How To Work Remotely, and Still Love It

More people than ever find themselves working from home. While the dream of opening your laptop, and sitting in your pajamas all day sounds great, many are having a hard time adjusting to this new reality.

Many are struggling in learning how to work from home, or fashioning home offices out of any spare furniture they have laying around. The biggest struggle for those working from home is being as productive as they were in the office.

Managers everywhere are worried they will see an insurmountable drop in productivity, and that their workers will fall behind the ever-increasing to-do list.

As someone who feels like a pioneer in virtual work, I can finally say that my time has come! Finally, I can share my knowledge on how to work from home and still love it! I have had triumphs and epic failures, but still love the ability to work remotely, and have loved every day of craving out my stake as a freelancer, and built my career faster than I believe I could have in a traditional working environment.

If you are looking for the best tips to work remotely, and still love it, read on!

How to set up your home office

For those struggling to adjust to working at home, one of the easiest ways to get back on track is to revamp your working space. While the notice to start working remotely was nowhere to be found, people have acted fast to cobble together barely functional work spaces.

For those working remotely, having a working home office is a necessity. Having a great office space doesn’t mean you have to drop a lot of money or even add all the bells and whistles.
The key to any workspace is that it is functional. That means having a hard surface for your computer, a comfortable chair you can sit in for hours, and ideally a door you can close for when you have virtual meetings.

You can make this out of any items you already own. When I first started working from home, I used a camp table and even an outdoor chair that had cupholders in the arms. It wasn’t glamorous, but it worked and was comfortable. Depending on the tasks I was able to switch where my ‘office’ was for the day and could work outside on sunny days on my patio, or work at the kitchen table, or in the recliner if it suited the work I had to do.

For working from home you will need:
  1. A dedicated workspace: Whether the kitchen table or sunroom, have a dedicated area you will work.
  2. A Table/desk: For anyone who types you will need a table for your day-to-day interactions.
  3. A comfortable chair: Camping chairs, kitchen chairs, or recliners? While nothing can beat an office chair, a comfortable chair you can sit in for hours will help!
  4. Office Equipment: High-speed routers, printers or scanners are all necessities of working from home!

Setting up a home office is a necessity for those working remotely. Not only will having a dedicated space help switch your brain into work mode, but it can help you be more productive. By having a dedicated workspace that is functional, you can focus more on what you need to work on, not the distractions of your home!

Must-Have Items For Working Remotely

While those that work in an office are used to having their work supplies readily available, those transitioning into working from home may find that their workspace is ill-equipped.

For those working from home, they are often lacking the supplies they need to support their workday. Having the right equipment goes a long way to having a more productive workday!

Here are some must-have items for working remotely:
     A Headset/webcam
     High-Speed Internet
     A Second Monitor
     Printer or Scanner
     A Good Pen (Nothing Beats A Good Pen)
     Sticky Notes
     Pen Holder
     Desk Organizer

When working remotely, a headset and webcam go a long way! Online meetings are the norm right now, so having the right equipment (if your camera is lacking) is a must! Paired with fast internet these are necessities for meeting with your remote team.

Having the right equipment for working will minimize distractions throughout your workday. Having to get up from your desk and scrounge the house for a pen or pencil and a piece of paper won’t help your stay focused in your meeting.

Having pen and paper handy will make it easier for you to get your work done in a day, and when you get a smart idea you will be able to write it down as soon as the thought comes to mind!
You should do all you can to keep your home office as organized as possible. Having a clean layout to your desk, and having all the necessities within an arm's reach. If you are looking for some home office inspiration, check out this list of best items for your office.

How To Make A Productive Routine

The biggest struggle for those working from home for the first time. How to be productive while working from home? It’s easy! Just have a productive routine! Creating a productive daily routine for yourself is a great way to completely transform your workday. It can be as easy as setting the right habits in the morning!

The biggest mistake those working remotely do is they don’t have a hard ‘clock-in’ time. For those looking to be more productive, having a firm time to start and end your day makes it easy to frame the rest of your day and be more productive.

I have also found that having a healthy breakfast and morning workout gets my blood pumping and keeps me focused throughout the day. 

This is what my productive morning routine looks like:
     Wake Up
     Make and Eat A Healthy breakfast
     Read For 15 Minutes
     Workout for 1 hour
     Take A Shower
     Get Dressed For Work
     Clock in For Work

What I love about my daily routine is that it is easy to modify depending on the day I am about to have, and puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day!

Routines set the bar high for personal productivity. If you aren’t much of a morning person you can still make yourself a productive routine that works for you. Even a short walk around the block is enough to get your blood pumping and help you get ready for your day.

When it comes to making a productive work routine, time blocking will be your best friend! Time blocking is a way of scheduling your workday to accomplish the most important tasks first. It minimizes distractions by applying a laser focus to the task at hand and only working on this task until it is complete.

When you set up your time block it is crucial to make sure that time is allocated correctly and properly. You should focus only on the most important task that will make your day easier if it is accomplished. Make sure you set realistic lengths of time to accomplish these tasks, and then work in the daily tasks that need to be completed.

By sticking to a strict morning routine, and applying a time block to your activities you will make it easier to keep yourself focused and productive when working from home.

How To Minimize Distractions When Working From Home

Working remotely is a blessing and a curse, while it may minimize the distractions caused by coworkers, there is still plenty to be distracted by at home!

Dishes, laundry, pets, children, you name it! To have a productive workday minimizing your home distractions are a necessity. One of the easiest ways to remove distractions at home is to set a clear routine and schedule for all your family members!

 For those with children or pets properly time blocking your day to include breaks to spend time with the kids, do an activity or even take the dog on a walk! When you time block, you can evenly properly schedule your children's schedule to collerlate when you have tasks that need to be done. If your son takes a nap at 2, that is when you can schedule a meeting to spend time working on your next big proposal.

You also need to set clear ‘clock out’ time to spend time with your family. It is harder than ever to unplug, but when you properly plan and time block you will feel more productive and be able to relax and spend time with family.

Another major distraction when working from home is noise! While soft music can help boost your productivity, listening to Netflix in the background will make it harder than ever to focus on your work. You can easily use a set of headphones and a Spotify work playlist to keep your mind from wandering. Working in a quiet room, or a room with a door can reduce distractions!

Keep your workplace clear, as a messy workplace is easy to get distracted. Leave the household tasks for after work hours, and make sure you keep your workspace clean and organized as possible. A pile of laundry sitting next to your desk can distract anyone, so make sure to have your space clear to give you room to focus.

Social media is a huge time and productivity killer and by limiting when and how much time you can spend on social media you can better focus your time and energy throughout the day.

You can easily set a trigger for yourself that signals the start of your workday. For me it is when I light my scented candle. I know it is time to work by the time the smell of the candle tickles my nose! It gives me just enough time to check emails and get into my major time block of the day.


When I started working remotely over 5 years ago, I didn’t know how it would affect my career. Little did i know that I had actually made one of the biggest and best changes to my life! I was able to accelerate my career to a whole new level, and be able to raise my son. By following a strict routine and keeping myself motivated, I have been able to make my own path.

More people are finding themselves working remotely, and don’t know when they might be back in the office. For them, they are trying to make the best of a totally new situation! Working remotely can be extremely rewarding, if done correctly!

 It requires planning, motivation, and a can-do attitude to keep yourself focused. For those working remotely the first time, having a plan to minimize distractions, a solid daily personal and work routine and the right home office can make working remotely a dream come true!

Here Is How To Start Working Remotely, And Love It:
     Have A Home Office: have a dedicated workspace with a good table and chair. Your workspace should be comfortable and functional for your work.
     Have The Right Equipment: Router, printer, Scanner, webcam and a headset are some of the items you will need for your workspace. Make sure your remote workspace has everything you need to properly do your job!
     Set A Productive Routine: From the time you get up to when you go to bed, having a productive daily routine makes it easier for you to work remotely! Timeblocks your daily work tasks to make it easier to focus on the most important work you need to complete.
     Minimize Distractions: Follow a routine that works for your family and your life, and keep a clean workspace. By drawing a distinct line between your home and work hours you can minimize distractions when working remotely.

Working remotely offers freedom and flexibility. For those with the right amount of discipline, and motivation it can be a dream come true!

About the Author: Catherine Way graduated from Michigan State University with her Bachelor of Advertising, with a specialization in Graphic Design. She is a content marketer for business, mortgage, and real estate industries. She has written real estate articles for Silver Doctors, The Paper Source, Active Rain, and Progressing Income. She enjoys finding new creative outlets through writing, designing, dancing, modeling and more. She currently writes and reports for  Prime Plus Mortgages:Hard Money Lenders

There's been a new construction project underway at the CityPlace Tower just outside of downtown Dallas to increase its office capacity and add to its current commercial activities. Nobody knows for sure yet what this major redevelopment project will look like at the end of this project, but the investment of $200 million in it certainly signals major amenity upgrades and parking space additions. The main investor in this property is Highland Capital Management, one of the top private equity firms in Dallas, although they did also receive financing from New York based firm Acore Capital. Highland Chairman and CEO James Dondero has said this project is about strategically renovating that urban area and carrying out what he believes the commercial property was begun for back in 1987.

As a firm, Highland Capital Management currently has $15 billion in AUM and prides itself on being one of the "most experienced global alternative credit managers." Real estate is just one of their many investment strategies in their portfolio which has large funds in healthcare, high-yield credit, fixed income investments, and other structured products and unique business situations. Highland Capital has also entered into some global partnerships for increased funding in some of their holdings including forming a major powerhouse with South Korea's Stonebridge Capital in 2017.

James Dondero has been with Highland Capital Management for just over 25 years going all the way back to its founding. He holds several accounting and investment management certifications including being a CPA, CMA and CFA. He received his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Virginia, and then for several years worked as a credit and corporate bonds analyst for American Express bank. Dondero's work as a portfolio manager there led Protective Life Insurance to hire him as Chief Investment Officer to oversee the founding of a subsidiary asset management firm, and in just a few years Dondero turned this subsidiary into a $2 billion AUM operation. With the help of fellow executive Mark Okada, this subsidiary grew and in 5 years spun out from its original parent company becoming known as Highland Capital. Over time Dondero was elevated to Chairman of the Board of Directors of Highland and it's affiliates which include NexBank and Nexpoint Advisors.

James Dondero has funded research, formed committees and helped host conferences at the George W. Bush Presidential Library on different business and financial topics including a recent exploration of cryptocurrency. He has also helped start other business initiatives including serving as a trustee at the SMU Cox School of Business in hopes of helping fund an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurship. Dondero has also established the Highland Foundation and has made a commitment to giving back to the community, and that included bringing Linda Owen on as head of the firm's charitable giving division. He also has sponsored veterans events and offered up to $1 million in grants for the Family Place, a domestic violence shelter in Dallas. He was later given the ReuNight Honorary Chair award at an event hosted by the organization.

While technology enables modern businesses to achieve profound levels of success, technology comes with a price. Various innovations have enabled the use of a remote workforce, improvements in communication and data sharing, globalization, e-commerce, connectedness through Internet 2.0 and numerous other benefits. These and other benefits of technology, however, have decreased the need for human labor in some cases, have negatively affected the environment and have had other consequences.

The largest and most influential companies have the ability to make a huge impact based on how they address these problems. In addition to the direct effects, their efforts may spur change in smaller companies. With China’s population exceeding 1.4 billion people, major corporations in this country are closely watched., which is the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, had made huge strides in the right direction. Richard Liu, who is the company’s founder and current CEO, actively guides his company toward completion of incredible improvements.

The company, which is also known as JingDong, had humble beginnings with several retail locations scattered across the country. However, when the SARS epidemic broke out, Richard Liu was forced to make strategic changes to the company’s operations. He transitioned the company to an e-commerce company, and today, it serves approximately 300 million customers regularly. More than that, its total customer base exceeds a billion people.

This e-commerce giant’s business model requires it to maintain large warehouses and a massive fleet of vehicles for deliveries. Liu recognized the impact that this business model has on the environment, and he took action. For many years, JingDong has regularly published a Corporate Social Responsibility Report to communicate its efforts and goals directly to stockholders and to the public. It outlines completed projects and initiatives that are planned or are in progress. recently released a new report, which outlined the completion of a large solar panel project in its Shanghai warehouse. Because of the magnitude of this project, the company dramatically reduced its overall reliance on fossil fuels for energy and its carbon footprint. This e-commerce company is not stopping there. It intends to complete other similar projects so that it covers a total of 77 square miles of its facilities with solar panels within the next 11 years. By doing so, JingDong would have the world’s largest system of roof-mounted solar panels.

This is only one of numerous projects outlined in this year’s report. For example, is actively transitioning its fleet of delivery vehicles to green energy vehicles. It is in the midst of a rollout of approximately 5,000 green vehicles to replace outdated gas-powered vehicles. The green vehicles include tricycle delivery vehicles that are powered by solar energy as well as vans and trucks that run off of hybrid, electric or hydrogen power. Within two years, the company anticipates that its entire fleet will be comprised of green vehicles.

In addition to these efforts, the company is moving away from the use of cardboard delivery boxes, which have a one-time use functionality. These are being exchanged for green boxes that can be re-used multiple times before being recycled. The company is also making a social impact by supporting some of China’s poorest rural communities. It has created 25,000 jobs in these impoverished areas to revive local economies. At the same time, it has improved delivery service to these areas to ensure that residents there had access to all of the products they need.

Richard Liu actively guides his company in these areas, and he continues to look for new ways to innovate positive change. His efforts have an immediate impact on the local economies and environment, but they reach farther. Companies around the world are watching his efforts and are being inspired to take positive steps toward change as well.