Tips for working from home
During the current Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, many people that have the ability to work from home are now doing that. Working from home is a BIG change from working in an office environment. I know this because I made that adjustment from the corporate cube-farm world to working from home, and I have been working from home for 15 years now. In fact, our entire office is a virtual office. All of our REALTORS and employees work from home. We usually meet clients at coffee shops and houses. That’s the beauty of being a REALTOR. Right now we are also shifting our business to help our clients with less human interaction and more technology – just like so many other businesses. Here are some tips for working from home that I learned through trial and error over the years. I hope these help you as you transition to your work from home job.
Set your alarm – get up on time
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you don’t have to get up and start your day before you are supposed to be at work. Do NOT try to roll out of bed 10 minutes before you are supposed to “be at work”.
Follow your normal morning routine
Keep doing what you did when you went to the office. If you got up and showered, ate breakfast, had coffee, got dressed and got the kids ready…..then you need to do all of those things before you go to work at home too. While your commute just got shorter, you still need to be ready for your day before heading to the “office”.
See the note above. Get up, get dressed…THEN go to work. Do not go to work in your pajamas. Especially if you might be on a video conference call. However, even if you don’t actually need to see anyone (or better yet, them see you) it will make you more productive just by getting dressed. There is a funny joke on Facebook right now about changing out of your daytime pajamas into your night time pajamas. The struggle is real. However, IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU GET UP AND GET DRESSED.
** it should also go without saying, if you are in fact new to the world of Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts; please know that others on the call can see you. Make sure you are dressed and do not do anything that you wouldn’t want others to see.**
Set up your office space
If you don't have a dedicated home office space, then it's time to get one. It doesn't have to be a separate room (but that could be helpful if you have small kids, so you can shut the door if needed). Even if you just move your dining table into a corner and use a cardboard box for your file cabinet - get a space and dedicate it to work for the next few weeks while you are in quarantine and working from home. You may even want to add a wall calendar or other decor to make it seem more like a work space.
Set your work hours
It’s very easy to work all day, work through lunch, and also work into the evening. Make sure you take a break during the day for lunch. Get up and walk around the house or just stretch in the living room, eat lunch away from your desk, and then head back to work. Make sure you have a time of day that you will turn it off (this is the hardest part for those of us who are self-employed).
Get some exercise
If your Fitbit usually says you get 10,000 steps walking around at your office, to/from your car, and to/from kids activities, keep a goal of still getting those steps in. You will be sorely surprised to see how few steps you take from the bedroom to the study. If you are in a place where the weather is good and you are allowed to walk outside, then take a stroll. If you can’t go outside, consider working out in your living room. There are free workout videos on Youtube, Amazon, and Netflix. If you already work out but your gym is closed, then modify your routine to allow for working out from home.
Talk on the phone
If your job requires you to actually speak to people, that is great. However, if you have the type of job that allows you to sit quietly with your computer most of the day, plan to call friends/family after work. You still need to have that human interaction. Without it you will start to feel more isolated. It’s good for your sanity to actually speak and hear others talk to you.
I hope that you are finding ways to stay connected. We are all adjusting, shifting, and learning to accept change. Take care of yourself as you find your way into your new normal.
Stay healthy. Be well. We are all in this together.
About the author:
Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country. She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed. She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry. Connect with her at https://www.northtexastopteam.com/melissa-hailey/