Working Remotely Tips and Resources

COVID-19 pandemic has brought unexpected challenges to your life by having to adjust to working from home, family obligations and concern of the pandemic. To help with getting adjusted working remotely, we have provided some tips and resources.

For many remote workers, commuting is stepping out of the bedroom to another room in their living spaces.  There is no travel time to signal to the brain that work is beginning and ending, which means it may sometimes be difficult to get into “work mode” for the day and also out of it at the end of the day. (

It is helpful to have a morning and evening routine to inform your brain when it is time to start working and when it is time to end your workday.  Below is an example of a morning and evening routine:

Morning routine
  • Wake up at your regular time as if you are going into the office.
  • Prepare for the day. As tempting as it may be to stay in your PJs all day, it is best to change into other clothing.
  • Exercise, meditate, journal alone or with the family
  • Make coffee/tea and have breakfast
  • Begin your workday (start time depends on what you and the supervisor have agreed on as well as expected deliverables).
Evening routine
  • End your workday (end time depends on what you and your supervisor have agreed on as well as expected deliverables).
  • Focus on other activities other than work.  For example, exercise, read, garden, watch a comedy show, or prepare dinner.

An ideal workspace is to have a dedicated room where you may close your door. Since many may not have the “ideal” workspace, it is important to create a space where you are able to separate your work from your home life.

  • Establishing an effective workspace is key for concentration and completing deliverables.
  • Your workspace should be as comfortable as possible.
  • Set ground rules with any friends or family members that you live with.
  • Ask them not to disturb you while you are working.
  • Inform them when you have calls or virtual meetings scheduled.
Refrain from multitasking
  • You may believe multitasking increases your efficiency at accomplishing many things at once, in actuality, it decreases your efficiency.
  • “Research in neuroscience tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might. In fact, we just switch tasks quickly. Each time we move from hearing music, to writing a text, or talking to someone, there is a stop/start process that goes on in the brain.  That start/stop/start process is rough on us. Rather than saving time, it costs time (even very small microseconds). It’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time, it can sap our energy.”


Refrain from personal tasks
  • One of the biggest challenges of working from home is getting distracted from the responsibilities you have to get done at home.  As soon as you feel the urge to handle some of your personal tasks, you may want to write them down and tend to them at the end of your work schedule.

Make sure you schedule a time for lunch and breaks where you are away from your workspace to eat and/or move around.  Sometimes when you are working on a project, you may forget to take lunch and or breaks.  You may want to set reminders in Outlook or other devices to help remind you.

Reviewing your to-do list and or work plan at the start of the week to organize and plan what you will get accomplished is a great way to stay on top of your assignments.  Establishing when your meetings are scheduled, when you will have blocks of uninterrupted time to complete assignments, make calls, and follow up with emails may make your week less stressful.

  • Some remote workers suffer from loneliness. Stay in touch with your colleagues to build and maintain relationships, feel involved, and get the support you need. 
  • This can be done with email, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and regular phone calls.
  • Start your online chats with some socializing or organize a virtual coffee break or virtual lunch with colleagues. 



  • Limit zoom meetings to only those meetings that are necessary. Always ask yourself, Do we really need to meet? if so how for how long, does everyone need to be there? Having fewer meetings of shorter duration can make the experience more valuable and productive.
  • Always open the meetings by checking in, catch up with folks before diving into business.
  • Have people break into teams (use breakout rooms in Zoom) to do smaller meetings if needed
  • Create buffers: Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings. Schedule your meetings with short gaps in between or make it a rule to wrap up one call 5-10 minutes before the next one begins.
  • Take Physical Breaks! Get out and stretch, walk around, or open the window in between meetings, getting fresh air can be a nice energy boost.


Mix things Up on the screen
  • Change your background screen to keep your home areas private or to just mix it up.
  • Use an EMOJI Instead of using your own face. This can be helpful when you need to take a break but don’t want to just be an odd shape.  
  • Turn off your camera. Have people know about this prior so people are aware that this is OK. Save your energy for when you absolutely want to be more emotive.
  • Have screen off to the side instead of just looking straight ahead.
  • Put Zoom into speaker view instead of gallery view. You won’t feel like you have to focus on so much at once.
Move it if you can
  • Move your position when you are sitting. don’t turn into a frozen robot. Alternate between standing and sitting during your calls is you need too. Work on getting slight movement in your body as you are meeting.
  • Have meetings in other spaces if you can. Go on the patio or outside.
  • Practice the “20-20-20” rule where every 20 minutes you take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away from where you are.  (or closer if needed)
  • Use the phone for a meeting to give your eyes and body a break
  • Talk and Walk- if the meeting can be done by phone, try walking at the same time. It can be less stressful when you ‘show up’ in voice only.
  • Your “office area” should look/feel different than your “living area”.  This can help you set the boundary between work and personal space/time. Change the lighting, putting on different clothes, putting music on, change the scene as much as you can, so you can feel like you are switching modes.
  • Remember that social events are supposed to create fun, not fatigue. Don’t feel obligated to say YES to everything. 
  • Be kind to yourself and don’t give up on finding balance, remember that Self-care is a Revolutionary Act!


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation,

and that is an act of political warfare.”   Audre Lorde

Developing Professionally and Personally

CSU Learn has more than 75,000 online courses, books, videos, and live activities to choose from. It is a great opportunity to develop and grow professionally and personally.

CSU Learn has some learning activities bundled for your convenience.

Communication Best Practices

Mindful Meeting Exercises

Work-Life Balance

Working Virtually (remotely)

For additional bundles, go to CSU Learn: at the home page, click “Library” (image of books), click *CSU’S Professional Development arrow (>)

LinkedIn Learning CSU is an online educational platform that helps you discover and develop business, technology-related, and creative skills through expert-led course videos.

With more than 5,000 courses and personalized recommendations, you can discover, complete, and track courses related to your field and interests. You can also choose to add these courses and related skills to your LinkedIn profile once you've completed them.

Promoting Self-Care and Well-Being

Practicing self-care and well-being is important to incorporate into your daily lives to assist in managing stress as well as balancing your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, etc. Resources to assist you with self-care and well-being are listed below:

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.

While mindfulness is innate, it can be cultivated through proven techniques, particularly seatedwalking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep); short pauses we insert into everyday life; and merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.

When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it. When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.”

View Benefits of Mindfulness to learn more about the benefit of mindfulness.