1. Manage Your Background During Video Conferencing—Technology such as ZOOM and other video conferencing Apps has made working, teaching and learning remotely manageable. However, there are drawbacks when the sense of sight comes into play. It’s human nature to become nosey and try to determine what your fellow workers, clients have behind them. Remember, anything associated with your name has the potential to become fodder for not just that moment, but years to come.

2. Camera Positioning, Lighting and Personal Hygiene Is Critical—Remember that these web cams are showing you close-up; probably closer than you allow other humans to get to you in real life. Most of us have seen the talking heads on the news and other shows and developed our own opinions of how they look on a web cam or in some cases a mobile device. People joke about only having to wear something nice from the waist up, but web cams and laptops can slip, and you don’t want to end up being a meme. Lighting should be in front of you behind the web cam and not behind you. Test this before joining a meeting. There’s a reason lighting professionals are some of the highest paid people in Hollywood. The proper lighting can do wonders for your look.

3. Keep Audio Muted Until Speaking—Much the same as Tips #1 and #2, embarrassing moments should be minimized. By keeping the audio off while not speaking eliminates the risk of a child screaming, a dog barking, leaf blowers making their aggravating sound, etc.

4. Have a Checklist for Office Supplies—Working from home doesn’t allow you the luxury of walking over to the office supply cabinet when you run out of file folders, paper clips or staples. To prevent you from running back and forth to the office supply store, make a list of items you used at your office and make one trip or place one order for delivery. This is also a good tip for grocery and any other shopping. Every time you back for an item you forgot puts you and your family at additional risk.

5. Develop a Routine—This Tip is more important than it appears on the surface because it relates to discipline, a critical ingredient for working from home. Most everyone has a routine before leaving for work. You also need a routine to effectively work from home. It doesn’t need to be a similar routine. Feel free to sleep later or spend more time with your at-home loved ones since you’re missing the daily commute both ways. However, a daily routine leads to creating the type of structure you had at the workplace and ultimately keeps you productive.

6. Computer Security—One industry that’s not only vibrant but ramping up is hacking. Remember your computer and the internet connection are your lifeline to the world and maintaining your stream of income. Don’t allow children or others to use your business laptop or desktop. This would be a lousy time to get a computer virus or be responsible for a hacker getting into your company’s network.

7. Announce Important Calls to The Rest of Your Household—Provide everyone else in your home with a heads-up when you have a phone or video call with a client, your boss, important vendors, etc. Others in your home need to respect that even though you’re home, you still have a job to do. Meet with everyone in your household and explaining this to them upfront. This Tip is even more crucial if you don’t have separate office space in your home and you’re working from the kitchen table or the living room.

8. Leave Your Home Office Periodically—Even if you’re not claustrophobic, you don’t want the four walls to feel like they’re closing in on you. Get up from time-to-time, walk outside, stretch, get some sunlight, walk your dog, play with your cat or recap your day so far with other household members. Even if you ate lunch at your desk at the office, try to eat meals outside your home office. This provides a break and also helps keep your workspace clean.

9. Keep Your Work Area Clean—Even if your workplace office looks like a pig sty, you need to maintain a rigor of cleanliness in your home office. There’s no custodian to clean up after you. You’re it. This Tip is important over and above the fact that personal hygiene and cleanliness are the order of the day. This is not a time you want to be coughing and sneezing. There’s something special about a clean work environment that makes work more enjoyable.

10. Don’t Procrastinate—Since obviously your home office is in your home, there’s plenty of other chores and projects staring you in the face. While plenty of these projects you’ve been putting off may now be getting done, your job and source of income is suffering. It’s one thing to clean and organize your workspace. It’s another to repaint the kitchen, remodel the bathroom or clean out the garage before getting down to business.