How to Work From Home Like a Champ: Lessons from an Employment Lawyer

Jun 8 2022

Josh Goodbaum: Hi, Amanda!

Amanda DeMatteis: Hi, Josh! What are we talking about today?

Goodbaum: Well, it’s June 2022; we are in yet another surge of the pandemic here in Connecticut; and it feels like work from home for those who are able to work from home may be the reality for the foreseeable future – maybe for the forever future. So, I was hoping that you, as someone who works from home so successfully, could give some tips to our viewers about how to work well from home.

DeMatteis: Happy to! This could be an hour-long video, but we’ll spare you. I am coming to you live from my home office where I do a lot of work and I’m sure a lot of you do too if you’re fortunate enough to have the ability to work from home.

So, let’s just talk about some basics. How do we navigate this “work from home” thing? What do we do?

Number one, super simple, get up and get dressed. Right? You want to make sure that, even though you’re really in your house and you have the comforts of home around you everywhere, you’re still being taken seriously. Get dressed, look the part, do all the things that you would normally do if you were going into the physical office. You don’t want the fact that you’re home to in any way impair anyone that you’re working with’s respect of you or the amount of professionalism that you bring to the job. So make sure you’re getting dressed, you’re putting your best foot forward, just like if you would if you were going into the physical office.

Next, create a separate space – and create a space that you like. You can see my home office behind me is, at least to me, a welcoming and inviting place. It’s also a completely separate part of my house. There’s a door here – there’s a nearly-two-year-old on the other side of that door – but I try to keep my work life in this room to the best extent that I can, so that when I’m in here, I’m working. And when I’m out there, it’s home, right? And I’m “Mom” and I’m “Wife” and all the other hats that we know we all wear outside of our employment status. So, try to create that separate space if you have the ability to do so.

Number three, simple, but WORK. Even though you’re home, even though you’re not in the physical office location, you still need to do your job. And that also includes maintaining your compliance with any company policies – whether it’s time keeping, whether it’s meeting and having one-on-ones with your employees or with your superiors, whether it’s making sure that you’re only using your work computer for employment things and work stuff, not your personal internet use or personal shopping or whatever else it may be. Just because you’re home, you still need to be working, you still need to be maintaining your compliance with all those policies that otherwise exist.

Finally, for now, maintain a work schedule. If your hours are nine to five, if your hours are eight to six, whatever it is that they may be, keep those same hours at home. What’s this going to help you do? Create some balance, as I talked about a little bit earlier. Have that separation between work life and home life. It’s a great thing that is going to make you productive when you’re in that home office environment. It’s also going to help with mental health, which we can all use a little of during this crazy time of a pandemic.

So, a lot more to cover in this regard, but I hope that got us started. What do you think, Josh?

Goodbaum: I think you are a work-from-home maven, and I’m sure our viewers appreciate these great tips from you – I know I do!

Thanks so much. Thanks to everybody for watching. Take care!

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josh goodbaum discussing how to work from home successfully

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Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

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    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

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