make working from home more productive

6 tips to make working from home more productive

With the shelter-in-place in effect in Northern California since last Tuesday, many of our clients, colleagues, friends and family members have had to make the shift from going to the office to working from home. At The Advisory Group, we are well set up to operate as a virtual office while continuing to deliver our service as usual. Since we are all working remotely (some with children home from school), we wanted to share a few tips we’ve learned this past week.

Make your life easier

  1. Upgrade your Internet service: Now that everyone is on your home internet service at the same time, you may experience slow or stalled service. Call your internet provider to find out if you are on an old plan or if your router is outdated.
  2. Get a TEP wireless device: If you live in a place with an unreliable internet connection, consider renting or buying a TEP wireless device. Available through your mobile service provider, these devices are most often used for laptops for international travel. But, they’ll work just as well on your laptop at home for internet access.
  3. Take a walk or run first thing in the morning: You’re probably going to be inside all day. Before you confine yourself, get fresh air and your heart pumping. Remember to keep your 6-foot social distance from other people who are doing the same thing.
  4. Set up in a room with a lot of sunlight: Natural light is good for your mental health, especially in isolating times. Bonus: you’ll look even better on video calls.
  5. Schedule a virtual social event: Don’t put your social life on hold. After your work day, happy hour or dinner with friends and extended family helps everyone’s spirits. You can also host a community coffee chat with other parents at your children’s’ schools or with member of a community organization in which you participate. Zoom allows for the gallery view so it feels like you’re all in the same room.
  6. Teach life skills: With the kids at home and busy schedules on hold, give your children of all ages more chores to help around the house. Load of laundry? Make dinner? They learn life skills, and you get help!

Help those around you

As we’ve also seen in each of our neighborhoods, support for other people and businesses is an essential part of navigating this COVID-19 pandemic. A few ways you can help:

  1. Check-in with neighbors. Call or email those around you whom you know may need help. Join and check the neighborhood app Nextdoor regularly to see ways you can contribute. [If you’re age 65 or older or fall into one of the higher risk groups, heed the advice of experts and stay inside. Lean on neighbors, children, grandchildren, or others looking for work to help you with your grocery shopping and trips to the pharmacy. Nextdoor works well for this!]
  2. Give where you can. If you have had to cancel your nannies, housekeepers, dog walkers, and so many of the service providers that you depend on, consider paying these people even though they cannot work for you right now. Even smaller amounts than usual will help.
  3. Support local restaurants. Buy restaurant gift certificates or food to go to help your favorite restaurants stay afloat during this challenging period. Visit for your local list.
  4. Donate supplies for healthcare worker protection. Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other supplies are running low at local hospitals. KQED compiled and verified a list of Bay Area places where you or your business can donate.

We’re all in this together

While we’re living with much uncertainty right now, the one thing we do know for certain is that we’re all in this together. We hope these tips help you, and we invite you to share your insights, ideas, and thoughts with us at

The information provided herein is for informative and educational purposes only. The use of hyperlinks to third party websites is not an endorsement of the third party. Third party content has not been independently verified. To understand how this content may apply to you, please contact a financial advisor.

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