The year 2020 started off great, until the arrival of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has begun a series of social restrictions including – you guessed it, going to work.
With these preemptive measures to prevent the spread of illness we have suddenly found not only ourselves at home, but our kids, clients, and customers as well.
As a business, we here at Lazer Designs have taken all precautions in ensuring the safety of our staff and customers. Alongside deep cleaning and disinfecting all of our facilities and products both incoming and outgoing, we have additionally followed suit of many of our fellow businesses and implemented social restrictions where possible. Including having much of our staff work from home.
Working from home has its ups and downs. There is a reason many of us go into the office, and not just because the tools needed for the job are there. Working outside of the home can keep us focused and work more efficiently.
With the threat of the coronavirus, many businesses and schools are shutting down for a minimum of 3 to 6 weeks with some planning for even longer closures. In this article, we will cover the most common obstacles associated with being stuck at home.
- What Else Can You Do As A Business?
- Staying Productive While Working From Home
- Emulating A School Day
- Keeping Kids Entertained
What Else Can You Do As A Business?
If you’re an employer making the difficult decision to have your staff work at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we applaud you! We understand how difficult this can be not just for you and your employees, but for the company as well.
Now that you’ve taken the necessary steps to encourage quarantine of staff and customers, is there anything else you can do? The answer is YES!
A good company takes care of its own, and successful business owners know and understand the importance of showing employees and clients that you care. A great way to do this is by sending out updates on what you as a company are doing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In addition to company updates, sending messages and gifts of appreciation during these difficult times can go a long way in reminding employees and clients that you have not forgotten them and that you understand how difficult a period of quarantine can be.
Give gifts that can help remove the boredom that often comes with a quarantine. Being stuck at home is not easy and while working from home can certainly help fill time during work hours, there is no guarantee for the remainder of the time.
Staying Productive While Working From Home
Working from home is a double-edged blade. On the one hand, it is nice to not have to leave the comfort of your home, choose your own dress code and be able to relax in between tasks. All of this sounds great, right?
Working from home is fantastic until you realize that your home is also inhabited by others – such as a partner, children, and perhaps even pets! Each of these factors can lead to some serious distraction which leads to a loss of focus and a decrease in efficiency and productivity.
While remote workers face these challenges daily, they have learned to adjust their schedules appropriately to reduce these distractions and maintain their productivity.
So how do they do it?
Dress For Success
When you picture a remote worker do you see them hanging around in their PJs, cozy robe, and slippers? A professional remote worker has learned long ago that this attire is a big no if they want to remain productive.
Dressing for success means dressing as if you’re going to work on a casual Friday. This helps to adjust your state of mind from relaxing at home to getting work done.
Take Frequent Breaks
They may seem counterintuitive, but in reality, your body needs frequent breaks to maintain your health. Especially when working from home long-term you don’t want to get into the habit of hyper-focusing on work only to realize it’s past 4 p.m and you’ve been sitting in the same spot in the same position all day.
Taking a break to get up, move around and grab a drink of water will go a long way in preventing soreness.
Avoid Being “Stuck” At Your Desk
If there is an opportunity to work away from your desk, take it! A change in scenery will help keep your mind fresh and prevent you from going completely stir-crazy while working from home. Whether you have a laptop or make frequent phone calls, find a way to get a different view for a change of pace.
Be Honest About Possible Interruptions
When working from home with pets and children there is always the possibility for interruptions and this seems especially true when we are on a call or even a video conference! In these situations, don’t hesitate to let others know that you’re not alone!
Set Realistic Expectations
Working from home when you have housemates is no easy feat. Keeping small humans (and pets!) alive is pretty important.
Be realistic about what you may or may not accomplish when working from home. Don’t push yourself to get more done than you have time for and accept that working from home is very different than working at the office. You may not get as much done as you would like and that is okay.
Emulating A School Day & Entertaining The Kids
Holidays and vacations are one thing when you have kids while an unscheduled break from school is an entirely different struggle for the working parent. It’s no surprise that schools were one of the first to shut their doors against the impending threat of the coronavirus, with the elderly and immune-compromised being in the high-risk categories.
Better safe than sorry, and while we as parents greatly appreciate the care and consideration that goes with protecting our children from illness, we are now faced with the facts of life. Our children are home from school for an extended period of time, and it isn’t even Summer yet.
While most schools will typically send home E-Learning work to maintain studies and keep kids on track with their education, it won’t be nearly enough to entertain them throughout the day – especially for those parents working from home!
Set Appropriate Boundaries
If you’re working from home alongside your kids, it’s a good idea to set boundaries so everyone is on the same page. Help your kids understand that while yes you are home, you also have an obligation to complete tasks for work. This helps set the understanding that you will require time away from them to get things done.
Set An Easy To Follow Schedule
Regardless of your kid’s grade level, there are tons of printable resources available online to keep them on the right track – and away from the screen for an extended period of time! The first step to emulating a school day is to set a good schedule for your kids that is easy to follow – Including different learning activities and frequent breaks so they don’t get burned out!
Set Aside Time For Family Fun
When in quarantine it’s important to get along. The best way to do this is by bonding together with some family fun activities! Such activities can include
- Board Games, Cards, Dominos – The big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target all have a lot of options. Board games are a classic way to bond with the kids and spend time together as a family. A little time away from screens is a good thing. Be sure to check out our personalized games right here at Lazer Designs.
- Arts & Crafts – Local craft stores are likely to have some fun things to do – I would suggest checking them out quickly before everyone else gets the same idea
- Outdoor Time (Weather Depending) – It’s ok to go outside for a walk or a bike ride. Doctors agree that so long as you are 6 feet away from your neighbors, there is no risk of infection! Stretch your legs and avoid cabin fever!
- Fitness Activities (Such As Working Out!) – Start with a little yoga and move to some calisthenics for cardio. You don’t need a bunch of equipment to stay healthy. Use your own body weight by doing pushups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, etc. There are a ton of videos you can watch on YouTube
- Time In The Kitchen – This is a tried and true way to bring the whole family together. Have the kids plan a meal and make them the Head Chef while you assist. We do this with our kids and they LOVE it!
Each of these activities has so much to offer when it comes to bonding as a family. Working, exploring and overall spending time together and away from the screens will go a long way in bringing everyone closer during these difficult times.
All memes aside, we understand the difficulties that can be associated with working from home especially during a preemptive quarantine.
Whatever you decide to do for the next few weeks look at the silver lining of the situation: There is an opportunity to spend time together as a family. To make new memories the kids will cherish later in life.
Stay safe, help your friends and neighbors and as the Queen once said: “Keep calm and carry on.” This will pass and life will go on.