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Expert Tips on Working from Home
In these challenging days, we’re wishing everyone safety and good health as we all continue to hunker down and look to the future and better times ahead on the other side of Covid-19. For many of us, that means working from home. And for others, it even means looking for work — from home. Here are some expert tips from our all-pro team on best practices for getting the most — out of working from the old abode.
Create a (work) Space: First thing’s first. It’s important to have a space to not only call your own, but to call your work space. If you don’t have a home office, it’s important to have a dedicated space to focus. “It’s your going to work space,” says Chubb Hotel & Conference Center Director of Sales & Marketing Katie Schultz. Create a space with all necessary tools of the trade, whether that’s lap top chargers, pens, notebooks and more. It should be free of clutter and attractive. “Avoid the kitchen table or dining room, if at all possible, and craft out a nook in your house or apartment that says, just work.”
Set a Proper Schedule: Start with a regular morning routine. It’s tempting to binge-watch NetFlix ‘til four in the morning. We’ve all been there. “But it’s not good for your productivity or even your mental health,” says Chubb Hotel & Conference Center’s Senior Sales Manager Susan Mahoney. Set your schedule. Sure, sleep in the extra half an hour. That commute could not have gotten better! But do get up, get dress for work. Establish a new work-from-home casual look. But get dressed for that video conferencing. “Getting dressed and keeping a schedule is healthy and productive,” Mahoney says. “Of course your look will be a touch more casual, but keep it smart, crisp and avoid sweats. Your self-esteem will thank you and your productivity will benefit.”
Schedule Healthy Breaks: Life is all about balance. And working from home is no different. Schedule a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break. Get up move around. Maybe a few basic yoga moves, or simple stretches. “A piece of fruit or handful of almonds, a cup of herbal tea, go a long way, to lifting spirits and energy levels to getting back to work and tackling that spreadsheet,” says Catering Sales Manager Erika Emmerling.
Go to Lunch: Don’t eat at your desk. Go to the kitchen, dining room — or better still — take advantage of outside space, if you have it and the weather permits. “Set the table and leave the electronics behind,” Emmerling says.
Fly the Coop! Go on. Get out and clear your head. Get out of the house and take a brisk walk around the block — or two. “It clears your head and allows you to remember that call you have to make later in the afternoon,” Schultz says, who walks regularly with her two dogs Sabre and Jet. Plus it’s good for you physically. Just be sure to maintain social distancing and wear a mask if required in your community.
Make time to Socialize: It’s healthy to not only hear your colleagues on conference calls, but it’s important to see them. Additionally, if your team traditionally enjoys Friday afternoon happy hours, propose a social hour with the team via video conference. “It’ll be fun and you boost morale,” Cheryl O’Neil, Chubb’s Director of Conference and Event Planning. You can also propose themed happy hours where you discuss favorite new TV shows, what you’re reading, baking tips and other coronavirus favorite activities. Conversely, a team work-out session can be a fun way to connect socially with a focus on wellness and health and fitness. “Maybe It’s a light Pilates, yoga or group ab work out to get the day started,” O’Neil says.
Keep it Separate: New to working from home? Don’t just rely on your cell phone. Establish a separate number. “It’s a best practice to have a separate work number, especially if it’s an extended period time,” Emily Jones says, Chubb’s Conference Planning Manager. If it’s not setting up a landline, or separate cell, an easy and affordable means of establishing a line via Google or Skype. “It contributes to a good work life balance.”