The Street Smart Law Blog

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  • Frederick L Shelton

4 Tips to Remote Working, from a Virtual CEO

I’m the head of a national legal recruiting firm that has been operating on a virtual platform for years. With the covid-19 pandemic, a lot of attorneys need to learn how to work from home as effectively as we work in an office.

Here are 4 Tips to help, using the SHED acronym:

Schedule. Schedule your day as if you were working at the office. Get up at the same time, take lunch at the same time and so on. If you have a 30 minute commute, then you have the luxury of sleeping or relaxing an extra 30 minutes but make sure you are at your work space, at the same time you would normally be. If you're a self-starter, you'll actually to more work and be able to work out a permanent, remote position. That's where most positions are going anyway. Be ahead of the curve.

Health. If you don’t have a home office, make sure your work space isn’t on a couch or something that has your back slouched all day. This is insidious and you won’t realize you’ve hurt yourself until you're already in need of chiropractor. So make sure both your back and neck are not in positions that will cause you pain later.

Environment. Make sure you have as much control as is possible, over your working environment. If you have small children, pets, a loud gardener, nearby traffic etc., try to find a compartmentalized environment that will allow you to stay focused on your work. This is especially true if you will be video conferencing. I was once on a video conference with several people, when a woman’s boyfriend walked by behind her, in his bathrobe. A moment later, we heard the toilet flushing. The poor woman was mortified when she realized what had just happened. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

Distractions. If you want to work effectively from home, you absolutely must avoid choice-based distractions like watching television, doing a load of laundry etc. This was actually my Achilles Heel when I first started working from my house. “Why not catch a quick half hour of the news?” I thought. The next thing I knew, I’d been watching tv for two hours. While I would still do some work, I definitely didn’t have the same level of focus or production. It’s simple to figure out what you should and should not do during working hours by asking yourself this question: “Would I be doing this if I were at the office?”

We will get through this. For now, we just need to adapt.

By the way, the shed in the picture was where I lived for months, as a homeless teen (it wasn't as nice then). I went back to take a picture it so that I am always reminded of both my humble beginnings and what I can accomplish.

Frederick Shelton

CEO, Shelton & Steele