Real story: 7 (more) work-from-home tips to keep you positive, productive & happy

Shot of an unrecognizable woman working from home

Last month, we shared some work-from-home tips from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. It turns out those weren’t the only good ideas our employees had!

Here are 7 more successful ideas from 4 BlueCross employees:

1. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t

Elizabeth Weidneaar: When I start to get down, I take a moment to think of all the opportunities we have because of COVID-19. Then, I identify something I can do now that I couldn’t do before, and I do it! I don’t want to miss out on this moment or waste this time.

Geoffrey Parker and his wife

Geoffrey Parker and his wife

2. Be smart with smart devices

Geoffrey Parker: I saw an article that discussed inadvertent smart-device triggers — things that make them start recording or listening. I realized I have two Alexas in my home that “wake up” and respond sometimes when I’m not talking to them. I didn’t want anything or anyone listening to my work conversations, especially since I’m an ISS professional. If you have a Google Home, Alexa or any other smart device, remember to mute the microphone, unplug it or move it away from your immediate work area.

3. Merge exercise and efficiency

Lucas Pozzi de Souza: I moved my rowing machine to my office, and I leave a couple resistance stretch bands around. That way I can take small exercise breaks throughout the day.

4. Schedule silence

Geoffrey Parker: To help with productivity, I keep my phone on vibrate and only check it during certain hours of the day. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.

Heather Smith and her kids

Heather Smith and her kids

5. Match your kids’ schedule with your own

Heather Smith: The first week working from home with my 3 children was a challenge. But, I’m not one to be easily defeated. Now I slate time for us to eat lunch together, or I do PE with them so I get my exercise too. During the time I have meetings, I have my children read a book or work on a quiet creative activity. I also have the kids get up and eat breakfast the same time we do so everyone is ready to start “work” at the same time.

Lucas and his dog, Maggie

Lucas and his dog, Maggie

6. Use technology to streamline your day

Lucas Pozzi de Souza: Here are 3 of my favorite hacks:

  • Use the bedtime feature on your phone. It sets your alarm, dims the screen and silences notifications to help wind down.
  • Pin OneNote (the Microsoft notes app) to the taskbar. Take and search notes often.
  • Schedule focus sessions for yourself in Calendar. Use those two hours a day to plug away on something uninterrupted.

7. Have an adventure 

Elizabeth Weidneaar: At the beginning of the pandemic, I broke up the day by going outside for a meeting or call. Then, one weekend I had to drive down to West Palm Beach to test drive a car. The clutch was broken, and I ended up having to work from a hotel room for two days while they fixed it.

At first, I felt really embarrassed that I took such a risk. Then I thought, “How amazing is this that I’m working from West Palm Beach?” I never would’ve done that crazy trip before teleworking. So, I made the most of it. I threw on my running shoes and ran along the ocean during my lunch hour. It was a glorious day, and it was wonderful exploring an area I’ve never been to before.

Ashley Brantley

Ashley Brantley has been writing about food, culture and health for more than a decade, and has lived in three of Tennessee’s four major cities (Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville).

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Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.