work at home desk with coffee and laptop


With the world being brought to a standstill with COVID-19 many people are now working from home. They’re moving from offices, clinics or other professional environments to their homes.

While there’s a lot of serious discussions that can be had around managing patients and the growing pandemic, today we’re going to focus a little bit on what you can do as an individual when you are home.

Knowing that working from home is new for many people, they may not be familiar with the best structure or practices that can make a huge difference to the success of your day.

So today we’re going to be talking tips on how to work effectively from home, for your ergonomics and your success, but also for your mental sanity.


In This Episode of The Career Rx We’ll Discuss:


  • Tools and products you can use to make your work from home space comfortable and professional
  • Work at home tips to be more successful working from home
  • How to structure your day to stay motivated and engaged while working from home
  • How to begin and end each day for work and life balance





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SHOW NOTES: LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE (Work from Home Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic)


In this episode of The Career Rx, I have referenced some of my favorite tools and products to help you work from home with success. These are my go-to items to make your life easier when working remotely. I put a list of these here at the top for your convenience, and you’ll find the show transcript notes below this section.

Some of the links for my recommendations below are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. This never costs you more, and sometimes gets you a discount. Full disclosure here.


Email Organization:

One thing I think it’s super important that makes a huge difference in my mental workload and overall anxiety is I really like to have zero inbox, and I like to reduce the number of distractions that come to my email.

Here’s what I use and love…



SaneBox is a paid subscription, but very reasonably priced. It allows you to:

  • Sort and declutter your Inbox automatically
  • Schedule breaks from new email with Do Not Disturb
  • Unsubscribe from unwanted emails
  • Snooze non-urgent email for later
  • Track and get notified when someone hasn’t replied

Get $25 off when you use my referral link.



Audio and Video Conferencing:


Jabra – Bluetooth Wireless Speakers

A great little speaker and microphone. I can be anywhere across the room and the conversations are super clear for everyone on the line. It’s also really easy to set up on your mobile phone.

You can get the Jabra, Bluetooth Wireless Speaker here.


Noise Canceling Headphones

When you need to block out noise in your house noise canceling headphones are so necessary!

I have both a pair of Bose and a pair of Beats over the ear noise canceling headphones. that both have the ability to connect to the computer and also take calls.

Check out this selection of headphones.


Ring Light For Video Conferences

When doing a video call, it’s super important to have good lighting. Natural light by a window is great, but if you don’t have this a ring light is ideal.

Ring lights are perfect for delivering a webinar or any video call where you want to look professional.

I recommend one that’s about 18 inches.

Check out these Ring Light Kits here.



Ergonomic Support:


If you’re used to working in a clinic or walking around a large office building when you work from home you can become so sedentary. I, therefore, have a couple of things I really recommend to help ensure you’re looking after your body properly.


Ergonomic Chair

I have a Herman Miller chair which really helps if you have any back discomfort

Herman Miller chairs come in a pretty broad price range, they are good quality and very nice looking. I think it’s a worthwhile investment because it really is about your health.

Check out these Herman Miller chairs to see what works for your home office.


Standing Desk

If you already have a desk or table you like to work from, these FlexiSpot adjustable standing desks are amazing.

Simply place on your work surface and adjust to the height you need.

This is really a no brainer. As the experts say, ‘sitting is the new smoking’.


Upright Go2

This handy device allows you to keep your posture in check.

It attaches to a necklace or you can even use an adhesive and stick it to your back.

The Upright Go2 learns your posture and it buzzes at you. There’s like a gentle vibration when you start just slouch, and I just find it really fantastic. It’s helped me to avoid really bad posture and I think it’s also helped my back.

Get the Upright Go2 here.


Working from Home Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic (TRANSCRIPT)

How to work from home - 5 tips for success


Hey there friends! Welcome to The Career Prescription podcast (aka The Career Rx). I’m your host Marjorie Stiegler.

So, today we’re going to be talking tips on how to work effectively from home, for your ergonomics and your success, but also for your mental sanity.

I’ll be breaking down some of the strategies that I use to be effective at work, from home.

Part of this is making sure that working from home doesn’t take over my home, take over my leisure space or get in the way of my relationships.

Let’s dive in!


5 Work from Home Tips To Improve Productivity & Success

work at home desk with coffee and laptop


One thing that I think is really important, especially in a time of stress like we’re having right now, is to have a realistic plan for your day.

This is what I do…


1. Start Each Day with a Routine: My Morning Routine…


I always start my day with the very same routine. I have to get these things done right away, before someone or something else takes over my day.

I fight the urge to check my phone, email, social media, or anything else until these important things are done. They keep me on track, and they keep me sane. So, every morning looks a little something like this:

I set the 3 most important things I intend to accomplish for the day

Given the added stress, chaos and unpredictability that we’re all working with right now, maybe you just want to pick one task you wish to complete.

  • What do you think you can complete?
  • What’s one accomplishment you’d consider to be a win for the day?

Setting just 1, 2 or 3 tasks for the day is really important, as a long to-do list isn’t always achievable and we can beat ourselves up about not completing enough.

Tip: Remember, complete these tasks before you check email, your phone or anything else.

I take care of my physical and mental wellness – focus on my mind and body

I do 20 minutes of meditation followed by exercise. That’s what works best for me.

Your needs may be different, so I encourage you to create time for your own self care when working from home.

This is part of managing a good work and life balance. If you prefer (and can stick to) a different timeline for physical activity, super. It only matters that your routine should work for you.


2. Set an Agenda for the Day


  • Set a specific start time to begin work
  • Pencil in meetings and other commitments in advance
  • Time block
  • Set an end time

Having a specific time that you end your workday can be overlooked, however, it’s important to define to help you reduce stress.

Now I realize people need to be flexible about the time when they’re working from home, so I have two approaches you can try.


Create a Specific End Time


Choose a time that works for you, whether that’s 4pm, 6pm, etc.

This is when you will turn off your phone, computer and close out all work-related activities. You will then focus on yourself, family or friends.

Sure, you could always do more work, but to stay sane you must create an official stop time!


Define the End of Your Day by an Event


This means you’ll determine the end of your workday when you complete a specific task, say a certain patient case or when a meeting is over.

Once you define a specific event that marks the end of your day, hold yourself to that.



3. Time Block & Batch Your Tasks


Time block tasks you would normally do. For example, a coffee break, going for a walk or eating lunch.

When you’re new to working from home, you’ll suddenly be more sedentary than you would be walking around the hospital or walking around your office building, so this is an important habit.

Make sure, even if it’s just for a few minutes, that you get up and move. Or you can even consider a standing desk or treadmill desk.

You’ll also notice that eating lunch made the list above.

You may be tempted to just grab a power bar and eat at your desk. This, however, would be the beginning of an unhealthy lifestyle.

If you use a shared calendar like Outlook, make sure to block your time in that calendar.

This way certain parts of your day will already be blocked when others are sending you meeting requests. This is a great way to balance your projects and meetings and it deters others from trying to double book into your blocked time.


Other Items to Time Block in your Calendar:

  • Checking email
  • Project work
  • Brainstorming time/thinking time
  • Business-related social media time

All of the above items to time block can be blocked into different time segments, say 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more if needed.


Related: Need a Schedule Detox? This Can Help.



4. Create a Dedicated Workspace


laptop and phone on a white desk


The easiest way to do this is to have a separate workspace in your home.

With everyone suddenly working from home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people don’t have a home office. It would be ideal if you had a physical room that was different, but this isn’t always possible.


There are however other ways that define your workspace such as:


  • Your work attire. Get up in the morning and don’t stay in those pajamas. Put on something professional, even if you don’t have a separate room to go to.
  • Something physical to define your space. It could be working in a certain corner of the room, for example.
  • Put away your work at the end of the day. If you can’t close an office door, try putting your work (laptop, notes, etc) away in a box or basket so it’s out of sight and hopefully out of mind.

On that same note, you’ll want to communicate your work hours and your ways of being available.

Communicate with the people you work with. How can they expect to reach you?

Also, let them know when they can expect to hear back from you.

When people’s expectations are met, most people are happy.

People are pretty understanding right now and can be flexible. So, it’s very helpful to be sure your colleagues know exactly what to expect from you.


You can communicate your availability by:

  • Automatic email reply
  • Having a message at the bottom of your email signature
  • A message on your messenger or voicemail

If your colleagues are aware of what to expect from you and when, this helps you to separate both mentally and physically your workspace from your home space.

Thinking about your physical space. It’s really important (especially if you’re going to be home for some period of time) to invest in the system of organization and workplace ergonomics.

See the Show Notes section of this blog post above for my recommendations to help you with this.

Related: Setting Boundaries at Work



5. Set Expectations with Your Family


Unless you live by yourself, it is so important to set expectations with other people at home.

This can be really hard. I’m still working through this myself because I’m at home along with my husband and our two kids.

In my home, we are setting expectations of when I am in the office on “do not disturb mode” where no one can come in and the kids need to be silent if that’s even possible!

Of course, my husband also needs the same uninterrupted time, so we support each other on this.

Whether you have an open or closed-door policy with your family while you are working will depend on your work style and what you have on the go during the day.

To reduce high-stress levels and to preserve relationships communication in this area is a must.

If you are homeschooling alongside working at home, this is also where time blocking your day and setting expectations and schedules with your family can really help.



Additional Work from Home Tips for Success


End each day doing the following…

  1. Think about zeroing out your inbox at the end of each day. If you’re using SaneBox as mentioned in the show notes, you can accomplish this much easier. This is important so you don’t start your next day with email clutter.
  1. At the end of the day, decide on the 1, 2 or 3 things that you need to accomplish the next day (see where this comes full circle)?
  1. When your day is complete close your laptop and turn off your work phone. If you have a separate office space, close the door for the night.
  1. Change out of your “work clothes” to remind yourself that it is the end of your workday.


Remember To Be Kind To Yourself


If you are new to working from home you’ve got to be gentle with yourself because this is not an easy transition.

Even if you are fine with working from home, still be easy on yourself as in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis we’re all going through a really remarkable and very stressful time right now.

I hope these tips are helpful to you to keep some sense of control over what you can control during these challenging times.

During this transition, I hope these tips help you to feel more efficient, and calm so you can be successful – so you can get joy out of both your work personal life.

So take care of yourself, take care of each other. That’s it for this episode, and I’ll see you on the next one.

Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx Podcast!

Please be sure to subscribe and leave me a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or whatever podcast player you’re using to listen today. Also, be sure to send me your questions so that I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.

Bye for now,


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