Tips for Working From Home
For most of my adult life, I have dreamt about having a job where I could work from home. Now, during the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Governor's Order to close all non-life sustaining businesses, I’m finding myself among the fortunate ones who can continue to work from home. Now that I’m working from home, I’ve realized it’s not quite what I expected. Don’t misinterpret that last sentence, I’m happy that I’m able to continue working and grateful that the Law Offices of Peter J. Russo, P.C., had the foresight to implement remote technology before this situation. The fact is that working from home, rather than in the office is different, both in good ways and in bad ways. Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed not commuting to work, wearing sweatpants most of the day, and the ability to make what I want for lunch. Conversely, I’ve learned that it’s not easy staying productive at home because I’m surrounded by more distractions than at the office. Since I began working from home, I have made some adjustments and I’ve identified some strategies that have helped with the transition. The following are a few steps I have taken to help keep me focused while avoiding distractions.

Isolate Your Workspace: For people with children, this may not be possible. I find that keeping my workspace, physically separated from the rest of my apartment helps me to stay on task.This prevents my mind from wandering off task and it also provides me with the peace of mind that no one will disrupt my files when I’m not there. If you don’t have somewhere you can devote to turning into your own home office, try to partition a corner of a room with the least amount of foot traffic. Explain to everyone in your household the importance of keeping your workspace organized and segregated. An added advantage is that this helps me maintain confidentiality because I know the confidential materials and communication I work with will be contained in a single area that I have control over. In many fields, maintaining confidentiality is equally important. Finally, isolating your workspace can contribute to your well being by removing reminders of work from the rest of your house, so you can enjoy your downtime.

Block-Out the Noise: Where I live, I share a wall with my neighbors on both sides. While I do not have children, both neighbors have multiple children and dogs. The noise generated on either side can last most of the day and it's worst when it’s coming from both sides at the same time. To drown out the noise, I’ve become familiar with a large array of YouTube channels that play soft music and ambient white noise. My computer speakers work just fine but for those of you in cramped spaces with others who may be bothered by this, you should consider purchasing a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Maintain Office Hours: Nothing derails my focus quite like a phone call or text message from a friend or family member in the middle of the workday. While it’s understandable that many people are reaching out to check-in on the ones they care about during these unprecedented times, there is a time for that, and the middle of the workday is not the proper time. When I’m in the office, I don’t have friends or family members frequently popping in to say hi. The same is true when I’m working from home. I explained to my friends and loved ones that I’m maintaining office hours and that I would prefer not to be disturbed during those hours unless it’s an emergency.

Become Familiar with Technology-Based Communication: Now more than ever, people are relying on technology to communicate. There is a vast array of different products and applications available, on phones, tablets, and computers, which allow you to keep in touch with work colleagues and clients. Most are available for free or for a small fee. These products offer an alternative to holding a physical meeting with people. Video conferencing technology allows a multitude of people to participate in real-time sessions where individuals can see each other, hear each other, and fully interact without everyone being physically present at the same location. I became familiar with video conferencing technology about 2 years ago and have been using it ever since.

Make Time for Yourself:  Just like you don’t want your personal life encroaching on your work life, the same is true in reverse. Find the time to do something you enjoy. Enjoy a few hours of outdoor time when the weather is nice. Get away from your computer screen, put the phone on silence and concentrate on completing something on your personal To-Do List. Just last weekend, when the weather was nice, I got my garden cleaned up and ready for spring planting. It was refreshing to get outside and not have work on my mind. This time allows me to unwind and focus on my personal life. Self-maintenance is the foundation of a healthy and productive life.

By following these steps, you will be on your way to maximizing your productivity while working from home, without sacrificing the quality of your personal life.

Isaac Huggins at Law office of Peter J Russo offering online legal assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic so that you can preserve your legal rights while staying safely at home. Contact him at 717-591-1755.

Simply the Best 2020
Voting begins April 15, 2020, and ends June 15, 2020. You may vote once per category during the voting period.
How to Coparent Amid Pandemic
Over the last month or so, parents have had to struggle to co-parent amid an international health crisis. Coparenting can be difficult even in the most ideal of times but considerably more challenging during a pandemic. Here are some tips to help you during this time.
Review Your Court Order
Your court order may include useful information that can provide you with guidance during this time, such as:
  • Regular parenting time
  • What to do in case of an illness or emergency
  •  Alternative ways to complete parenting time
  • What to do if you and the other parent disagree about healthcare or other important aspects of your child’s life

Typically, you will still observe the school schedule while students are completing distance learning even if schools are physically closed.

Work Together
This is admittedly an unprecedented time. You and the other parent should strive to work together and put your child’s interests above all else. Try to work out solutions together that respect your parenting relationship and try to be flexible.

Consider Mediation
If you reach an impasse, we can help you reach an amicable resolution through mediation.
Work Life Balance
How to Make Working from Home a Success 
With more people now working from home more than ever before, it is important to take steps to make your work from home reality a success. Here are a few tips to do just that:

Choose the Right Location
You need a place that resembles an office where you can be productive. If you have a home office, great! If not, you may be able to create a niche in a closet, bookshelf or corner in another room. Try to create physical and emotional distance from the rest of your home by putting up a divider of some sort or even a sign that says that you are working.

Set Daily Goals
Get your workday off on the right track by setting daily goals that you can accomplish. Since you have greater flexibility, you can maximize productivity by working when you are most alert. You can take lunch when you feel hungry. Keep in contact with your boss and team so that everyone knows where you are at on assignments.

Take a Break
Just as you have breaks at work, you will also need to take occasional breaks while working from home. This gives you a great chance to boost your energy and clear your mind.
Meet Our Attorneys
Peter J. Russo
Kara W. Haggerty
David C. Dagle
Kathleen M. Gingrich
Megan Danielle Strait
How to Take Care of Your Health While Sheltering in Place
Do not let the current pandemic cause you to sacrifice your health. The important “good diet and exercise” advice still applies, even if you are sheltering in place.
A well-balanced diet consists of:
  • A variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Plant and animal proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Proteins

Eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure that you get all of the essential nutrients you need for good health.

You should also aim for at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity and try to get your kids a minimum of one hour a day. Some ways to do this while in quarantine include:
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood if you are allowed to
  • Take an online exercise class
  • Play active video games
  • Dance
  • Play with your kids or pets
Funny Quarantine Jokes
“If you need 144 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, you probably should have already been seeing your doctor before the coronavirus outbreak.”

“There will be a baby boom in nine months. Then, in 2033, we will all witness the rise of the quaranteens.”

“Got this big roll of toilet paper as a gag for Christmas. Who is laughing now?”

“Every disaster movie begins with the government ignoring a scientist.”

“For the first time in history, you can help save humanity by sitting on the couch, watching TV and surfing the internet. For God’s sake, do not mess this up.”
Fields of Law
  Here’s an overview of the fields of law our attorneys' practice.
• Criminal Law  

• Family Law  

• Real Estate Law  

• Business Law  

• Employment Law  

• Civil Litigation  

• Commercial Litigation  

• Workers' Compensation

Phone:  717-591-1755 | Toll Free:  888-743-4470 | Fax:  717-591-1756