Posted by Beth Brockette on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
With so many people sent home from their office to figure out their new normal, I thought I’d share some tips that worked for me over the years, transitioning from a traditional office environment to working from home.
The first experience was the flood of 2008 when I was working for Alliant Energy. One day I’m traveling around the state, meeting with businesses & community leaders & the next day realizing that the rising river wasn’t stopping. Everyone in my office was being told to plan on working from home for an undetermined time.
Then in 2010, I opted-out during one of many reorganizations. After more than 30-years of going to an office most days, I moved into a self-directed business of my own. At the time, Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS was just opening a physical office in Cedar Rapids. I didn’t have business yet or a place to go.
Here are some tips that helped me in these situations & provided the structure for me to successfully build my real estate business.
- Find a dedicated space: You typically don’t get to choose your location at an office building. This is your chance to find a favorite spot in your home for work. In 2008, I chose my 4-seasons room. Lots of light, beautiful views. It was a happy place to be.
- Make it inspiring: No matter where you have space, you can make it comfortable, organized & inspiring. Pinterest can give you some simple ideas to make your space a pleasure. It might be family photos, your vision board or a beautiful wall hanging.
- Make it functional: Think about the items you need daily to do your work. Have them accessible so you aren’t distracted searching around the house for things you regularly use.
- Set it apart: Find a way to set your new work area apart from the rest of your home. It might just be a screen or curtain. It might be a room with a door or a room on a different level from your main living. For me, I love what I do & get pulled in easily. It’s important to be able to shut work off at some point. Equally important is to not let your day-to-day home life distract you while working.
- Show up!: You aren’t on vacation, so get up, get dressed & go to work! You may still be doing video calls or virtual meetings. You want people to continue to have confidence in you. And it’s a mindset for yourself. How we look impacts how we work. While you may dress a bit more relaxed, saving your leisurewear for the time you aren’t working, also helps separate work life & home life.
- Take advantage of the benefits: You just added time to your day! No more time lost in the commute to & from work. How will you use that time? Everyone is different. Maybe you can get a little extra sleep. This might be the time to get into that exercise routine you haven’t been able to work into your schedule. And in this particular time, what a great opportunity for morning meditation.
- Have a routine: Most of us function the best with routine. That’s even more true in times of great uncertainty. I found that, at first, the uncertainty of our current situation had me very distracted. Having a plan & a routine for each day helps me feel more in control & more focused.
Technology helps us work from just about anywhere, but we’re human & change is hard. Hopefully, some of these tips will help your transition from working in an office environment to working from home.