphone. I currently have a pair of beats and I can barely hear the surrounding noise.
    A problem with zoom calls for work is staying focused during those long and boring meetings. I personally know it to be hard in school if the professor only lectures, especially if its a two and a half hour class. The author recommends mind strips, which can help with fatigue and boredom. I personally would try to ask some questions to help myself stay awake and in tact with the meeting. Asking questions can also help your colleagues stay awake by interacting with them specifically.
    In conclusion, this year has affected the way businesses are running and how they function. Most jobs are looking at zoom meeting and seeing their colleagues on a screen. Everyone has their own way of dealing with this problem, but it is up to you to find what works best for you.

  16. Given the situation that we all find ourselves in I decided to read this article to see what tips were provided as working from home, even just in terms of schoolwork, is very challenging. Students are stuck teaching themselves a lot more than before and with 5 online courses I am glued to my screen doing work for many hours throughout the day. It is because of this that I was open to any suggestions and wanted to see what the author provided. They provided many examples such noise cancelling headphones, setting a viable workspace, and utilizing fidget toys to help keep attention. In relation to the ideas brought up by the author the one that I sometimes employ is the use of spinners. I have a fidget spinner that I spin sometimes to keep my attention during long class calls. There are many toys available like spinners and cubes that help to keep attention, but the author uses clam strips and rubs their fingers along it. This is a very helpful tip to maintain focus for long periods of time and is a great strategy to use if longer periods of attention are a problem for you. Along with this, it is very important to keep a clean workspace. By having a space where all your books, electronics, and utilities can fit in a space where you feel comfortable it will help with productivity. A comfortable desk chair can help with productivity much more than being slouched on the couch or laying down in bed. Along with this it is very important to stay organized and be sure to keep track of all assignments and duties to make sure that you do not miss anything and complete all assignments on time. I try to implement these things into my workday to help me complete my work but the one that I do not is noise cancelling headphones. I do not like complete silence and it honestly distracts me more because then I start to think about anything. When everything is silent, and my mind is empty, it tends to start going in different directions and I think about a lot of things. As a result, I like to do my work with the TV on or music on in the background at a low volume. I can focus on my work this way because I consciously focus on my work while the background noise prevents me from thinking about other things and drifting off. Obviously, this preference of mine could be different from someone else’s because everyone is different but in my experience complete silence is not helpful. The author brought up great points for people to possibly implement but in the end it all comes down to preference. I will employ some of the options set forth by this article and some of these strategies could greatly benefit people working from home.

  17. Working from home has become the new norm ever since COVID-19 has made its way into the US. Companies are now having employees work from home because of safety concerns, and for some, this can take some getting used to. While others may not be too affected by the sudden switch, others may work better in their work environment away from home. Staying in one spot doing work all the time can become quite boring, and if you have all the distractions at home happening at the same time it can even make you less productive. The suggestions in this article provide some good ways that can help people adjust better to working at home. One product that caught my eye was the remarkable next-gen paper tablet. This is an eco-friendly and good way to take notes or write whatever. Instead of going through sheets of paper to take notes, it is all on the tablet. This and other products that were mentioned in the article provide great ways in which people can improve and help their work ethic while being at home.

  18. Working from home has been one of the toughest transitions for myself, and many other college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. When everything went online, I was worried about how I could still succeed in rigorous academic courses that I would now have to attend from my childhood bedroom. Staying focused and effectively managing my time have become challenges that I’ve learned how to overcome. Although it is not ideal, looking at these challenges as opportunities to grow has allowed me to stay motivated and keep a positive attitude towards the changing circumstances.

    Overall, this article describes many helpful tips for working from home. One that was not included, but that I have found very important, is keeping separate working and living spaces. Personally, having a designated study space has made me less likely to procrastinate. I subconsciously know that when I sit down at my desk, I need to be working. When it is time for a break, I move to a different area which is a signal to my brain to relax. Without doing this, I feel I would not be productive everyday which would cause me to fall behind in many classes. In addition to having a study space is the importance of keeping it organized. One of the first things I did when colleges were shut down was organize my desk. By doing this, I am not wasting time everyday searching for notes on a cluttered desk or trying to make a space to position my laptop camera for class. Staying focused throughout these virtual classes or meetings was mentioned in this article, and fidget “toys” were highlighted as a way to combat this. Personally, I am always fidgeting with a pen or pencil in my hand so I feel that these would be very helpful as long as they do not become a major distraction.

    Ultimately, working from home has become a permanent situation in our world. Bosses and professors alike are no longer lenient on excuses for underproductivity. It is important to enhance personal time management skills and create a space that allows for maximum productivity. Creating new habits or changing daily routines now will allow for the adaptation needed to live and work like we did before this pandemic.

  19. The sudden drop of in-person meetings drastically affects how one perceives their online capabilities, speaking/presentation, and the surroundings within their home. I know from my own experience that I have had to adapt and figure out the best way possible to attend school through a virtual setting. The author of this article, Chris Cancialosi, makes great points as to how one can improve their skills, little by little, The headsets and microphones Cancialosi mentions certainly change the way one is able to communicate. Whether they are of highest quality or not, I think an individual would want to get as much clarity in communication as possible during virtual meetings to combat technical difficulties that can and do occur. The noise cancellation feature that Cancialosi brings up is clever, especially for those who have homes that are not always quiet or allow sound inside. I particularly like how Cancialosi brings up awareness of surroundings. The same default backgrounds get old, less professional, and even awkward if two people in the same meeting chose the same one. Having a professional (real) background that is comfortable may allow for better performance and confidence, instead of showing off clutter. Until in-person meetings are the norm again, we must bear with what we are still able to do. With this being said, though, there are ways to improve skills, confidence, and productivity that should be taken advantage of.

  20. This article is nice to see at a time like now. Because my work from home game needs to be increased. I find myself feeling stressed at times and feeling less motivation than normal lately because of the COVID-19 pandemic and what it has turned college into. I have had to adapt to new methods to learn and live my life. Yo talk about some of the points that I liked in this article, I like how getting comfy was brought up. I think this is one good out of all of the bad aspects of this pandemic. Being able to be comfortable while learning is a big plus in my book because we aren’t sitting under bright lights in uncomfortable desks for hours on end, but that comes with negatives like lacking focus. As well as setting the space being very important because everyone learns best in their own environment when they are feeling their best. Back to staying focused, it was also mentioned in this article and it has been hard to do because not being in class physically makes the experience miss less engaging and makes it harder for the students and the teacher to connect, leading to a less comfortable class and class environment. In class teachers can call on students who have their heads down, and more importantly in person they shouldn’t let it be happening. But in classes now teachers let students keep their cameras off meaning that they can dose off and not be required to be paying attention to class. This is not good as it is wasting money and time for the students and I think enforcement of cameras being on should be mandatory to insure that all of the students continue to learn throughout the class and aren’t wasting time. I like how it is required in my BLAW class because it requires me to pay attention and I have enjoyed the class so far.

  21. In the spirit of this article, I will share what I have done to make study and work from home easier without breaking the bank.
    Especially for us Seton Hall students, upgrading our technology is cheap and boosts productivity. After using the trackpad for so long, I bought a wireless mouse a keyboard set (I spend too much time on Excel, so the extra num pad and function keys are great) that pair with a single USB. I got mine for about $25 off of Amazon.
    I also bought a monitor because I noticed that I got tasks done more quickly when I had two monitors to manage windows with. If you’re as cheap as me, go to the section of Best Buy where all the sad-looking boxes are, and you’ll find a monitor for less than $90.
    To stay focused during those long, boring, non-interactive classes, I usually fiddle with my keys or a pen. I also wear wireless earbuds so I can pace my room as I listen. This keeps the small part of my brain that tends to wander under control. When working, I usually have a podcast or music in the background, but I wear earbuds with wires so that I stay rooted at my computer. The secret is to find what pulls you away and come up with something that prevents that trigger.
    I also began to realize that I am more productive doing all my tasks in one long, intense session rather than doing them one at a time with breaks throughout the day. Once I have my first break, I struggle to get back to the work but I can work intensely for 3-4 hours straight before my productivity begins to slip, so I block out 9 PM to 1 AM Sunday through Thursday where I get everything done. By identifying how and when you work best, you can set up a schedule for yourself for when you work on tasks.
    One last thing is to get enough sleep. I never had a good sleep schedule until the middle of the lockdown back in April/May. While I admit I don’t get eight hours, getting six was a massive improvement, with my mood and attention span improving immeasurably.
    These are all very easy to do and a multitude of small improvements have a substantial cumulative effect on your productivity.

  22. The transition from learning from home has been a unique change in school work for me. At home, there are many more distractions around us and it can be hard for some students to get work done. When zoom calls started to become a norm, it was hard for me to become adjusted to looking at my screen and trying to learn through video for a long period of time. As more classes pass by, I have become less distracted by the things around me since I have gained the ability to focus more on the class overtime. I also have improved my desk space along with the chair I am sitting in because if I need to look at the computer for a long amount of time, I might as well invest in a better chair that will make me feel more comfortable to sit for hours. What also helped me improve my distance learning was the use of noise cancelling headphones when I work since there are no noises that will distract me and ruin my train of thought when I am doing work and can keep me focused on the tasks that I am doing. Sometimes I would get burnt out from doing all my assignments so I would take breaks in order to get my mind off of school work which has helped me a lot since it would reduce some of the stress that I would put on myself. Another thing I found helpful was closing out all my windows on my computer that did not relate to the work I was doing in order for me to keep focused on what I was doing and not having any other distractions pop up when I am doing my work. In addition, there is a notes app on my computer that I can write down my schedule and remind me what work I have due on that week or day which has made me not miss any assignments and made me more organized.

  23. As someone who has struggled with online learning and staying focused, this article stood out to me from the others. Back in the spring when all the zoom calls first started, I had a hard time adjusting, as I was distracted by my computer, the television, my playstation, etc. In the article, the author, Chris Cancialosi, talks about his some of his struggles with working from home and his tips and tricks to stay focused and maximize your situation. I want to try and add some of these tips into my daily life and see if they help me stay focused. The first tip was to get a pair of noise canceling headphones, which I already have, but are not in the best condition as I have had them for 3 years now. The tips/section that I re-read the most was the part about staying focused in long zoom calls. To be honest, I was shocked at his tips for this particular section. His first tip is to get Calm Strips, sensory adhesive strips that can be easily secured to a desk, laptop, or phone. His second tip was to get mini toys on your desk to play with. I was shocked that a grown man just told me his tip to staying focused is playing with mini toys on his desk. I was also shocked that all of his tips are monetary, none of his tips required some sort of mental decompression, breathing exercises, or taking breaks, but spend money on accessories. As I read on and on, I realized that this article is just one big ad for the products he lists. Somethings that I do to stay mentally fresh and focused is meditation. Meditation is really amazing, as you can go deep into your mind if you really get into it. It helps me calm my mind and my body from getting too stressed out. It also helps get more oxygen to my brain which again helps give the refreshing feeling, similarly when you refresh you body with water after playing a soccer game for example.

  24. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to close, which resulted in many people working from home, which brought a lot of challenges. It is a very unusual setting for most. Both of my parents are working from home, my brother and I are doing school at home, and I occasionally do work at home. It was a big and difficult shift for all of us, as we do not learn as easily online. I found this article to be very helpful with different tips to try while working at home.

    First are tips on being focused. With my whole family in the house doing work at once, it is very difficult to stay focused with all of the noise and distractions. Investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones is something I may have to try. I often hear my mother and father on countless work calls, as well as my brother on countless Zoom calls for class, that this might make a major difference. Trying to block out all of the noise is very hard. Also, Calm Strips can help with staying focused on Zoom calls, which seem very interesting and another possible purchase. I often find myself dozing off or getting distracted with my phone, or other things in my room, that something as simple as rubbing my finger or nail along the strip could help me focus.

    In addition, I thought the tips on comfort, health, and wellness perspective were extremely helpful as I often find myself very uncomfortable while doing school from both my bed and my desk. I believe purchasing a high-quality chair, such as the X-Chair that was described, is essential. I think this would even help me focus more as I would not be constantly moving around trying to get comfortable. It is also very important for you to find a setup that is comfortable for you as you are creating your own workspace. No one knows how long working at home will last, so finding the right setup for yourself that will keep you focused, productive, and comfortable is key.

  25. Working from home has had its ups and downs for me personally. There are some weeks where I’m stuck in my room for hours on end, but there are some weeks where I get through my classes and I’m able to enjoy my time to myself. The article shows many ways to stay comfortable and focused while you are doing work at home. I personally get distracted pretty easily and I think that may be a part of my generation because we are constantly surrounded by technology. I also can’t sit in silence and do my work because I get distracted more easily. I used to listen to music, but that didn’t really work. Once I got home I realized that I really liked listening to podcasts. They aren’t as loud and distracting as music and you can listen to something funny, sports related or something random. I get to be entertained, but stay focused at the same time. I also like to take occasional breaks so that I am not getting headaches after doing work for hours on end. I can take a break by watching a show, eating a meal, or exercising. It helps to reset my mind and it makes it easier to work for longer amounts of time. I also take comfort seriously. I like my desk chair and I make sure that I’m in comfortable clothes, if I’m uncomfortable then I won’t be able to focus. Overall I think that making sure that you are in the right conditions to work is very important. I like being able to be focused while also being entertained by something that will keep me engaged in my work. Being comfortable is important because it makes it easier to be seated for hours at a time. Making sure that you have an effective and comfortable work space at home is extremely important because we never know when we’ll be able to do that work anywhere else.

  26. This article speaks directly to me and the situation I am in as well as many other who are going through this same situation right now. With the whole corona virus disease still spreading at full speed and still no vaccine in sight, there are a lot of people currently working and schooling from home. This may be new to many of us and many people may be settling in. This article goes over, reviews, and gives tips on how to help many people get more comfortable and have the work and school from home to be more bearable until the cure is released and we can get back into school and work. The first suggestion the author gives Is that since there is so much noise and distraction going on in the world around you while you are on a zoom meeting or a teams call, everyone should invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I already own a pair of these and can confidently state that they to help block out distractions. They are over the ear and cover my whole ear and are very comfortable so I can wear them for long periods of time if needed. These headphones will allow you to focus completely on your task at hand and not have to deal with unnecessary distractions. The next suggestion the author gives to enhance your work or schooling online is a fidget toy, or something to do while you are paying attention to the meeting or class. This will help you maintain focused for longer periods of time and not wear out after spending the whole day in the meeting. The last few things that the author suggests are a whiteboard and the ability to get comfortable. The whiteboard allows you to take notes and always have it handy while not taking up too much space on your desk. The suggestion of getting comfortable is a suggestion to get a chair that fits your comfort and you feel you can sit in for a while in a meeting. Overall, this article is very helpful to anyone working or schooling from home in particular, it offers many great suggestions to help you perform and survive the online work and school world.

  27. Working from home has obviously become a much more significant part of almost everyone’s lives over the past few months as a result of the pandemic that we still find ourselves in. For me, it was difficult to find focus and motivation during the early months of the pandemic. I found that I was tired more often than usual, and really I just did not feel the necessary motivation to do my work like I had always done. I was able to get myself into a routine at the end of last semester, but had a hard time getting back into that routine at this semester’s start. I began to lose focus once again and had trouble regaining it. I have since been able to re-establish my routine, but this article can still be a great motivator and help for me at any point that I have to stop and restart my working routine. Like the article said, I found that using headphones is a massive help in getting focused for the day. It makes it much easier for you to focus in on the task at hand and cancel out any distractions that may be going on around you. The next issue that the author presents a solution to is staying focused during long, online meetings. He suggests to have fidget toys on your desk that you can use to help focus. This reminds me of my time in high school when there was a craze going around about “fidget spinners.” Similar to his suggestion, these fidget spinners were used by students during class to help keep them from getting distracted or bored during lectures. These toys had mixed reviews, especially with teachers. Many teachers in my high school felt as though they would distract students from doing their work in class, which is the exact opposite reasoning that this article is suggesting. I found fidget spinners to be distracting only when some students were using them while others did not have any, so I feel as though this can be a useful way to keep focused. The tips in these articles can go a long way to helping people who are struggling to get and stay focused while working at home.

  28. After reading the article, I learned about new, helpful tips when working at home and realized that working from home can be useful. I chose to read about this article because I find working at home being very hard due to having many distractions. One thing that caught my attention was the mind exercises and the benefits of using CalmStrips. These mind exercises and CalmStrips were a new concept to me when it comes to focusing and I was very intrigued by the way it worked. Another thing that interested me was the removal of headphones while studying or even in a meeting. While I do agree that headphones could be a distraction, I have always used headphones to study or even do homework. I do not do this often, but when I do use headphones for music, I believe it is helpful. When I cannot focus and the work seems a lot harder to focus, often I listen to music and this helps me concentrate. When it comes to having an ideal workspace and environment, I do believe being clean and responsible is pivotal. When one is clean and organized, there is less of a chance to mess up or lose information. Personally, having a work log or a daily calendar is important. Writing down and keeping track of daily tasks is necessary as it allows one to be responsible with their workload. With that being said, one topic that the article brought up to improving work from home was being comfy and in a good position. Ever since COVID-19 started and classes have been online, I realized that I have been taking my classes in a more comfortable position. Despite having more distractions, I noticed I have been more attentive in some of my classes and I truly believe it is because I am in a more comfortable environment. The author states, especially when in a meeting, being comfortable and free is very important because if not, people lose interest and become distracted by different things. To conclude, this article gave me new techniques on focusing better on meetings, and encouraged me to try them one day.

  29. Working from home as become a common thing for many people since the Covid-19 pandemic. The author of this article, Chris Cancialosi, has experience since he has been working from home “for the last eight months” and he has some tips on how everyone can improve their working at home experience. One of the first things the author did was adapt his home office so it can be better suited for a prolonged at home working environment. He did this by buying some products that can help him work better. The first advice the author gives is someone working at home should “get focused”. There is so many things that can distract you from working such as “kids, animals, buses, and every other noise-emitting entity on earth.” The author’s solution for that problem is investing in a pair on noise cancelling headphones to keep you focused on your call or work. The author recommends buying Shure’s Aonic 50 noise-canceling headphones because they are “simply amazing”. The audio is really clear and are comfortable to wear which is important because a person could be wearing them all day. Something the author mentions that I relate to is staying focused during long zoom calls. I sometimes will find myself drifting off during my zoom call during school due to the fact I am on zoom for sometimes 5 hours a day. The author recommends getting “Calm Strips” if you find yourself in this situation. The Calm Strip acts as a fidget device that keeps your focus without even realizing it. The next piece of advice the author gives is “get comfortable” when working at home. Sometime a person can be sitting at their desk or chair in their workspace for hours. If you are going to be spending that much time working it is worth investing in a comfortable chair and the one the author recommends is the “X-Chair” which can “meet your specific height, weight, and personal needs.” You can also get a chair that comes with heating and massage features which can really help someone relax. That chair is also really good for your lower back which can easily become sore when spending a lot of time in a comfortable chair. I really enjoyed this article because I need ways to focus on doing my schoolwork at home because it is all online. Taking school online is such a big adjustment for everyone and it has taken a while to get used to. If I take this author’s advice I can definitely improve my learning experience.

  30. Getting work done from home has been challenging. There are so many distractions at home that you do not experience at school or in an office. For example, there are times during a class my dog will run in the room, who I then have to pay attention to. In class, I do not have to worry if my dog needs to go to the bathroom. Outside noise and just a general lack of motivation all contribute to the difficulties of doing work from home. Specific boundaries and guidelines must be set to make sure work is done efficiently, especially because it is unknown how long the pandemic will last.

    I have trouble focusing on schoolwork when I am home. I used to do most of my work at school and was not very productive at all from home. Obviously, I needed to make some adjustments, as I needed to find a way to get all of my work done from my bedroom. Tips on concentration are the most helpful to me. The first tip the article suggests is noise canceling headphones. Having noise canceling headphones is very helpful if you live in a loud area, have many people in your house, or just get distracted easily. I have at least three other people at my house during the day, so being able to block out any outside noise is very helpful.

    A suggestion from the article that I have not tried is fidget devices to help concentration. It is easy to allow your mind to wander for hours when you are on a zoom call. I would like to eventually try a fidget device to help concentrate. I have tried virtually everything to stay focused in class, but I can not always stay focused during my two and a half hour lectures. Giving myself something to do with my hands may make me less antsy. I am taking online classes for the foreseeable future and need to continue to make improvements to methods of education. It is really easy to ignore all responsibilities while working from home, and it takes a tremendous amount of motivation to improve your learning skills.

  31. This week I chose the Forbes article on how to make working from home as successful as possible. As I know from these last few months, it is impossible to do any type of work in my home without interruptions and lots of noise. The Forbes article touches upon many struggles I find studying from home. They mention noise cancelling headphones, which I never thought of until now. These are perfect not only for people working in noisy homes, but for students working in a common shared space who need to get work done or listen to their class but cannot have any interruptions. The article says that comfort is key and sitting in the right chair beneficial. Although this is true, not everyone has the option to purchase high end, adjustable chairs. Personally, I must make do with what is available to me. I find myself in a predicament here because once I get uncomfortable from sitting on the chair I move to a couch, I do some of my computer work on the couch and once I become tired, I become unfocused and doze off. Over the next couple weeks before my Spring semester begins, I need to figure out how I will be most productive. Unfortunately, finding out how your most productive ends up being a work in progress and a trial and error process. By the time I find out how to be the best working student I am going be back in college, but for now trial and error will have to do. One of the best topics of this article is the getting into the groove of doing work. For some it is music but for others, like myself, it is just sitting in a silent room with all my work organized. Organization is key for me if I am not organized, I cannot stay focused. I lay my work out and concentrate on one thing at a time. I can stay focused, organized, and keep track of all my work. The article is on point when it says that we will be working from home for a while. I am not sure when we will return to Seton Hall, but until then I will have to stay comfortably in my home. I have created a workspace where I can work at my desk, sit on the couch, and watch tv when my day has ended, and have a minifridge for when I get thirsty or hungry. Having all these amenities in one space make it simple for me to work and be productive when I am doing schoolwork.

  32. Articles like these are not uncommon nowadays with covid running rampant through the United States of America, but it has me wondering if working from home is something that will stay relevant even after covid is gone. With schools for example, I wonder if snow days will become irrelevant because zoom and microsoft teams. It most likely will be up to the teachers and professors but with modern technology, it would not surprise me if unforeseen days like snow days cease. I love the idea of having the extra days off and really want them to stay for that reason, but because of all the recent work done online I feel that professors and teachers will want to use online classes to help avoid having their lesson plan get setback a day.

  33. This was a very interesting article to read. With COVID messing up a lot of our normal activities we have had to adjust on the fly to all sorts of things. A lot of businesses are working from home and a lot of schools have online learning. This has caused people to learn how to work or study from home. Most of us have never had to do that before either so it is a lot of adjustment and trying to learn. It is really hard to focus at home or at your room in school because of all the distractions around you. At home, you have your family, tv, and phone to distract you. School has the same distractions but friends instead of family. Personally, I have found it extremely difficult to pay attention during zoom classes. I end up on my phone a lot of times and I think a lot of people would agree with that. I like all of the ideas that Cancialosi brought up. I do not have any of the things that he mentioned but I would consider getting some. The noise cancelling headphones are not a bad idea because of all the distractions that happen when you hear something. The only problem with them is I think I would go crazy after wearing them for a while because I like having background noise normally. The desk toy is an idea I also like. Being able to fiddle or play with something at your desk is a little distraction but you can still pay attention to your meeting. The idea I like best is making sure you are comfortable. Sitting in class or at your job for hours can get very uncomfortable very quickly. Making yourself comfortable will help you to pay attention and stay focused. I liked reading this article and will have to consider getting some of these items going forward.

  34. COVID-19 has forced a large number of people to work from home due to the risk imposed by working in close proximity to others. The transition from working at an office to working from home has been a difficult transition for many with lots of new problems arising that did not exist when they worked in their offices. This article gives many tips and tricks that people may not have thought of for making working from home less difficult.
    The first tip they mention is getting a set of noise cancelling headphones. I can attest to the usefulness of this because I myself have a set of noise cancelling headphones which prevent me from hearing many distractions. Another suggestion from the article is to get a comfortable chair. This is another suggestion which I agree with because I invested in a high-quality chair for my work station, and it has made it much easier to sit and do work for several hours at a time.
    The most useful idea in my experience was not listed in the article. I invested in a second monitor which can be connected to my computer via a HDMI cable. This allows me to see multiple windows at a time without having to constantly switch between them, and is especially useful when I need to work on something during a zoom meeting. The dual monitor setup also allows me to have information such as a textbook pages or PowerPoints while I am doing homework assignments without constantly losing my place every time I switch between windows.

  35. This entire article is just an extensive advertisement for neat ways to fit product-placement into an underlying issue. Despite having no evidence to back my claim, I can almost guarantee the author is being sponsored or earning some sort of commission for providing us links to the items he describes. Lighting kits and name-brand chairs? Really? I mean, come on! These URLs have to be affiliate links. Besides the lengthy ad I just read, the topic is pretty serious. Facing a reality that is shifting towards remote learning and virtual presence, we must adapt. Back in seventh grade, I was invited to join the Applied Math and Science Academy (AMSA). At first glance, it sounded amazing. Free brand-new MacBook Airs, trips to the country’s capital, the ability to work with LEGO MINDSTORMS, etc. One of the best features was the prospective future of online learning. We had class in-person, do not misunderstand what I am saying, but the majority of our assignments and information were found online. Google Classrooms is the specific platform we used, and, oh, did it create some unforeseen issues. As expected, handing young, undisciplined teenagers computers with an unquantifiable amount of options and choices was not smart. Many kids slacked off, never doing their work, but rather playing games. It took a lot of time and focus to shift that perspective and mindset.

    I was fortunate to have experienced an online education beforehand. However, that time from seventh grade until graduation still did not fully prepare me for an entirely remote circumstance. Here are a list of some of the minor things that caused be great disturbance: seating, lighting, temperature, environment, comfortability, Internet access, and so on. I never thought I would say this, but I deeply miss the old-fashioned chair-desks (not really, but is too hard to ask for a desk and a chair setup?). For the first month of class, I sat on an aged chest, cushioned with fabric. By far, the worst decision I made. My back ached for hours after Teams meetings. Even worse, I decided to replace it with a recliner, which made me feel too comfortable and less engaged with my classmates. Next up, lighting. I have an incandescent lamp behind my laptop, but can never determine what lighting is appropriate. At times, I will be as dark as a mysterious silhouette; other times, I will be as bright as the star atop a Christmas tree, sweating bullets. Thirdly, temperature ranges way too far (personal issue) and keeps me in a constant state of discomfort. Also, living in a house of five people with over ten pets is not optimal for a quiet place to learn. Additionally, ‘life’ may often occur, distracting me from class. Lastly, my WiFi has the competence of the free service at McDonald’s; an embarrassment to anyone who wishes to interact with a robotic-sounding Justice. If my distorted responses in class seem as if the demonic depths of Hell were reaching out of the screen at you, I apologize. My WiFi is terrible.

    In conclusion, take everything I just said and do the opposite. Find a relaxed area that is well-regulated in temperature and peaceful of external noises, plop yourself beside a shaded area with sunlight nearby, seating that encourages learning, and WiFi that works.

  36. As a university student working from home whilst living paycheck to paycheck, my version of work-from-home hacks are slightly different from the version detailed above. Chris Cancialosi details his “hacks” for getting focused, staying focused, substituting whiteboards, getting comfortable, getting into the groove, keeping the juices flowing, and setting the mood—so I feel it is only appropriate that I share my routine for doing the same.
    I work two jobs: one in retail, where I am constantly on the move in a public setting, and one where I plant myself at my desk and force myself to chug through the agenda given to me for several hours a day. I do not have a home office; I live in an apartment with two roommates, so my “office” is just a desk located right next to my bed. Pro: It takes me thirty seconds to get to work in the morning. Con: Having my bed right next to my work station is an unneeded temptation.
    To get focused, Chris uses noise-canceling headphones. The only headphones I have are wireless ones provided by my boss that disconnect from my computer every two minutes. My roommate’s room and my room are connected by a vent, and the vent happens to carry a lot of noise (The walls are thin, too, which does nothing to help). Sometimes when she talks in her room, it sounds like she is sitting right next to me. I am sure you can imagine that makes it extremely difficult to focus while trying to work. Music does not drown it out—it just adds another noise that overloads my hearing. My alternative solution to noise-canceling headphones? Foam earplugs I bought from Walmart. They are cheap and pretty much drown out as much noise as possible.
    To stay focused, I simply take breaks when my brain needs to recharge. Writer’s block? Go get a drink of water. Falling asleep at my desk? Go get a drink of water. Frustrated or bored? Go get a—you get it. I drink a lot of water throughout my workday.
    I do not have a fancy paper tablet or even a real tablet, at that. In lieu of a whiteboard, I use a notebook. Classic.
    Getting comfortable is probably one of the greatest struggles of working from home. I have trouble staying in the same position for a long time, so I alternate between sitting up with my feet on the ground, sitting with my legs crossed, standing at my desk, and even lying on my bed. In addition, do not wear sweatpants to “work”, even if it is from home. They make me too comfortable and I become tired very quickly. Wear clothes that you can sit around in comfortably, but do not wear clothes that you would wear to bed.
    To get into the groove of things, I like to listen to music as I shower. Thankfully, I do have technology for this—a Google Mini! And… that is about it. I listen to music. Yep.
    To keep the juices flowing—a.k.a. keep my electronics charged—I use a power strip. It really is that simple. As a college student working and learning from home, I do not need a wireless charger. My cable works just fine.
    To set the mood, I make sure my room is clean and my desk is clear. I open my blinds so I can at least see outside—a beautiful view of the apartment wall across the way—and get some natural lighting. I do have an LED light in my room—a cute little heart-shaped sign—as do most college students. I guess we have all learned that a little color goes a long way… or maybe a lot of us are just scared of the dark. Either way, it helps to liven up the room!
    In sum, my work-from-home hacks may not be as effective or admirable, but they have worked so far for me and my budget.

  37. I think this article stuck out to me because of the relevance it has in my life. Once the pandemic started I had to work from home in both school and work. Getting comfortable with this transition was challenging because everything was so new. The tips in this article on how to get more focused and comfortable is helpful especially to students who are taking classes online. This is also very important because no one can predict when schools will start going back to normal instruction. There are many aspects that come into play when conducting in online classes: Lighting, comfort, internet access, and so forth. All of these factors are important and can sometimes cause issues. For example, I have had several classes where my instructors internet was not great and they started freezing up on the screen, so bad to the point we just stopped class for the day. Another distraction is noise, sometimes I can hear lawnmowers outside myself that distracts me from learning. Like the article states, getting a pair of noise cancelling headphones can help reduce outside noises and keep you engaged.

    When it comes to work, working from home may become the new normal even after all of this is over with. If people can perform their jobs effectively, then why would a company pay to have an office and waste money that they could put elsewhere? Working from home I had to make sure I had an adequate light source so I can communicate with my team if needed. I found that my area was too dark and I actually had to go buy a new lamp to put in my room. Like the article stated, having a good light source is a vital factor that helps improve conditions when working from home. To get the juices flowing, I make sure all of my electronics are charged. I typically have my computer plugged in most of the time when I’m having classes. My battery on my laptop drains very quickly due to zoom. Lastly, to set the mood, I make sure all my windows shades are rolled up to let in a lot of light. I also make sure to clean my room as a sense of getting ready for the day. Overall I think this article gives many great tips on how to improve working and schooling from home. I think by following each of these tips, you will be able to maximize learning.

  38. Although this article was written to aid people in working from home, everything spoken about can also help people who are doing remote schooling. Especially since many people are dealing with a crowded house and being crammed in a single room all day, I would be shocked to hear anyone say that it is going perfectly. For me, my attic is the cleanest and biggest area I have to do work by myself. It sounds good, but the internet connection all of the way up here is terrible, and I frequently disconnect from my classes. If I were to go to my room, my back would suffer from sitting on a bed and I would need to purchase some type of noise-canceling headphones, perhaps a pair made by Shure. The point is, no one is going to have a perfect setup that allows them to be comfy and focused and has all of the gadgets that a normal desk would. Cancialosi actually has listed things that I need without even knowing that I needed them.
    While at your office at work or school, many more options were available to you than they are sitting at a makeshift desk at home. A quiet library with the option to have personal study rooms, equipped with a whiteboard and multiple chairs were available. Not to mention the view of a beautiful campus. In-person classes or meetings that used to be dreaded are now desperately missed because we are forced to sit and stare at a screen for hours at a time. Personally, it was easier for me to stay organized and motivated, especially since there were so many things to do in my free time. However, we all must adjust, hopefully only temporarily, to the world around us. Small charging stations as well as a mini whiteboard can help reduce the clutter on my desk and make me more productive. One of the things I struggle with the most is staying focused for hours at a time. Especially for classes that last two and a half hours, it seems impossible to stay focused. I usually just pick up my phone and start scrolling until I realized I have missed a lot of important information. Something like Calm Strips will help me stay focused if it really does work. This article is definitely useful for people who are stuck at home in the near future.

  39. This article was very relatable for me, and I am sure many others. Ever since March, we have all been working from home, whether that be with school work, or actual work, or both. For me back in March, I was doing a Tax Internship, and the company had to move from being in office, to working from home. Being in the office was already new to me, since it was my first internship, but now working from home was even more of an adjustment for me. I had to adjust to this new environment of working from home, and trying to stay motivate for 8 hours a day, while also juggling online schooling from home. It was a lot to get use to at first, but eventually everything fell into place, and I was able to manage everything I had on my plate from the comfort of my home.

    This article gave some very good tips on how to stay focused and comfortable while working from home. I found it all very helpful and important because there a lot of things that can go wrong while working from home. For example, the biggest issue I have noticed is internet connection. At school, or an office, the internet connection is much stronger there obviously, to ensure everyone can use the internet with no issues. But when you are working from home, your internet connection is not nearly as strong. In my house, I am doing school from home, my mother is working from home, and my sister is also working from home. With that being said, we are all on the internet all day long and some times there is delays, or lags in the internet connection. I have also noticed delays in internet connection for some of my professors, and this just makes the learning experience even harder. I say this because maybe during that delay you missed something important, and now you are behind. This article gives you tips on how to stay focused during issues and how to stay comfortable in your home because everyone else is in the same situation as well. It is unclear when this whole working from home phase will end, but hopefully there is an end soon. We need to all stay focused and continue to be effective with working from home and this article can help you achieve that.

    One thing I would like to note about working from home, is this whole situation might benefit some companies in the long run. If companies are getting the same amount of work done from home as they were in office, they might want to consider just getting rid of their office entirely. If the work the employees are getting done is still efficient and effective for their business, working from home can save the company a lot of money on rent for an office space. This idea might not be ideal for every employee, but overtime this might become the new normal, of always working from home. It is interesting to see what companies do down the road, because some companies might actually consider this. It is a good way to save money, but only good if the work getting done is the same compared to the work that was getting done in office.

  40. As someone who struggles with learning in general, this article stood out to me. I have recently upped my dosage on Adderall before my senior year of high school and just started adjusting to learning in person. I would tend to doze off, talk, and get up often in class. On top of that, I am dyslexic which makes it harder for me to comprehend what is said, what I am reading, or learning. I takes me a very long time to fully understand a question, and when I finally do, I usually do not remember the answer. I started to calm down my senior year and not get as distracted, but then the corona virus hit. When I heard school was going to be online, I was upset because I knew it would be a lot harder for me to focus online than in the classroom. No one is around to advise me; I can look around, and there is a chance I will not be seen because there are so many people on the screen. Work, and school online has also made it harder for one to get into their routine. You do not have to get dressed up from the waste below, and you can even sit in your most comfortable chair. All these things make it difficult for all people when it comes to doing things online. This article was very interesting and helpful. I liked the ideas it gives to the reader, and I am going to try a few myself. The way I focus at home is different than others. I like to listen to music or get up and walk around. Some days I get dressed up if there is something important, but otherwise I like to be comfortable. Although comfort is important, it still is only a small factor of online learning. Your environment is important, for most people they like to have a routine. I have a routine as well, but mine is different than most. That is because before my classes I always must review my notes, because if not there is not chance, I remember. Overall, this article has many great ideas that can help people improve at their schoolwork or job.

  41. This article interested me because upcoming internship opportunities could provide me my first experience working from home. Just based on my academic experience, I agree with the author that one of the biggest issues with working from home is how difficult it is to stay focused. At home, there is additional comfort that can lull people while they work, and there are also far more distractions at home than in a classroom. I have not heard of the things the author recommended to combat this, but they do seem interesting and potentially valuable. Another recommendation that interested me is the reMarkable2 tablet. I have found myself taking significantly fewer notes during online lectures, but something like this technology would allow me to easily write more notes and transfer them to a digital format.

    The author also addresses the issue of discomfort that could stem from sitting in a chair for hours on end while working. I am someone who can not sit down for an extended period of time, so the desk adjuster is something I could potentially invest in. I also liked his discussion of investing in your environment. Your surrounding environment can affect your mood and productivity, so enhancing your office set up and background can improve morale and productivity. It is very possible that the pandemic keeps employees out of offices well into 2021, so it is important that people do what they can to create an environment working from home that keeps them focused and makes them feel good during the time they spend working.

  42. This article caught my attention because working from hoe while also studying from home has been one of the hardest adjustments I have encountered thus far. not having a space to myself without it being occupied for work and school doesn’t make home feel like home anymore therefore, I haven’t been capable of separating work life 9work and school) from relaxation time. Working 8 am to 5 pm and then having night classes gets super tiring and with many distractions it makes it even harder to get a ton done while also attending to my mental health and struggles with depression and anxiety. These tips are ideas I am going to implement in my daily life now that everything is operating from home. however, one tip I implement on a regular basis is making my space comfortable. Every Sunday you can find me reorganizing and decorating my work space to make it super comfortable. This helps look forward to working at my desk while also giving me retail therapy. However, i am going to implement the use of headphones a lot more since this article recommends several high quality options. If this is how the next couple of years is going to look like. Need to get accustomed very soon because this transition has been nothing but a struggle and another hassle to tackle.

  43. This article goes into how to better equip yourself for working at home. This author has shared his difficulties and struggles with the stay at home working he has had to do and the purpose of this article is to give us his tips to apply to our world. His tips apply to our comfort/living style and our productivity. This is a weird time for all of us and with this weird situation has brought us a new form of learning. Learning for most universities could be made through being remote (fully online), fully in person (rare from what I have seen) or a mixture of the two with a heavy dose of Zoom and Canvas being our friends this semester. Those new forms specifically the non fully in person have forced me to self teach myself a lot more than ever. I am a good studier when I am dedicated, but I am not the greatest self teacher and I did not miss many days of school as a kid so I was not used to the whole self teaching deal when I had the chance. How I study for most classes is doing notes during the day (unless I have work) and doing assignments by night. It is very weird for me because I am now the teacher and I get how difficult it could be trying to get people to understand a topic. My opinion of a good teacher is one who can leave their students with one or two things that will stick with them for the rest of their career or life and teachers can do this because of teaching outside the context of the notes and relate the world to the class. It is hard for me to do that for myself when I still have more to learn about the world and life.
    The school I attend gave us the option to stay home or live at school and I made the decision to live at school because of reasons that I felt fit best to me. Normally my mindset going into school is that it is a business trip. I feel as though the best motivation is to have a goal with an attainable end game and for me it is to make the most out of my college experience factoring in my education, extracurricular activities and in the workplace. I take my school seriously and it is strictly business when it is time to turn into school mode. For me, it is just easier to do school at school. While the author was talking about noise cancelling headphones to block out the extra noises around his house it is just easier for me to be in a dorm with myself or a roommate. He also talked about setting the environment up for yourself to work in. He keys on being comfortable, finding your groove, setting the mood and being able to put yourself in a situation to keep the creative juices flowing. For me the easiest way to do that is being at school. When I am home it is hard for me to focus like I normally would because there are so many distractions for me personally. I love my family, but this semester would be so much more difficult for me if I was at home. College just gets me into a certain mindset that home cannot and when I get older maybe things will change when other factors come into play, but for now I think I will stick to working in the office.

  44. This article was beneficial. I am a college student taking classes online and working online, so I can definitely relate to this article. The part that I enjoyed reading is the part where comfort, health, and wellness perspective is talked about. I agree that sitting down so much during the day is not good, and since I cannot lift my desk at school and make it higher, I have decided to stand up to allow my blood to flow so that I don’t get as bored sitting down. Since I do my zoom classes and work in my dorm room, it would be good if I did it in a more comfortable area so that I don’t have to keep switching my position and work area and get annoyed by the work that I am doing. I am the type of person who gets distracted easily, so I like that you stated how you use calm strips to stay focused. I never heard of calm strips before, but I may need to purchase some to stay focused. I agree that when working online, especially at home, headphones are a must. I never used the headphones that you recommended, but I do use Beats noise cancellation headphones, and I think they are great. The headphones allow me to pay attention to what I’m doing and not be distracted by all the noises that I hear in the background. I use the headphones for listening to music; when I get tired of doing work, it wakes me up a little. I found all the tips that were given in this article useful. I will try these tips and see if they change and improve my new online life. I will recommend other people to read this article because many people are dealing with the same thing. Most people do not know when they will be going back to work in person or going back to school in person, so the tips that you have given will help them get the best experience out of being online.

  45. With everyone being stuck at home there are many things people say are good for working at home but there is only one way to test that and that is to buy them and try them. The first thing that was brought up was noise-canceling headphones. This is a very good investment especially for those coming from busy homes with kids and pets. There are some noises unfortunately that you cannot block such as barking dogs. I have invested in headphones that are supposed to cancel out any noise but yet my dogs barking in the other room is loud enough to pierce my ears through the headphones. Coming from someone who cannot get comfortable easily, getting comfy can change your day. Stuck in meetings all day in an office chair can put a hurting on your back and neck, but since you are at home you can take advantage of that. Get a comfy chair and relax because you are not in an office anymore you are in your home. Music is a must. When trying to get work done, listening to music (that you won’t be tempted to sing to) will help relax and let the ideas flow. From my perspective as a student, the only real experience is my family members who are stuck at home in meetings from 8 in the morning until 8 at night and she recently tweaked her neck from being in an office chair and she was miserable. Finding those few things that make the day easier can make all the difference. My best advice for all those stuck at home whether it be for school or work is to get rid of the distractions. Being at home can lead to televisions and many other distractions that are drugs from procrastinators like myself. Find a room with no distractions and get to work. One thing I saw in the article was, “As more and more companies begin to come to the realization that working from home does not mean that productivity will tank” (Chris Cancialosi 2020). This is important to think about because many companies will see that a few jobs can be better done at home which will have many good impacts. First, the environment will be better since fewer people need to drive to work. Traffic will be better with fewer people driving during rush hour to get to and from work. Also, workers will have to spend less money on gas and those who live farther can stay at home.

  46. Working from home use to be something only the top of the top companies would do. Now it is common in almost all workforces that can allow it. Thanks to the pandemic it has also become extremely necessary to be able to work from home if there is an issue at the workplace. Working from home for most can be easy but it also has its own distracting tendencies. While the home you feel less inclined to work and are more willing to become distracted in other activities around the house. Some key things you are going to need to focus on when working from home is having a distraction-free environment to complete the workout. Also, have a well-prepared area to present work and have a whiteboard ready to help with that. Prepare items to keep your attention focused even during longer meetings such as a fidget spinner or anything that won’t demand attention and can occupy your brain. I personally would like to have a job when I graduate that doesn’t require in-person work at all times and grants the opportunity to work from home because although it can be easily distracting working in a comfy environment is a key to being successful. Preferably having an office at home to work in should be key for everyone working from home but if not granted the privilege of having that open room organizing a desk or table location to work effectively will be key. COVID has forced companies into being willing to have workers work from home sooner than the pace was previously working at. Small increases across fields of at home workers have been going on for multiple years and eventually we would reach a point where it was extremely common. COVID has expedited that and now the companies have adjusted so the workers need to put forth their best effort of doing it and staying focused while doing so.

  47. With the spread of COVID-19, many people are currently adjusting to work from home. This can be a very difficult adjustment to make, and this article provides some good advice on how to do so. At home, there are often more distractions than at work. To successfully work from home, people will need to figure out how to limit these distractions. Also, many people don’t have a work space that is adequate for working from home long-term. It is important that people try to improve their home work spaces, as many people will not return to work in an office to the same extent that they worked in an office before the pandemic began.

    There are many things people can do to improve their work environment at home. If there are other people in the house during work hours, it can be beneficial to find a way to limit the distractions those people cause. This can be done by investing in noise canceling headphones, playing music, going to a different room, or simply talking to other people in the home to let them know what you need. Additionally, the physical space is important to improve upon as well. For some people that could mean getting a new desk, getting a more comfortable chair, finding the best lighting, and or rearranging the equipment. As long as people are comfortable and productive while working from home, they can begin to appreciate some of the benefits.

  48. The time of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen many changes. I think the most drastic has to be the workplace/classroom landscape. Being in college and turning on my laptop in order to join class instead of strolling into an academic building while talking with friends still seems foreign to me. I definitely feel that being in an online environment has led to poor behaviors that wouldn’t have materialized in an in-person landscape. The author makes a good point on ‘Zoom fatigue’ and how to stay focused during online meetings, “Mindfulness exercises have helped but I’ve also come across some simple, yet elegant, methods for keeping myself present during long periods where I am not active on video calls. Calm Strips are sensory adhesive strips that can be easily secured to a desk, laptop, or phone (mine is attached to the side of my Fluidstance Slope)” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriscancialosi/2020/10/13/how-to-improve-your-working-from-home-game-with-these-hacks/?sh=7278068a63d9). This is a great suggestion in order to exhibit professionalism. When having an in-person conversation but being in a passive role, we have been conditioned to show positive body language, maintain contact, and overall pay attention to the speaker. With online interactions, we often have the illusion of privacy but forget that we can be seen.
    I also had the opportunity to intern for Johnson & Johnson during the pandemic and had to become accustomed to a virtual workplace. Lessons that I could take from that experience would be to definitely invest in two screens for work. Also, buying a desk and chair would ensure a comfortable work station. Hopefully, we can return to a new normal, but in the time being, it would worthwhile to adapt to this new virtual environment.

  49. This article is very important because it is a credible source giving us advice on something that is still new to some of us. Technology is one of those tricky things because for some people it is very challenging to use and for others it is easy, some people hate it, and some people love it. Either way, it is all around us and is not going anywhere. I predict technology being even more embedded in our lives in the future. Technology makes our life so much easier in a lot of ways, but at the same time, it is so dangerous and takes away a lot of human jobs. One thing about technology that I think is frustrating to people is not being as tech-savvy as other people and not knowing the shortcuts and things. Ultimately, for some people technology makes life easier and for others, technology makes their life more difficult. I think headphones are a great thing to have when doing work remotely because it allows you to block the outside noise and really focus on the task at hand. Luckily, my work environment at home is noisy, but if I am doing work in public, headphones are an absolute must. Staying focused is one of the hardest things to do in the online format, especially when the teacher just keeps on talking and rambling and the information is boring. (not like your class) I think that your environment has a lot to do with how well someone works. It is different if we are in class or something but trying to work on our own time with a noisy background is difficult for me. I think it important to be comfortable so that your mind is focused on what you are doing and not something else. There are also times where I know I need to lock in and I can get in a groove and get work done. This online format has allowed me to have more control over the switch that I flip when I want to get a lot of work done. Overall, the most important thing about this whole online format is your mindset about what you are doing.

  50. Working from home is a much more common work ethic now than it was just a few years ago. With COVID-19 causing a pandemic and a government issued quarantine, people have no option but to work from home. To a surprise, many people enjoy working from home as it is easier and studies show that there is a much higher performance increase for employees that work from home. Some options for improving working from home are wearing headphones. This is important because there are going to be many distractions while at home, whether it be children, animals and so on. By wearing headphones, you are eliminating the potential distractions around you which allows you to better focus on work. For meetings you should use a microphone that allows your voice to be projected clearly. This helps you sound more professional as well. Another item that helps is a whiteboard, where you can jot down ideas and things needed to be done. A note pad works as well and even on your laptop or other mobile devices. Another important aspect is being comfortable by maybe getting a comfortable work chair or giving yourself 15 minutes to relax on the couch. With this ever changing world that we live in today, it is important to adapt in order to better your situation and this is one of the many ways to do that.

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