How to Create a Work at Home Space
During the Coronavirus Outbreak
How to create a work at home space is not as hard as it would seem. With the arrival of Coronavirus and COVID-19, most of the population is spending more time at home. Everyone is being warned to avoid public places, to practice “social distancing” (standing six feet apart, shaking elbows and other actions) to help slow down the spread of this disease. Even though it takes some imagination and possibly help from TV, you can change the way you deal with your living space and your current lifestyle thereby making the difficult request from our leaders easier.
Here are a few suggestions to make functioning and comfortable spaces. If you work at home you have probably already done some of this. However, if you are just now starting to work at home, doing home school and/or fitness you may need a little reorganization. We also need to keep connected with others in our community. We will share some tips on how to accomplish this. No one should face these trying times alone.
Begin with the Basics!
Even with normal circumstances, an Emergency Preparedness Kit (EPK) is a necessity. An amped-up EPK is needed during this time. Start with non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights, over the counter antibiotic creams for cuts and other accidents, and other items. This will help make your home and family be safe if there is a problem such as temporarily losing access to food, water, or electricity.
However, it is not anticipated that there will be any serious interruptions to utilities during this time. Now is the time to start gathering emergency basics and storing it at an agreed-upon area in your dwelling. This way you will be prepared now and in the future.
Ready to start building an emergency kit for your home? Contact us for a free copy of our Home Emergency Preparation Checklist!
Working From Home
Companies are asking many of their employees to work from home. The transition from a workplace to working in a home office can be challenging. It is important to make a workspace that is your own. Do you have a spare bedroom or another area that can be cordoned off? That is one of the best ways to handle setting up an office. You want to keep the work area away from normal family life. By doing this you will be able to focus during work hours and join the family at the end of your workday.
Given that many daycares and schools are now closed, children may interfere and upset your plans for a quiet workspace. If you don’t have a partner who can be the primary caregiver, you will need to bring in help or set up another plan to have the children cared for as you work. With both parents working at home, alternate shifts may be the way to work things out. This way each parent has a designated work time and a designated time to care for the children. With school-age children, you can create a schedule so your children will know when you are working and when you are not working. Putting a sheet of paper with the schedule helps the children understand what is happening. Adding a sign of “Do Not Disturb” to your door may help prevent the disturbance from happening.
Homeschooling Your Children
It’s not a good idea to try to teach your children and work at the same time. You need to separate areas designated for school and work with a play area located elsewhere. This will help the children understand that when they are in school, they are in school. And when they are playing, they are playing. Having the play area away from the school area will help you work. There is less disturbance and noise when the play area is separated from the work area.
If you are a single parent you will need to do the teaching at the designated area for schooling. When the children are in playtime that is the time you will be able to work. Using a monitoring device can be a big help. If you have a partner, then you can alternate between working and caring for the children. If each takes a turn, it enables both of you to complete your jobs. The main point of this is that you will have to come up with a plan and schedule that will work with your family.
Along with building an academic learning environment, find age-appropriate activities for your children to help with chores and cooking. Homeschooling advocates emphasize the importance of developing life skills alongside academic ones. As more meals and activities take place at home there will be more opportunities for each family member to pitch in and help.
Keeping healthy both physically and mentally is crucial at this time. Starting a regular routine for exercise can help you keep physically and mentally alert.
It is important to know your neighborhood. If you live in an area where you can exercise outside makes it easier to be outside for daily workouts. Be sure to maintain the distance between you and neighbors. Nice weather helps. It promotes family walks, jogs and/or bike rides.
If you do not live in the type of neighborhood that promotes walking and/or biking you can still have the exercise you need without the expense of exercise equipment or a home gym. Find a suitable space in your home, your garage, or the basement where you can move. A 6’ by 6’ area for each person will probably work out well for you. Many of the strength training and cardio exercises need little or no equipment,
Want guided workouts? Look for free exercise videos on YouTube. Some are geared towards children. There are many fitness apps available.
We are being asked to practice “social distancing” at this time. However, there are many ways to keep connected with the community we live in and our extended family. Phones are a great way to start. Reach out to neighbors and loved ones living alone and maybe feeling isolated right now.
Our modern technology gives us many ways to network gatherings with friends and family. Group video conferencing can facilitate a virtual happy hour or a book club. You can host a Netflix Party to watch and discuss with friends. Virtual game time and/or a challenge to a round of Psych or Yahtzee is a great way to socialize at a distance.
You can safely connect offline also. Learn the art of letter writing. Help an elderly neighbor with a sack of groceries. Have children use chalk to decorate their driveways then walk around the neighborhood to view their work.
You can always socialize with the folks live in your home. Siblings are reconnecting, family dinners are back again and many of us have been given the gift of time because the commutes, activities, and obligations have been eliminated.
Some families find that a crisis is bringing them closer together.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Despite all the tools and technology available to keep us connected, there are many of us still feeling scared, isolated and stressed. Please rest assured that you are not alone. Not only are we here to help you buy and sell real estate. We are a resource to our clients and the community through good and bad times. If you and your family need assistance, please reach out and let us know how we can help.