Many people have been asked to work from home in order to practice social distancing – a crucial step in stopping the spread of COVID-19. At Hollyburn, we’re doing our part by encouraging our regional teams to work remotely when possible, limiting access to on-site offices, and stopping all in-person apartment tours (note: FaceTime and Skype showings are still an option if you’re looking for an apartment for rent). We do this as our resident and employee health and safety is always our top priority.
There are some pros to working from home (shout out to no commuting!). But, for those who are new to being remote, it may be a more difficult transition than expected.
Below are 5 tips to help you make the transition to working from home during COVID-19
1. Keep Your Routine
For many, this transition has come from an uncertain situation, so maintaining a sense of normalcy as best you can is an important step in safeguarding your mental health. It also encourages productivity and creates structure throughout the day. An easy way to keep your routine is to wake up at the same time and get ready for the day the same way you would if you were headed to the office. Yes, this means shower, brush your teeth and get dressed!
Tip: Try to stick to your bedtime routine and go to sleep at a similar time as well.
2. Create a Dedicated Workspace
When working from home, you’ll likely find yourself just a few feet from your comfy couch or cozy bed. Fight these temptations by creating a dedicated workspace that will allow you to focus on the task at hand. In rental apartments, space can pose a challenge here. So, even if your dedicated workspace is also your kitchen table (and your coffee table), do something during work hours to differentiate it. Adding a plant, a photo frame, or a table lamp can help give it the feeling of a desk or work area and are easy to remove when the clock strikes 5 o’clock.
3. Set Boundaries
The risk of burn out when working remotely is real. It’s easy to roll out of bed, hop on your computer – and with no distractions or social cues – it’s also easy to work straight through lunch and on past 5 o’clock. So, if you’re not careful with clear set boundaries, you may find yourself working round the clock and end up feeling exhausted. Try setting a timer on your phone for 12:00pm to remind you that it’s time for lunch, and another to mark the end of the workday. Having your workspace so near to your couch and bed also poses the opportunity to “just quickly check your inbox” during off hours. This is another reason why having a dedicated workspace is so important.
4. Connect with Co-Workers
Working from home can get lonely, fast. Especially given the circumstances we’re in now that eliminates the option of taking your work to a local café to get some social interaction. Enter technology! Technology can be your saving grace to staying sane while working remotely. Make sure to schedule a FaceTime or video-conference call with co-workers at least once a week to maintain social connection. This virtual “face-to-face” communication can quickly give you the feeling that you’re back in the office, plus it gives you a reason to get dressed in the morning.
Tip: Zoom and Google Hangouts are reliable and relatively glitch-free!
5. Take Breaks
Typically, when you’re at the office you need to get up to chat with a colleague or head to the lunchroom to satisfy your 3:00pm sweet tooth. Without these signals, remember to move your body throughout your days at home. A quick 5-minute stretch, a few laps around your living room, or a moment of fresh air on your balcony can give your mind the break it needs and boost productivity.
Tip: When setting your timer for lunch and end of day, add in at least two 5-minute break times to ensure you’re working smartly and efficiently. We suggest 10:00am and 3:00pm.
Good luck & stay healthy, everyone!
To learn more about what Hollyburn is doing and how you can help, visit: www.Hollyburn.com