Working (or Not Working) from Home? Updated 30 March

Working (or Not Working) from Home? Advice from a Seasoned Remote Worker
Updated! 30 March 2020: Lots of new items today on remote workflow, virtual events, and free software for business teams. Look for New. These have been updated in the last week.

Toolfarm is a small company. We may have a large web presence but there are less than 12 of us spread across the United States. Yes, we’re used to working remotely. It’s the norm. However, we normally don’t have to deal with bored kids that can’t go out.

Working from home definitely has it’s perks. The relaxed dress code, the proximity of your own bathroom, working with your pets on your lap. There are definitely downsides though.

  • You’re ALWAYS at work.
  • Second, distractions!
  • Third, lack of social interaction (which is great if you’re an introvert)
  • Four, you’re your own IT person.

We will be updating this article during the week to give you our recommendations on how to successfully work from home, because right now, you probably don’t have a choice. Here are some things you can do to help your career. In addition, we’ll share  some tips on making sure your kids are also productive during this time. Right now though, we’ll share a list of articles and other resources to help you get through this quarantine.

We have heard about people losing their jobs in the sports media since the seasons are all shut down. We’ve learned that a lot of people are picking up jobs setting up remote video streaming for meetings, church services and more. Let us know what’s happening out there!

Working Remotely Roundup

Working from Home

10 Practical Tips for Effective At Home Teamwork. This is a huge infographic from Altergaze.

Remote Work Advocates Warn Companies About COVID-19 Work-From-Home Strategies from Forbes

SUCCEEDING FROM HOME: Here’s exactly how to thrive as a remote worker in the days of coronavirus

How to work from home with kids (without losing it)

How to Work From Home If You Have Kids – 9 Pro Tips

Remote workflows

Frame.IO has a new series about building remote video workflows

Best Practices for Adopting a Remote Post-Production Workflow – Frame.io

Ideas for editors and post-production people while in isolation or quarantine. Scott Simmons has some great ideas for you over at ProVideo Coalition.

VES Technology Committee WFH best practices and tips & tricks – information on how to work remotely with Foundry tools, Houdini, secure desktop solutions, and more.

Talking remote editing with the expert Michael Kammes

Stay Home and Stay Productive: Tips From a Fully Remote Company – Greyscalegorilla has lots of great tips for you.

Tips for small businesses

Tips for small businesses to stay connected, afloat during coronavirus shutdown

A Quick Guide to Business Continuity for Video Professionals. Free PDF from HubSpot

Free Software

Free tools and services for businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

New Get CG software for free during the coronavirus outbreak

Special Quarantine Offers, Free & Discounted Licenses. This page is kept updated with deals from Toolfarm and extended licenses and trials of products that we sell.

Other information

Nvidia’s calling on gaming PC owners to put their systems to work fighting COVID-19 – You can help.

What to do if you are out of work

Here’s a short list of good options if you have nothing but time. Be productive! Make good use of this downtime.

Online Events and Webinars

Check our webinars schedule for updates.

LinkedIn Learning and other training

Learn all sorts of software, storyboarding, screenwriting and more at LinkedIn Learning.

Note: Check your Library’s Website. My library has free access to LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com. There’s a link through the website and I have to log in with my library card. Check your library’s website. The link on my library’s site is pretty hidden and I stumbled across it one day accidentally.

Video Copilot – Learn about creating VFX, compositing, and more.

Free Visual Effects Courses at Skill Share

Pluralsight for 3D and VFX Skills

Action VFX

New Free SketchUp learning resources

The Artist’s Notebook

Richard Harrington is launching 3 weeks of free training and inspiration for creatives (photo/design/video). He says:

I am so amazed at the great folks who’ve stepped up and volunteered their time. We’ll be creating content for all the artists (and even teens) who are stuck on lockdown or out of work due to COVID-19.
But we need your help.
Could you help us out please?

1. We need Breakout room hosts. Meets 4-5:30 pm ET daily. You can do one day or multiple days. Just share a project and let people watch you work and ask questions (think of it like Twitch.tv).

If you can help send me a message… no need to go super fancy.. just share your workflow and chat with folks.
2. Please spread the word. These are bleak times and I’d like to keep the creative spark going. Please join this group and share it FAR and WIDE.
Everything we’re doing is 100% free… no strings… no hitches.
The Notebook Project

Setting up your office space

You’re probably already working at home at the kitchen table. If you’re lucky, you have an office that is quiet and distraction free. This quarantine is going to be a bit longer than we’d like so there are some things worth considering.


Make sure you’re in a comfortable position to work or you can really damage your neck, back, and even give yourself some carpal tunnel.


You can’t get the kids to stay quiet all of the time! Here are some ideas to help with noise. It’s probably easiest to sound proof the room where the kids hang out instead of your office.

Other online learning for you and your kids

If you’d like to learn something outside of our industry, or your kids need something else to do, here are some great links for you.

50 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free

Free online cooking classes – they’ve made them free during the quarantine

Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Coloring Books & More

Learn to draw

Google Arts & Culture

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings: Amazing Educational

Virtual Field Trips to zoos and other places

Khan Academy

Animorphs books are all online for free. Okay, this one is for your kids but it could keep them busy so you can get some work done.

Exercise & Mental Health

With gyms closed, how can you blow off the stress? Getting exercise will help everyone mentally and physically. There are loads of exercise videos on YouTube – everything from yoga to HIIT to Irish dance steps and Just Dance Videos. My yoga studio has moved to online classes at the schedule with Zoom.

Exercise for Free During Quarantine With These Apps

How We’re Staying Fit Through A Quarantine

Yoga with Adrien

Irish Dancing

The family lockdown guide: how to emotionally prepare for coronavirus quarantine

How You Can Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak

New Life Pro Tip Advice on managing extended periods away from the World

Featured Image Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Posted by Michele Yamazaki