With the global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, all Canadians and the world at large are being urged to stay at home. Even major conferences and events such as the Summer Olympics have been cancelled to decrease the risk of infection. Many employers are encouraging or requiring their staff to work from home until notified.
This may be new to many of you but I assure you that it is not new to the real estate industry as many of us are available and required to work evenings and weekends. If this working from home is new to you we hope that you find our RE/MAX Tips For Setting Up A Home Office & Working Successfully At Home useful.
Everyone has unique challenges when working from home right which is further compounded by child care for many of us as the little ones are also home from school.
1. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule and try to stick to it. This is trickier than usual with everyone home. If both parents are required to work from home, try to split up the work hours in shifts where possible. Hours of work might have to be juggled to before children wake up and after they go to sleep. The point is, a schedule is important right now as it keeps everyone on track and being as productive as possible and minimizing boredom of children. Sharing the schedule also encourages your family to take an active role in planning so everyone knows what is going on and what their role is.
2. Create a New Morning Routine
Routines are important! Your morning routine has changed significantly. My routine used to be shower, coffee, news, email and then leave for work. I regularly delay my workout until the evening. My new routine workout, shower, coffee, news, and go to my desk at home to work from 8-noon, break 1 hour, back at my desk 1-5, break until 7, email, planning next day then bed. What about you?
3. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space while you work. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Work out details with your family as to who will watch the children or what they do if they need you.
4. Schedule Breaks
Everyone needs a small break to stay productive. Great breaks include hydration and movement. If possible take in some fresh air outside in your yard. Do not short yourself your break. Don’t use your break to do laundry or take out the trash. Allow yourself this break as much as you allowed yourself to be productive while you were working.
5. Set up and Maintain a Dedicated Office Space
Consider dedicating a desk and some peripherals only for work use. For example, when your laptop is hooked up to the monitor and external keyboard, it’s work time. when it’s on your lap, that’s personal time. Make sure that your workspace is quiet, bright and comfortable so that it is conducive to your productivity.
6. Socialize With Colleagues
Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in remote work life, especially for extroverts. Many companies with a remote work culture usually offer ways to socialize. Normally our Agents would see each other daily and we gather weekly for tour of new listings and monthly for sales meetings. As a result of our Brokerage being closed to the public, we have set up a Private Facebook Group where our Sales Associates and Staff can share information, challenges, solutions and positive stories to stay connected during this time. We have also set up our Training via video and have released our schedule. If isolation is a concern for you think about what you can do to stay connected to your colleagues.
7. “Show Up” to Meetings and Be Heard
Certainly, you’ll take part in video conferences and conference calls, but it’s a good idea to attend optional meetings sometimes, too. Be sure to speak up during the meeting so everyone knows you’re on the call. A simple, “Thanks, everyone. Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.
8. Look for Training Opportunities
When you’re not in an office with your fellow employees, you might miss out on training and skills development courses that are taught in person. Your company might even forget to add you to its online training courses. It can be tempting to regard this as a dodged bullet, but you might be missing out on an opportunity to learn something useful. Speak up and make sure you’re included how else are you going to get that next promotion!
Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write book but it does mean that sometimes you have to repeat yourself….like I told you about my vacation in June at least 5 times now on telephone, 3 by email 😊
10. Be Positive
I have been accused of being abrupt when giving succinct and clear messages via email. I have come to realize that the less face time I have with someone causes them to sometimes not know how to interpret my tone in writing. When you work remotely full-time it is important that you must be positive, to the point where it may feel like you’re being overly positive. Otherwise, you risk sounding cranky. It’s unfortunate, but true. So embrace the exclamation point! Find your favorite emoji :D. You’re going to need them.
Maybe your work has just increased exponentially as
a result of the extraordinary circumstances we now find ourselves in.
Cut yourself some slack and do your best and remember, we are all in this together!
It is a time for all of to dig deep and do what we can to stay positive, productive and professional.
Hey! That is the 3 P’s of our Company Culture here at the RE/MAX Brokerages in the South Okanagan.
Gotta go, it’s my break time 😊
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