We’ve all hit the struggle is real stage of the work from home game. As we try to balance homeschooling, meal planning, and entertaining everyone in the house from toddlers to teenagers, there’s actual paid work we need to do, too. If you’ve never worked from home, other than to send the occasional email, this is a big wake-up call.
When you are in work-from-home mode, it’s important to try and create a dedicated space. Take over the guest room or that bedroom you know your grown kid has left behind for good. If you don’t have the advantage of an entire room, get creative. Clean out a closet, and install a shelf to create a desk. Scoot the tools over on the garage worktop and pull up a chair. If your attic has climate control, push the Christmas tree aside and haul in the patio set from the backyard.
We know you need inspiration, so we’ve rounded up a few real estate professionals who are making the work-from-home reality look fun and even glamorous!
Rogers Healy, the owner of Rogers Healy and Associates Realty, is always upbeat, regardless of the circumstance. He’s taking the safe at home situation with his usual good humor and sent us a reminder about the benefits of working from home:
- Home is where my snacks live.
- Home is a place that I can wear a suit top—and shorts.
- Home is a place I rent from my dogs.
- Home is a place that my Roomba earns its commission
- Home is a place that smells like Batman, Amigo, and Coach (the dogs).
- Home is where the dessert bar is always open!
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Realtor Beverly Pitchford is the consummate multi-tasker. This is coming in handy with a husband and middle schooler suddenly at home. She’s given us a few tips we plan to implement immediately, especially hiding out in the kitchen pantry!
- Keep space as uncluttered as possible. It helps me keep my head as uncluttered as possible!
- My husband and I share a partners desk. His conference calls can get loud so I use headphones with relaxing music.
- Have some peppermint oil on hand when you feel a headache coming on.
- Take breaks! The kitchen pantry is a favorite of mine.
- Get outside.
- Do some yoga.
- Call a friend!
Teffy Jacobs is the vice president and marketing director of Doris Jacobs Real Estate at Allie Beth Allman and Associates. We lucked out when we asked her for home office photos as she’d just finished having built-ins installed. Her office is a total inspiration.
- Have a place for everything
- Use the Maria Kondo method for keeping everything upright. When you stack papers vertically you can see what you need to see.
- Remember when you have things organized it allows for peace of mind.
Heather Guild heads the powerhouse Heather Guild Group at Compass Real Estate. She lives in Lakewood with her husband, son, and Boxer and has some expert advice on working from home.
“First, provide a signal to your kids which means you are really busy and need to focus. I have a lamp on my desk. When the light is on, my son knows I should only be interrupted for something serious. I’ve noticed our definitions of serious vary. My 10-year old thinks not being able to figure out how to change his Minecraft skin or needing a screen time renewal code qualifies as serious.
“Second, provide a cue to say you will be right with them. If I’m on a call and my son needs to talk to me, he lays his hand on my arm. I cover his hand with mine to say I’ve noticed he needs to talk and will be right with him. This works 75 percent of the time. The other 25 percent of the time, I need to remind him I’ll be with him as soon as I can.
“Third, if your kids are old enough, use tech to your advantage! Set them up with an email account or a text messaging platform that allows them to ask you questions and communicate with you without interrupting your conference call. Give grandparents a heads-up that they may receive multiple messages in a row from the said child who doesn’t test understand communication etiquette.
“Finally, when all else fails, remember, this too shall pass my friends!”
Indeed it will. Meanwhile, if you have some hot work at home tips send them our way!