725-867-8495 WWW.ASKEROTHLAW.COM MAY 2020 7 TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
From a Year of Personal Experience
No. 2 Request that your employer invest in Slack (or if you’re a business owner, consider investing in it yourself) for workplace messaging and communication. Slack is a free program that allows you to message on various channels with team members to discuss the projects you’re working on. I use this with my own team, and it has drastically cut back on emails, especially internal ones. For anyone working from home, it’s a good way for you to keep the communication flowing since you can no longer physically pop into someone’s office. With Slack, you can virtually pop into their office and ask a question at any time. No. 3 Consider upgrading your internet service since more people are using their home networks right now. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to work from home without internet access. Recently, we had an internet outage at my house for a few hours in the afternoon, and it completely shut down everything. My kids couldn’t work on their classwork, and I was unable to check my emails, work on my files, or conference via video. Everything ground to a halt. If you can invest in upgrading your internet, I would highly recommend it. It’ll make you more productive and help you avoid a lot of headaches. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of internet service providers in Las Vegas, where I live. However, I recently switched out my service provider to a new company, and my service has greatly improved. No. 4 Try not to work in your pajamas — despite how tempting it is. Getting dressed for the day before starting work will help you get in the mindset to work. I’ve found that going through my morning routine as if I were going into the office actually helps me be more productive. Obviously, you don’t need to wear a suit and tie, but don’t roll out of bed and immediately jump on your laptop. It can lead to a lack of focus and productivity. If you spend some time getting ready for the day, your mind switches to work mode and it’s easier to jump right into the tasks you need to get done that day.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, a lot of people are working from home who never have before. At Askeroth Law Group, we have some experience with this practice because for the past year, we’ve allowed our employees to work remotely or from home. If it’s feasible (as it should be in many industries), business owners should encourage their teams to work remotely. As an owner of a business myself, I’ve learned that when my employees work from home, they’re more productive, efficient, and generally happier overall. It benefits everyone, including our clients. Over the past year, my team and I have learned a few things from our experience working from home that I’d like to share with you in the hopes that it can help you become more comfortable with your new normal. No. 1 Focus on the ergonomics of your workspace. If you’re working from a laptop, as many are, a wireless keyboard and mouse might be beneficial, especially if you do a lot of typing. Laptops are great tools to have, but when you’re working from home and spending several hours on a cramped keyboard, it can lead to burnout. Invest in a keyboard and mouse that will give you the space you need. When it comes to ergonomics, you should also consider getting a good chair. You don’t want to be sitting in your recliner or a kitchen table chair for eight hours while you work. This will lead to cramped muscles and back pain. I speak from experience here! If you’re able, invest in a good office chair, and a good desk if possible, to reduce those aches and increase your productivity.
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to try and keep the same work hours for a couple of reasons. First, people are expecting you to work during your regular hours, which makes it easier for them to get in touch with you. Second, if you normally work from 8–5, it’s easier for your brain to transition from personal time to work time if you stick to that schedule. Bonus Tools I’d also like to recommend a few tools that have been incredibly useful to my team during this time and the past year. In addition to Slack, my team and I like to use Zoom, a videoconference app that allows us to set up quick meetings with clients, coworkers, and vendors. We also use Calendly for calendar scheduling, which eliminates the back and forth of trying to set up calendar appointments. Both Zoom and Calendly offer free options and have increased our productivity significantly when working remotely. Another great resource is LinkedPhone, which is a virtual reception service for small businesses and entrepreneurs. In these difficult times, we encourage all of you to keep in touch and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you. Hopefully these tips will assist some of you in working from home, especially those who end up working remotely on a permanent basis. If you have any questions about remote work, please feel free to reach out to us. We’ve worked out many systems and processes (not all mentioned here) that allow us to stay productive and serve our clients in the best way possible.
No. 5 If you can, set up a separate workspace apart from the rest of your house. Try to avoid the kitchen table! The kitchen is probably the worst place to work because it’s the center of life at home. You’ll be constantly interrupted by family going in and out as they get something to eat. Even if you don’t have family, it will be tempting for you to get up and grab snacks throughout the day, which can lead to some unwanted weight gain and poor eating habits. Your workspace doesn’t have to be its own room either. Carve out some space in the bedroom or a room you don’t use often, but make sure it’s out of the way so you won’t get constantly interrupted. No. 6 Organize your time by blocking it. Time blocking, a method I use, is a productive way to break up your day and dedicate a few hours to work on specific tasks. I block out hours at a time to focus on specific projects, cases, phone calls, and whatever else I might need to do that day. Usually, the first thing I do when I get up is review my task list that I worked on the day before and block out time on my calendar to accomplish those tasks. If I don’t do this, a lot of my time gets filled with interruptions that aren’t on my task list. While you’re blocking out your own time, make sure to put in a few breaks, which is especially important when you’re working from home. I like to go for a walk around the block because that means I get to take my dog out with me. For 10–15 minutes we get some fresh air; he enjoys it, I enjoy it, and it’s a great way to break up the day. No. 7 Try to keep the same schedule you’d have if you were going into the office. It’s tempting to sleep in and start work late at home, but I’ve found it’s best HEALTH BENEFITS OF FAMILY GARDENING Give Your Kid the Gift of a Green Thumb Springtime often means nicer weather and more time spent outside, but it also means it’s gardening season. That means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and play in the dirt. If you’ve been searching for a way to get the kids away from technology and engaged with the real world, gardening is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. Not only is it fun, but it’s also beneficial for your kids’ development. For example, gardening can improve your children’s analytical abilities. As Dr. Wendy Matthews says, “Gardening exercises important reasoning, initiation, planning, and organization skills.” Furthermore, several studies, including one at Texas A&M University, suggest that gardening improves a child’s attitude toward fruits and vegetables and may make them more likely to choose them as snacks. Gardening helps kids identify with where their food is coming from, and nothing tastes better than a freshly picked strawberry or pea pod they grew themselves. Jack Gilbert, a scientist at the University of Chicago and a parent himself, and his co-author, Rob Knight, emphasize the health benefits of garden time in their book, “Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s
Developing Immune System.” The two found that exposure to different microbes, like those found in a garden, strengthens a child’s immune system and makes them less likely to develop allergies. If this is your first time gardening, you don’t need much to get started. Grab a few shovels, a pair of gloves for each family member, and fresh potting soil, and you’ll be set. Then, you can decide together which plants you’d like to grow! Carrots are fun because of the surprise factor — just imagine your child discovering that the part they eat grows below the ground! Peas are tasty and fairly easy to grow, as are strawberries. The options really are endless. Depending on the growing season in your area, you can choose to buy seeds or opt for rooted plants. Last but certainly not least, the best part of gardening as a family is the healthy, fresh produce you’ll get to enjoy all summer long!
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WORKERS’ COMP CORNER Understanding the Nevada Stress Injury Statute
GRILLED PRIME RIB
Inspired by Primal Palate
Anyone can experience a stressful work environment, no matter where they’re employed. Stress and work often go hand in hand, unfortunately. However, under Nevada law, a person must meet specific requirements to file a valid stress claim under a workers’ compensation case. Under the Nevada Stress Claim Statute, any stress condition “caused by any gradual mental stimulus” is excluded from coverage. This means that most mental conditions caused by anxiety or stress due to a difficult work environment are generally not covered. The statute, found in 616C.180, explains how one might qualify for a stress claim under Nevada law. Here are some of the important criteria for a valid stress claim. First, the employee must have had a mental injury caused by extreme stress in a time of danger. Second, the primary cause of the injury must be an event that arose out of or during the course of employment. And lastly, the stress must not be caused by a layoff, termination, or any disciplinary action. Usually, when litigating this issue, the acceptance of the claim turns on the first factor: whether the injury was caused by extreme stress in time of danger.
Again, gradual accumulation of stress caused by a difficult work environment is not covered by workers’ comp. For example, say you have a boss who is causing you stress because they are overdemanding, inconsiderate, or just plain rude. Their behavior causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. While the situation might cause you anxiety, it’s not likely to be covered under a stress claim through workers’ compensation. However, if police officers find themselves involved in an on-duty shooting and witnesses to a traumatic incident, they would likely have a viable stress claim under the statute because this would be considered an event of extreme stress in a time of danger. In sum, it’s generally difficult to get a stress claim accepted under Nevada law unless the employee has been exposed to a traumatic event. The usual stress and anxiety caused by a toxic work environment generally does not qualify. However, if you have any questions regarding such a workplace, you should talk with a lawyer as you may qualify for relief or compensation under other laws outside of workers’ compensation.
1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling.
2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F.
3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side.
4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.
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10785 W. Twain Avenue, Suite 270 Las Vegas, Nevada 89135
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How to Get the Most From Working Remotely
What Is Gardening Good For?
When to File a Stress Claim Grilled Prime Rib
Outside Activities to Look Forward To!
TOM’S TOP 3 HIKES In the Las Vegas Valley Many of us have been spending a lot of time outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdown in an attempt to get some
HISTORIC RAILROAD TRAIL (RAILROAD PASS HIKE) Located by Lake Mead, this hike is easy, flat, and family- and pet-friendly, making it a great outing to do with small children or even on a bike. The most interesting features on this trail are the enormous tunnels through the mountain. Workers who built the Hoover Dam used this old railroad path to access the dam. Now, the railroad rails have been removed, and the path is graded flat, which makes it great for family bike rides. LONE MOUNTAIN TRAIL This short summit hike northwest of the city’s center is just inside the Las Vegas Beltway. It is perfect for a quick getaway and workout. It’s truly an urban hike because the mountain is located in the city. The summit, about 600 feet, gives an incredible view of the valley and surrounding mountains. The trail is a bit steep but short, making it doable with kids and pets. However, there are a few spots on the hike that are somewhat dangerous, so be sure to keep a close eye on those you bring along. Keep these trails in mind and give yourself something to look forward when you feel the need to get out of the house!
fresh air. Thankfully, the Las Vegas area has plenty of hiking trails you can enjoy with your family. Of the many that I’ve explored over the years, these three are some local favorites just a few minutes out of town. KRAFT MOUNTAIN LOOP (GATEWAY CANYON LOOP) This hike is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, but unlike the popular Red Rock Canyon Loop trail, it’s a lot less crowded and doesn’t require an entry fee, which is why I like it so much. The hike, a little over 3 miles, borders Calico Basin, a petrified sand dune, and can be hiked in either direction. If you start the hike traveling north, it runs up steep slopes to a saddle with great views of the Red Rock and Calico Canyon area below. Then it drops down into a canyon, passing through some easy rock scrambling, seasonal pools, and a few oak tree groves. Though the steep areas may be tough for some, most of the hike is moderate to easy and good for families.
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