I’m sure you dreamt of “working from home” a time or two, right? As a realtor, maybe you already telework occasionally? These things may seem convenient at the time, but do they feel the same when it isn’t an option? As you all know, realtors are among so many other working professionals that have been forced to stay away from “the office” setting to practice social distancing requirements. While you are typically out and about throughout the day anyway, having an office as a home base for preparing documents, printing resources, and handling phone calls is now only a distant memory.
Here are 8 tips for maintaining balance while working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak:
ROUTINE: This may be one of the most important steps to take while working from home during this time. Although it may seem appealing to sleep in and arrive to work in your pajamas, don’t. Eventually, life will resume and it will only be that much harder to get into your “normal” routine if you’ve been sleeping in. In an effort to help alleviate unwanted stress, make sure you are getting up around the same time you normally would, and take the time to shower and put on your work attire, or at least something other than pajamas. Doing this will create a mindset ready for work! As much as possible, try to stick to your regular routine. With so much change going on in the world, your routine is something you can control (to a degree).
CREATE YOUR AT HOME COMMUTE: If you are able to get up at your normal time, you may find yourself with extra time lingering by not commuting to the office! Use this to create your home commute. Make some coffee, eat breakfast, catch up with your family, or take some time to read a book. Find something to ground yourself while you have some extra time in the morning! You may be surprised how much it helps ;)
DESIGNATED OFFICE SPACE: It is extremely important to create a designated office space when working from home. This can look a bit different for each person, but you will see productivity decrease if you try to work from your bed, trust me. Make sure you have a space where you can sit up, and that has good lighting, and can be somewhat free from distractions. Do you have an office? Great, dust off the desk, move the laundry and get to work! If you don’t, that is okay too! Use your kitchen table, or move to the kitchen counter if you want to stand up once in a while. This one may be difficult if you have children or a partner also residing at home during your work day, but try the best you can to set boundaries during this time. Doing so will help everyone feel more productive.
PLAN MEETINGS AROUND FAMILY MEMBERS: If possible and within reason, it may be helpful to plan your zoom meetings, phone calls, etc around your family members. For example, if your children are busy eating, it may be a good time to step back and make some phone calls. Unless they are younger and need supervision, of course. If that is the case, utilize nap times to do your phone conversations and digital meetings. It can become very stressful to repeat yourself, or worry about how things are sounding at your house on the other line. Perhaps, if your partner is also home, you can coordinate breaks with these meetings.
TAKE BREAKS AND EAT A NORMAL LUNCH: Remember, just because you are home does not mean you need to sit at the computer all day! Get up and move around, grab water, go to the restroom, etc when you need to. Working from home has a lot of benefits, but it can also suck you into your computer for hours at a time if you let it. Be mindful of how long you are on the computer before taking breaks. As for lunch, I know the pantry is right beside you, but it could be helpful to eat lunch as you normally would at work. Eating a large meal and 37 cookies just because they are there may lead to you feeling sluggish in the second part of your day. I say from experience, hold off on the snacky snacks until you’re done working. One great part of this experience is that you may be able to eat lunch daily with your family now. Use this time to connect with them and make a plan for the second half of the day!
CONNECT WITH YOUR TEAM VIRTUALLY: As a realtor, you may be a lone wolf a lot of the time, but if you work out of an office, you still see your colleagues every day! Missing this interaction can sneak up on you quickly, and isolation will set in. If you can, set up a time each week (or a few times) to connect with your office for a digital coffee break or happy hour. Talk about your struggles and triumphs working from home, share your new found technology hacks, rant about your new “coworkers” and their silly antics. Whatever you do...Just. Stay. Connected. You will thank yourself when this is over.
UNPLUG AFTER THE WORKDAY: In order to maintain work life balance, this piece is crucial. Working from home is unique because it allows you to manage your home life and work life at the same time, but this can also be very difficult, especially in times like these. I encourage you to shut down your computer, close your laptop, and put your phone on do not disturb when it is time to stop working. Creating boundaries for your employees, colleagues, clients etc. is extremely important right now to ensure you are not overworking yourself. Family present or not, it is imperative you have some time to relax at home without thinking about work. Since not many of us are leaving the house these days, it is highly likely you will work yourself into burnout if boundaries are not created and followed.
BE FLEXIBLE: Lastly, please remember that this is a time of uncertainty, for everyone. Your clients are likely very stressed about selling, buying, and moving during these times. Your children are probably jumping off the couches and living in the pantry. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has been impacted by this virus in some way or another and we are all just doing the best we can to make it through each day. These are just guidelines to help make your day a little less stressful, but things will happen and that is okay! And remember, whoever you are working with or for is also going through these changes and the stress that comes along with it. Extending grace to others and kindness with yourself will serve you just as well as these other tips.
As always, RE PIXS cares about YOU as an agent. Want to learn more about how to improve your quality of life during this time? Don't hesitate to reach out to us!