Win Big for Your Best Work From Home Hacks

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Wow! You guys really delivered on the epic fails.

Our pro social media team has been laughing for the last 2 weeks straight trying to choose the top 100 from the thousands of awesome fails you guys sent in.

Because we can only choose 100 and don’t want anyone to miss out, we’re launching a brand-new contest. Only this time, we’re swapping fails for hacks. Work from home hacks.

After almost a year of working from home, what was once a fish out of water experience for many of us has now become the norm.

I remember those first few weeks being very challenging as I struggled to focus. Sitting at my desk dressed in my PJs.

I couldn’t concentrate. I tried waking up the same time I did when I went to the office. No luck. Moving my desk to a room free of distractions also failed.

I had no idea what to do until my girlfriend suggested I ditch the PJs and dress in my normal office outfit. Suited and booted, something switched in my brain. By changing outfits I’d somehow hacked my brain into thinking I was in the office.

Did you guys struggle just like I did? And if so, what genius hacks did you find to become a legit work from home pro? Share your hacks down below or on social media and we’ll choose the 100 best to each win a work from home prize.

To enter:

  1. Comment down below telling us about your Work From Home Hacks

  2. Share via the social media buttons below using the hashtag #AnkerWork

And remember, we’ve still got more swag up for grabs. Go to our events page HERE and sign up for the chance to win a Work From Home Pro Kit.

Good luck!

Rules:

  • This contest is open only to residents of the US, UK, and Germany.
  • PowerExtend USB-C 3 Capsule is not available as a prize for residents of the UK and Germany.
  • The contest runs from March 30 to April 12, 2021.
  • The 100 winners will be announced on April 13, 2021.
18 Likes

Great competition for those who are really working.
I am “working” too, (day and night).
But an old pensioner works in another way. :laughing:

So I will not take part.
Good luck for all “real workers” :joy:

8 Likes

Get dressed everyday was my #1, but since it’s already on the first post, here are some other pieces of advice:

  • Go outside for at least 5 minutes before noon.
  • No TV or YouTube or the likes during work hours.
  • Do one thing new everyday. Try something, anything, that you haven’t done before (or haven’t done in a very long time).

Ok, so these aren’t exactly hacks, but these will help you keep your sanity in these insane times.

As for something more worthy to be called a hack:

  • Use your iPad as a second monitor! On Mac, you can use Sidecar. For Windows machines, you can use an app called Duet. It’s not cheap, but it gets the job done well.
4 Likes

My favorite hack: get a good wireless headset!

We all work with someone who thinks we need have a meeting about EVERYTHING. With a wireless headset, I feel less chained to my desk during meetings.

I can get up and stretch my legs, do some lunges, or maybe do a quick walk around the yard. It really helps me keep my focus and not suffer from “meeting burnout”. And if something comes up at home, such as needing to sign for a package, I can do it without missing a beat in the meeting.

4 Likes

By the way my best “hack” is visiting the basement and get me a beer! :joy:

I found this :

A short, sharp cough is also called a hack
but much better is a big gulp.

6 Likes

I like to do something I could never do if I were physically at work, like make a nice lunch and eat while watching Schitt$ Creek. I plan this special time the night before and I really look forward to this every day! It is a must to schedule some ‘me’ time!

1 Like

Although working from home was a change, it was nice to know that coworkers could not just come to your cubicle to ask question anytime they wanted.

When I did try to set up my area, I tried to make it similar to my work area at the office.

We have 2 monitors at work and so I grabbed an extra monitor that I had and connected it to my laptop.

At work I tend to listen to music while I work. So I grabbed my Zune for tunes and since my home pc is in the same area, I have my strike 1 plugged in so that I can listen to music from my pc as I work as well. (plus the strike 1 are also pretty good to drown out the kids when they were home from school as well.

3 Likes

When I was working at the university years ago I always played some classical music using speakers.
I got an office for my own.
So there was no problem.
But my colleagues told me I should keep the door open.
They liked Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Don’t ease up on the schedule (you know, sleep in and start later). You’ll be more productive if you regularly wake up as you would to leave the house for work and be disciplined about starting on time. Starting promptly and regularly helps you stay motivated and on track (if you start late, it cuts into your day as other things stack up).
I’ve never been one to stay in lounge clothes/pajamas while working as I make it part of the above routine to be dressed.
And be diligent about taking regular breaks if you’re one who gets into the zone and cranks away for hours on end. A break every 20-30 min to just get up and walk around, use the restroom, stretch, get your eyes off the screen, etc has been cited to aid in higher productivity and quality of work.
All of the above really just helps the state of mind… maybe less of a “hack” and more like best practices.

A thing that I started with my colleagues due to lack of in-person interaction was a Zoom social hour regularly scheduled that was a no-pressure, no obligation invite to join and video chat while having a drink “together”. It helps maintain rapport and gives a chance to vent or simply hang out without work topics being front and center.

1 Like

Working from home has been a challenge to say the least for a lot of people. It is hard to be able to separate yourself from each, technological failures, background noises, cabin fever, etc. Some of the things that have been helping me and my wife are:

  • Create a separate workspace for yourself. Be it in the kitchen, a spare room, the basement, or anywhere else, it helps you feel as though you are not at home so much as if you were to keep moving around from place to place.

  • Try to limit distracting things from your workspace. e.g. a TV being on a channel you will end up watching, a radio station that plays the songs you like. Nothing screams lack of productivity like watching The Price is Right mid day like you had a day off from school as a kid.

  • Take regular breaks like you would in an office. Get up and stretch, go and get some food/coffee/water from your kitchen, take a short walk, browse the internet and so on. You do not always have to be nose to keyboard all day long and sometimes it is hard to make yourself get up when things start piling up.

  • If you have a scheduled shift, stick to it. You may want to keep yourself busy later on in the day because of a lack of things to do, but doing so makes you more available all the time. I learned this one the hard way by answering emails/calls later into the evening and it has now become commonplace for people to contact me because of this.

  • Get dressed! I know it is easy to just roll out of bed and saunter over to your work station, but this will keep you in the same type of relaxed work ethic over time. Get yourself ready like you would any day you would be going to work, especially pants because no one wants to have that awkward “left your camera on” type of situation with HR.

  • Setup regular Happy Hour/coffee breaks with your co-workers with your co-workers with your cameras on. Everyone loves office banter (for the most part) and this helps you to keep break away from the day and relax with people you have probably worked with for some time.

  • Prepare a lunch for yourself. I know it may be easier to order carryout/delivery, but there is always the risk of you developing unhealthy eating habits. There is a reason why that burger taste better from the restaurant vs. you making it at home, and it is not the healthiest of reasons.

  • If you need a day off, TAKE IT! People seem to think that working from home means you are not getting sick or need a mental health day. Take care of yourself first and foremost. If you are not feeling well, don’t make it worse by trying to push yourself past your limit. This is especially true when it comes to your mental health. Being stuck inside all day takes a toll after awhile, so take a day for yourself when you need it.

  • Check to make sure all of your equipment is working prior to starting your day. I can’t tell you how many times I have logged into a meeting only to have Windows start an update that I pushed off from the day before. Likewise when it comes to your peripheral devices.

  • Invest in a standup desk. For real. They are life changing if you have never used one before. It does not need to be a standalone desk that takes up half of your room. I picked up this one from Amazon and it has been a game changer for my already messed up back.

  • Automate your processes when you can. There are plenty of tools out there that helps you to automate your work available. MS Flow, IFTTT (If This, Then That), Robotask, Google One Drive, etc. If you can make your day easier, why wouldn’t you?

I know these are not ideal for everyone as we are all in a different situation. I cannot stress enough to care for your mental and physical health. You only have one body, so make sure you take care of it.

3 Likes

Ok, let’s start by giving some well deserved praised to the folks here at Anker, I love these competitions so fun and the giveaways are just the gravy on top.

My Hacks for working from home:

I’ll start with the one of most important things to me, health, after a few months of working from home and spending so much time in-front of the screen I ran to my local eye glass store and got myself a new pair of reading glasses with blue light protection which have a HUGHE difference in my eye fatigue.

Get a nice monitor, but if the budget does not allow it go for the small TV in your household, I ended up grabbing my 32" TV from our guest bedroom and I am now using it as my monitor, which BTW makes a world of a difference when running Zoom meetings all day long and having to run 20+ apps and god know how many browser tabs, LOL,

Water, Water, Water… my house is a 2-story house and I purposely only fill my water bottle 1/2 way to force myself to go downstairs and fill up again every 60-90 minutes, forcing me to get up and walk around,

Play some music to keep your energy going, I like a quiet place but I like some energetic music more, it keeps my day going and makes it easier to get to the finish line.

Have fun and reach out to your friends and family via text, I find myself being more productive when I do not have to look at my phone every time I get a text; therefore, I found a way to do my text communication from my computer, Android has a Web option and if you own a Mac you should have iMessage on it.

Oh here’s a good one, since I am not using my wireless line data as much, I am always connected to my home wifi, I ended up switching my service provider to my local ISP wireless service and I only pay $15 x month, that’s a saving of over 50% every month,

Those a few of my hacks for my working from home days, there’s so many more but I am not sharing all my secrets , LOL Good luck everyone.

Thank you Anker for making it fun,

3 Likes

My wife picked up a pair of these and have done wonders for her too.

2 Likes

I’ve been trying to get a standup desk but OMG, these things can take a hit on the budget, I am waiting for a good one to come up on my local CL or OfferUp listings.

Love the coffee/Happy hour suggestion, I am a big people’s person and this virtual work is not good for me,

Love to keep the getting ready habit, even when I might be wearing a shirt, suit and a pair of shorts, LOL

2 Likes

I am ok with classical music but I honestly need some 80’s and 90’s to keep me going,

2 Likes

My biggest hack is to set boundaries. I found myself working longer because I had nowhere to go. That didn’t really lead to more productivity, just more tiredness. Beyond that having a carved-out space for work vs home helps the mindset.

1 Like

My best working from home hack/tip is:
If you don’t have a comfortable home office set-up already, visit the office and collect your office chair and monitor risers.
I found working from home for long periods it killed my back! :pensive:

3 Likes

I took my office chair with me, when I was retiring.
Still good, the heinie fits! :grin:

3 Likes

My biggest hack was lighting for Zoom calls. I tried everything from moving my desk to in front of the window to additional desk lamps. Either too bright or to dark. I finally took a couple headlamps (taped them to my monitor) and taped tissues over them (Kleenex) and turn them on when I need to be seen. It’s not pretty, but it worked.

A good wireless headset & a sit stand desk were added in to the mix, but I don’t consider those “hacks”.

1 Like

Virtual backgrounds are interesting, but visually distracting. My hack for virtual meetings: a Japanese folding screen. These are lightweight, foldable, and can be tucked out of the way when not in use. But before a meeting, I unfold it and place it behind me, making things look nice and neat and not worrying about furniture or random objects that are out of place, or family members accidentally walking into view. The folding screen need not be Japanese, of course; folding screens are multicultural.

1 Like