Is working from home going to be the new norm? In order to combat the spread of Covid-19, we are fighting this pandemic by staying home. Physical and social distancing are two of our strongest weapons in our Covid arsenal. But for those not accustomed to working from home, there may be some adjustments. Some of them may be humorous to say the least.

Working from home means that you can work in your PJs from your dining room while watching TV for the latest developments on the spread of Cov-19.  Right?  There’s a party going on! Just imagine the amount of work you can complete with no annoying distractions, no commute and no water cooler conversations. Say goodbye to that stressful daily drive to the office and too many trips to the gas pump. Think of all the money you will save by eating your meals at home. The trip to the kitchen is your new commute. This is the silver lining in a global pandemic, right? (Source: Funny Friday).

The National Apartment Association has created “Guidance for Teleworking Amid Covid-19” that offers best practices that would benefit the multifamily industry or any company looking for information for its employees new to working from home. These best practices range from defining a workspace to preventing burnout.

For example, defining a separate workspace in the home can help in a few ways. When creating a workspace, it is good to think about privacy and keep distractions to a minimum. Even the best media reporter has had a child or pet interrupt their live air segment on TV. While these can be very entertaining, perhaps not so funny if you are giving an important presentation or live product demonstration. As video chats have doubled with so many of us at home, take a moment to look at what’s behind you. Is the lighting too low or perhaps things good look a little more tidy? You are inviting your co-workers into your home virtually and would want to put your best foot forward so to speak.

Another challenge can be loneliness and burnout. For those of us who were already working from home, we used to be able to run errands at lunch or go out to be with friends after work. But with Cov-19 even seasoned remote workers cannot leave their home/office and may be dealing with loneliness and or burnout. We are not used to finding it so difficult to separate our work and personal lives.

But here are some recommendations to help those new to remote working as well as refresher ideas for the tenure home based workers.

  1. Get dressed for your workday. You never know when you will be participating in a virtual meeting.
  2. Structure your day. Just as you had a schedule at your office space, set 15 minutes breaks and your lunch time as well.
  3. No TV. Continue to enjoy music if that was your habit in an office space.
  4. It’s recommended that we set a goal of 10,000 steps daily. If you have a dog, you know that he will appreciate the extra time and exercise too.
  5. Daily check in with your team and or supervisor will help keep focus and fight loneliness.

There are many robust websites and support groups for guidance as to how best to transition to working remotely. By working together as a country and as a global community, we will win the war against Cov-19.  Remember to be kind to your new co-workers who are your family and furry friends.

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