Rewind to a year ago and the euphoria of working from home felt different from today’s reality. Abolished commutes plus more time to squeeze in those household chores and plan for meals, or get some exercise – it all sounded like a dream.
Fast forward to today, and many of us have discovered that working from home can afford as many challenges as it has benefits.
If you’re new to working remotely, read through these tips from our Miracon team to help you work from home effectively, stay productive and maintain a balanced live-work lifestyle.
1. Put on your glad rags
Rolling out of bed and into that Zoom meeting may seem convenient but there’s something to be said about getting yourself ready for the day.
“Freshen up, get dressed and behave as though you are at work. The simple motions of getting ready for the day will set the tone for not only yourself but the ones around you at home. Once they see the ‘work cape’ on, they’ll know you mean business,” says Kelly Pavicic, Miracon’s Project Coordinator.
2. Accountability and connection
Be your own office manager. Outline daily, weekly and monthly goals and tasks to keep yourself on track.
If you work with a team, “make an effort to connect virtually or over the phone to engage and update each other on personal or shared common goals,” says Ron Enns, Director of Operations & Customer Care. Over-communicate with one another. Use resources like Google Meet to connect live while editing docs, and use shared screens to present and discuss.
Having these interactions is important and can lessen feelings of isolation.
3. Prep your home
Part of working from home effectively is making sure your household is set up for success. Keeping up with chores, meal prep and errands during non-work hours will leave you less likely to become a victim of distraction when you’re on the clock.
Create a chore list for yourself and family members so you don’t find yourself picking up little odds and ends every time you go to fill up your coffee.
4. Stay fueled
Prep your office so you don’t have to ‘join the household’ during work hours. Stock a supply of healthy snacks to give you that fuel for thought, and avoid wandering around the kitchen hunger shopping.
Preparing your meals will keep you focused and on track while steering away from unhealthy eating habits. You’ll be able to take your breaks feeling refreshed and ready to regroup.
5. Location, location, location
Avoid bringing your laptop to the couch or on the bed where it’s easy to get distracted or become unmotivated. Instead, turn a desired section of your home into an effective office space.
Many new homes these days come with the added benefits of a nook or den where you can easily modify the space into a more functional form by:
- Installing a floating desktop and/or shelving
- Investing in a comfortable chair
- Tucking away storage for all your supplies
- Adding the right lighting to keep you focused and productive
- Putting up some inspiration art, quotes, or a set of speakers so you can get into a rhythm
6. Set boundaries
Working from home effectively doesn’t just mean improving the work aspect. As important as it is to stay focused, we also have to draw a clear line in our live-work environment. How do you keep from working outside work hours, when the work is right there?
Creating that physical separation can be as simple as posting your business hours on your home office door or setting an alarm to call it a day. Making a wholehearted effort to tune out the external noise and put your focus back on your personal and family life will promote calmness, and allow you to give your undivided attention to relevant tasks and interactions.
7. Disconnect to reconnect
Eliminating distractions, especially when it comes to technology, can play a huge part in redirecting your thoughts and instilling calmness during non-work hours.
By designating some unplugged time, your mind can be taken to a quieter place making room for more reflection and engaging interactions.
Ryan O’Shea, Vice President of Miracon Development, gave some plain-spoken advice on how to bring the calm back into your home after a busy day.
“The more you’re able to disconnect from the digital world, the greater presence you can offer to your home environment. By setting aside your phone, email access, social media channels etc. you can instantly calm your mind by blocking those technology tasers that can distract, alter and shift our thoughts and focus.” says Ryan.
8. Take active outside breaks
We’re all aware of the many benefits exercise and physical movement can have on our health. By allowing your body to move, catch deep breaths of fresh air and burn off any unwanted or excess energy, we can be left with a more clear focus and calming, fresh start feel.
Ryan fills us in on what works for him: “Go for a walk or get some form of exercise, whether that’s individually or with your family. When I train, I feel relaxed and am left with a sense of satisfaction that brings a calming influence to the house and those in it.
“Collectively as a family, going for walks or to the park together provides a needed separation from the home, and allows everyone to regroup and connect. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, moving your body and grabbing some fresh air leaves you feeling recharged, calm and gets those feel-good endorphins flowing.”
9. Be present
By bringing awareness to the moment you’re in, rather than worrying about the future or reliving the past, you can bring a great sense of calm to yourself and your surroundings.
“I do my very best to be present in the moment and to focus on what’s going on in the house with my children or the activities they’re working on. Being present and giving my undivided attention definitely brings a calming influence on the home” says Ryan.
In addition to Ryan’s role at Miracon, he is also President of Boxing BC, Co-Chair of the Homebuilders Association of Vancouver and a Member of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. In 2020 Ryan was named by Business in Vancouver as one of the top forty business people under 40 years of age in Vancouver.
There’s no doubt that the never-ending workday can take a toll on relationships, mental and physical health, productivity and overall happiness. Finding a good work-life balance can come in various forms depending on the individual.
We hope that you find our team’s tips useful, and that you are able to utilize them in working from home more effectively.
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