Even as we begin spending more time out and about, it seems many businesses may transition to accommodate remote offices long term. Working from home may be our new normal. As a result, the National Association of Realtors predicts that having some sort of home office will be an even higher priority for shopping homeowners in the coming months and even years.
A survey conducted by Houzz found that currently a little less than half of homeowners work from a home office, while the other half work from their dining room table, kitchen counter, or living room couch. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, here are some helpful tips to keep your time working from home as productive and balanced as possible.
1. Create Boundaries – If you have a room to retreat to for work each day, great! Close the doors to remind the rest of the household that someone inside is hard at work. If you do not have a home office, make a family announcement that designates the space you have chosen to work. Especially with small children, it might even be fun to tape off a square or circle on the ground around you; that way they know that when mom or dad is in the circle, they are not to be disturbed. It will also help you remember that while in the circle there are tasks to be accomplished and productivity to be had. Designating a section of your home as your office should also serve to physically organize your space when home may seem more chaotic than usual. All work papers and materials in the space are specific to work and are not to be moved or disrupted.
2. Get Ready – As of late, the days are running together a little bit. It is hard to find motivation to stick to your normal routine. Nevertheless, doing some of the simplest tasks (i.e. brushing your teeth, doing your hair or make up, putting on deodorant or cologne, and changing out of your sweatpants) can remind your body of its natural rhythm and encourage a snowball effect of motivation and productivity.
3. Stick to a Schedule – Know when you are beginning and ending your work day. Know when you are taking breaks and planning on eating lunch. Maybe even set alarms so you can monitor those expectations.
4. Set the Mood – Consider your typical workspace. What temperature is it usually? Do you have music playing? Mimic your normal office space to the best of your ability. It might trick you into thinking you are actually at the office. Avoid having the television on in the background or adding in other unnecessary distractions. Lighting a candle or playing with the lighting in your space might also help stimulate your senses. The most productive light combination that will also avoid eye strain from a computer glare is layered lighting. Open your blinds to allow natural light and turn on various lights in the room. While it depends on your personal preferences, your work space should generally be quiet, calming, and bright.
5. Stay Positive – It has also been easy during quarantine to get bogged down in the fear, confusion, and negativity that comes with these unprecedented circumstances. But while it feels like life has been put on hold, alas it is still happening all around us. Focus on the positive aspects of your day, especially in work. Make a list of tasks to accomplish and check them off as you go so you can visualize your progress. Celebrate your little victories and maybe even create a reward system that involves a treat or a half hour of your guilty pleasure tv show. Positivity often begets productivity.
6. Strive for Balance Not Perfection – That being said, we all need to give ourselves a little grace right now. Work will help us stay sane but so will puzzles with the family, sunny walks outside, and a homemade happy hour cocktail just because. Try to find joy in this discomfort because there will be parts even of this hectic time that you will look back on fondly and miss. Like all things, good and bad, this too shall pass.
Now and long into the future, Corken + Company provides you real estate solutions without limits. Let’s find your dream home and make sure it has that dream home office that will be coming in especially handy.