It’s March 20th, 2020 and countless stories are flooding Denver about employers laying off their employees, children out of school until April 17th, 2020, and so many unknowns about Covid-19 and the world economy as more and more businesses are forced to close.

Many Coloradans have started looking for jobs working from home or have been forced into working from home for their current position which has lead to a common questions among all who are new to remote working.  As of March 20th, 2020 GOQAV is HIRING!!  Click Here for more info!

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What do I need, and how do I transition to working from home?

Most importantly you will need to practice a positive mindset, patience, and keep a schedule.

Social Distancing and isolation can lead to many forms of anxiety and depression so it’s important to stay active! Set a timer for every 55 minutes and get up from your space, move around, do jumping jacks, push ups, jog in place, and while keeping your arms above your head, open and close your hands quickly 100 times.

You’ll need some hardware and software such as a smart device or a computer and apps like Zoom, Airplay, Owl Labs, or Crestron Mercury. More info on these below!

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How to work from home with children.

With children at home it may be hard to focus and often times impossible, I know because I have 2 children, a 7month old and a 5 year old, but this may be especially complicated if you’re a single parent. So, if you’re a single parent, try to find a healthy friend who may also have children that you can trust and collaborate with to create a game plan for shifts, so you can have some undistracted time to focus. We are all in this together and nobody wants to try and do this alone, especially if you are learning to work from home.

If a friend or someone to help with the children is not an option, depending on the age of your child, “guided access” can be a good option on a smart device such as your iphone or ipad. Guided access gives you the ability to limit your device to a single app and lets you control which features will be available. Smart devices were never made to become baby sitters, but when used properly, with the tools provided you can have your child learning in no time without distraction while you get some work done.

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Children love to ask questions and did you know your smart device can play 20 questions with them?

This game will get you some needed time to get caught up on emails and incremental tasks such as writing blog posts, strategizing your marketing plan, or other personal tasks like making important phone calls to figure out your next steps during this pandemic. You’ll need the free alexa app on your ios or android phone to begin and an amazon account as well. Once installed and connected, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, play 20 questions.”

Your children can then think of an animal or a color or their favorite Disney movie for example and Alexa will ask questions for your child to say yes or no to until Alexa figures out what they are thinking! We play often in our house and it is actually a little creepy how accurate Alexa is at guessing what’s in your mind.

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Snacks and a movie will get you that 1.5 hours of time you need to do more mundane tasks.

Disney+ app is a gawwwwd send, let me tell you! For the minimal price of $10-12 a month you have access to all the greats and then some! We love watching Shop Class where young builders get teamed up with teachers and experts in the industry as they are tasked with designing, building, and testing unique creations! It’s such a fun show, and your children will learn, be encouraged, and get excited about new possibilities as they imagine what their little minds can dream up.

Educational shows will free up some much needed time and with some noise canceling headphones or earbuds you can turn on some coffee jazz or music of your choice while you get to work. As mentioned above, the tv and smart devices are never meant to be baby sitters so please use caution when using these strategies and monitor time allotted.

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The tech you’ll need to work from home.

There are many options and varieties of what you need regarding the technology and automation that makes working from home easy! I have been working from home for 10 years and here is my go-to list of tech.

Zoom – is the industry standard but you can use Google Hangouts for Free!

When it’s time to meet with your client virtually and professionally there are some options to consider. Most of the time your computer audio or phone audio will do just fine but you can always upgrade. Many people use headphones with the built in microphone on the wire and that is certainly a step up in regards to audio quality but to take it one step further you could use a USB style microphone like the snowball blue.

Photo by Manny Pantoja

Plus side to using Zoom over Google Hangouts

If you want to record your call, you’ll want to use Zoom.

If you want to swap your background for anything you choose, you’ll want to use Zoom. Virtual backgrounds is a pretty cool feature Zoom offers as many of our home spaces do not provide the ideal background as is, however due to the world’s circumstances, I don’t think anyone is going to care what’s in the background so don’t overthink it!

If you want more than 25 participants to join in on your video call, you’ll want to use Zoom. Google Hangouts caps at 25.

Zoom actually has many amazing features however if you’re just getting started and finances are tight due to a recent lay-off, Google Hangouts will do just fine for you.