Win Big for Your Best Work From Home Hacks

Working from home was definitely a hurdle for me when I first started. I tried to apply all of the in-person working strategies and ended up with poor-quality meetings that left me exhausted at the end of the day. The following really helped to improve the experience for me:

  1. It’s been mentioned before but getting a high-quality wireless headset improved every meeting I was part of
  2. Adding an HD webcam made the meetings feel more inclusive for the people on the other end
  3. Scheduling “No Video” time was crucial - I had been scheduling back-to-back video meetings and it left me no time to prep or regroup
  4. Limiting work hours on personal devices - another important boundary that I had been ignoring
  5. Making time to move around and hydrate

I follow all these guidelines now and I am much happier for it.

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I setup Teams on my cellphone so I can video or voice chat wirelessly while sharing my screen or researching while chatting

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Working in my home required tools that work better with my laptop. USB-C hub , cables and battery that would allow even greater remote flexibility as I worked beachside, camping, and on the go. All Anker. All the time!

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For me, I live in a small house with my wife and pandemic baby (yes, she was born Feb. 20, 2020, two weeks before our first stay-at-home order). We have one desk in the house and it only fits in our bedroom. :man_facepalming:

Every day, working at my desk can be tough because there is always some kind of distraction. We have a small house, so you can hear everything from every room. And even if that weren’t true, Vera (our baby girl) loves to push open the door to the bedroom (there’s no doorknob) :man_facepalming: and check in with me.

So, I had to find a unique way to “get in the zone” regardless of distraction. I found a psychological research article about college students who live in dorms having difficulty studying. The issue was that students slept, studied, and socialized all in the same room. So, in order to create a mental space, researchers gave students regular old desk lamps and told them to only turn it on when they were studying. After a trial run, the students who used a “study lamp” reported better concentration and better GPA.

So, I pulled out an old lamp from the closet, plugged it in, and only turn it on when it’s time to do work. And it helps!

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For some of us, money is tight. I have always been a multi-monitor type of worker, when it’s on the employer’s dime of course. Now that I am at home, I get to suffer with only a single display, the one on my laptop. I like to thrift shop and recommend it to anyone working from home, precautions assumed. A month or so ago, I was looking at the electronics section of a local store and came across a bunch of old LCDs. One caught my eye, the one that is sitting on my desk now, a 22 incher that I got for $18! No issues except its an older model. To me, a second display is a second display!

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  1. Start the day early when everyone is asleep
  2. If a Slack DM goes back and forth more than a few times, get on a zoom call and resolve it quickly (and a lot less typing)
  3. Block “focus time” in the late afternoon and spend time with the family.
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My best work from home hack is to find and get a comfortable recliner, sitting in a regular office chair while at home can be tedious and cause issues with your blood flow. So by having a recliner you can get your legs up and blood circulating.

When I’m in my recliner I tend to get more done and at a faster pace than when sitting in a regular chair. I can also take a power nap in between work assignments which also helps for those long days.

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We do a regular happy hour once a month on my team, and company wide once every month or two which is usually a drink demo or cooking class (we just did an Italian pasta making one last week with people live streaming from Italy) and other things like that. Keeps everyone out of the normal meeting/workday feel. Plus drinking straight from a bottle on camera with your boss always makes for a laugh.

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So, I’ve got my work PC and my personal one and limited space. I work best across multiple screens, but don’t stick to one machine.

PC connected to second display.
Mac connected to same second display
Set top box (I use AppleTV) to use with a TV on wall
stream from either PC or Mac to the TV as a 3rd monitor
Synergy app on PC and Mac so a single Keyboard and mouse work across all these screens, run through the work PC if you can
Side benefit, the activity keeps most work chat apps engaged even when you’re not working on that machine so you never enter “away” status unless you’re really away.

This is where I started. Now, I’ve taken this even further… A few MountPro monitor arms, and a few more displays… the work PC has met;s laptop screen + 3 additional displays now. and the 4th external display is dual connected to the Mac. Then I have 2 27" displays on the PC (the second is the 4th PC display). and I still have the TV, usually connected to the Mac. So I can run 8 screens on 2 PCs. I just spin left and right and bring the mouse and KBD to the position I need to focus on the task at hand.

A couple of docking stations (one built into the 27" display and an Anker 12-in-1 means I need to disconnect only 2 cables to take the Mac with me and 3 for the PC (PC isn’t capable of USB-C charging). 2 Mics, a few webcams, BluRay player, device chargers, all at my finger tips and I don’t have to rewire anything. :slight_smile:

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My hack is to get dressed each morning as if I am going out to work otherwise I might find a way to work from bed in my PJs all day. Staying alert and engaged was a big issue when I first started working from home so to combat distraction I got myself wireless headphones with which I am able to play music and listen to motivational podcasts throughout the day and even when I have to go on camera and answer calls unexpectedly on Teams I can still engage and discreetly switch off what I am listening to at the time effortlessly.@AnkerWorks

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I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment with my wife and 3 year old twins. When my wife and I moved in some years ago, landlord still had up a projection screen and never took it down. It’s mounted between front and middle room above french doors. When it’s work time, I close the doors and pull it down as my own Wall of Jericho. Doesn’t keep out the noise, but that’s what the :headphones: are for.

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Work as far away from the kitchen as possible. Don’t make it easy to eat.

I have also found a 20 minute power nap can really give me a TON of energy in the afternoon.

Finally, I work in front of a window so the natural light is available for web meetings.

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Another fun contest! Thanks Anker

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Good luck everyone. As a WFH worker, these are some great items to get even more focused and productive.

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My work from home hack consisted of connecting my tv to my laptop to have dual monitors like I had at work. I used my wireless buds so that I could multi task work and home. Lastly I allowed myself a morning and evening 15 minute smoke break to keep my brain working as closely to work as possible. #AnkerWork

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Buying myself a sit stand desk has really helped with “changing the scenery.”

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I used everything I possibly could to get my lighting just right for my live streaming events. I put books under my laptop to keep it from pointing up my nose. I put a flat surface behind me to make everything uniform. I pointed a painter’s light at a wall so it would reflect on me and not wash me out. All these things together helped my video look good, even though I had a built in webcam.

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My work from home hack is very…complicated to say the least. But anker and soundcore is here to save the day.

For meetings I have my powerconf and Soundcore life a2 NC connected to my work computer. I have my power conf mounted to my drawer next to my set up.

Then when I want to switch to a headset version for my meetings. I decided to use the life a2 NC instead because it works great and my co workers hear me clearly. Im having trouble getting the buds live to work with skype there’s a ton of uncessary noise when it’s connected.

But when there’s no meetings, I would switch to my galaxy buds live. So everything is ready to be used

I made some light contraption on the side of my monitor because I love rgb and it keeps me sane

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Biggest hacks I would be the following:

  • Dress from the waist up (just don’t forget and stand up in a meeting!!
  • Headset is a must to keep outside noise to a minimum - and wireless to be able to move around so your butt isn’t glued to the chair all day.
  • Keep yourself on mute if you aren’t talking (especially with a toddler in the house!)
  • Keep the office door closed to keep out said toddler!

I’ve been working from home for 2 years now and LOVE my “commute” to the office!!

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Set hourly reminders on your computer or phone to take a break for 5 minutes - this can include taking a walk around the house, drinking some water, stretching, etc.

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