Social distancing, lockdown and shelter-in-place were unfamiliar terms to most Americans just six weeks ago. But it appears all three will be frequent fliers on the U.S. vernacular plane for the foreseeable future.
Bay Area health officials announced yesterday that the seven-county area will remain on lockdown until May 3. That means all "non-essential" activities are prohibited. Grocery stores, property transactions, medical attention and moving companies are among the few activities deemed essential by the government. Thus a vast majority of Bay Area residents are either furloughed or working from home.
Many Bay Area workers are accustomed to telecommuting. A 2019 analysis by technology firm SmartAsset placed San Francisco and Fremont in the top 10 for best work-from-home cities. However, those rankings were based on the myriad coffee shops that accommodate telecommuters throughout the area. Those accommodations are not available for at least another four weeks.
Many workers must make due with what they already have in their homes for office furniture. Kids, pets and television are distractions that are likely to impede on your workflows unless proactive measures are taken. The following four tips will help you create an in-home workstation that keeps you productive.
Sole proprietor business owners and full-time telecommuters say the same thing regarding the hardest part of their jobs - motivation. Working from home takes some getting used to because the structure and flow of your days are determined by you. There's no boss to keep you on your toes.
Wake up and take a shower like you always have. Have your morning cup of coffee, tea or whatever gets you going. Wear comfortable clothing, but not something you would wear to bed. The idea is to feel like you're on company time, not your own.
The ideal situation is transforming a spare room into your home office. But that's not possible for most working adults, especially in the Bay Area. A 2017 Zillow survey found that 30% of American adults lived with roommates. That number rises to nearly 39% for San Francisco.
Those with bedrooms doubling as offices must separate work from their home life. Make a "do not disturb" sign for your door. Get an availability indicator light to make it more formal. Office partitions help the easily-distracted. Block your bed and television from view so you're not tempted to use them during work hours.
Some offices allow workers to take breaks whenever they choose. Others have designated times for lunch, coffee breaks, etc. Stick closely to your regular routine. Doctor visits and other personal tasks should be scheduled during breaks. A consistent schedule is important so the rest of your team knows when and how to contact you at a moment's notice.Log off at five o'clock
Nearly every relevant study shows that telecommuters are more productive than their in-office counterparts. That's often because they are logged into their email, Slack and proprietary systems long after working hours.
Keep your work life balance at healthy levels. Your normal routine entailed logging off and commuting home via car, train or some other mode of transportation. Traffic is stressful. But the evening commute is the bridge between work and life. Get away from your desk and sit on the balcony for a few minutes. The idea is to continue walking that bridge so working from home feels normal.
Eco Office is advising and consulting new and existing clients during the lockdown. We'll be fulfilling space planning and installations immediately when the lockdown is over. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to speak with a project manager.