New to Working From Home? The Respage Team Can Help

by Mar 26, 2020

If you’re now referring to your pets as your co-workers and you spend most of your day in slippers, we want to welcome you to the WFH life. 

For some people, working from home is a coveted perk that can make day-to-day life easier. For others, it’s isolating and distracting. 

About 29% of Americans worked from home from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But as a result of the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of Americans have turned their homes into remote offices in the last few weeks.

From the very beginning, Respage has operated as a virtual company, with all employees working remotely. So, for apartment professionals who are new to this, we thought we’d gather up some firsthand experiences and advice from people who know this WFH life very well — our employees.

 

Starting the Day

Meredith Schnoll

Years at Respage: 7

“I normally don’t wear my pajamas or robe all day. I do get dressed so it feels like I am at work. I find staying in pajamas reminds me of staying home from work because I am sick!”

Meg Paolini

Years at Respage: 7

“Have a set wake-up time — don’t wait til the last minute and rush to the computer. Set your alarm with plenty of time to wake up. Get some coffee, have some breakfast and ease into the day. Also, get dressed, even if you’re only switching into different PJs. Make sure you’re separating your sleeping/home life from your new work from home life.”

Kieran Boland

Years at Respage: 1

“Getting more sleep is always important for me.  So if I have to work at 9, to work from home I get up at 9.  If I work somewhere else, I’d be getting up at at least 8 to shower and get ready and get through traffic.”

Sarah Enwright

Years at Respage: 5

“I start out my morning without looking at devices since we’re on the computer all day long. I like to sit for a little and have time for myself to be mindful and present. Coffee is also key. I grab a big cup right before I sit down for the day. I also like to put on a podcast or something to listen to while I work.”

Randall Esling

Years at Respage: 2

“I wake up everyday and treat it pretty much the same as going into an office. I shower, eat and walk my dog.”

Staying Productive

Sarah Enwright

“Because we have deadlines and projects just like any other job, it’s pretty easy for me to stay focused. Just like in a conventional office, you still need to be accountable and get your work done. Basically my advice would be to just think of it as your regular day at the office.”

Meredith Schnoll

“I normally work from the same place in my home because when I move spots it throws me off. That’s why I cannot work in a coffee shop or cafe, but that’s not an option right now anyway.”

Randall Esling

I use my office a lot, but I switch the rooms I am in if I’m doing calls or things that don’t require a few screens, just to mix it up.”

Avoiding Social Isolation

Sarah Enwright

“Even though it’s virtual, we still talk to each other throughout the day to get projects done, but we also chat throughout the day to be social.”

Meredith Schnoll

“I have found that if you’re a social person, working from home is very isolating. I guess the phone is a good connection — I personally am more of a talker, so I like to knock on doors in Sococo, the virtual office system we use, and talk.”

Setting Boundaries

Melissa Bonner

Years at Respage: 8

“I make sure I take lunch and eat with my family every day. Also, try to make sure that when it’s 5 o’clock, you’re not working longer than required. I tend to break that rule — I’m usually online way past when I should be.”

 

Meg Paolini

“Have set hours when you’ll be working. For me, I always work 9 to 5 and I keep to those hours (for the most part). If you need to work a little early or late, that’s fine, but try to set those boundaries so you’re not logging back onto your work at 8 p.m. (or even 2 a.m.). At the end of the day, make it the end of the day. Close your computer, get up and do something else, switch from one side of the couch to the other. Physically do something to tell yourself that you’re now done working.”

Meredith Schnoll

“I like to make sure all of my ends are tied up at the end of the day. So, if my job is responding to reviews or posting responses, I make sure they are all cleared out. Or, I give myself a goal, like, write a certain number of Content Discovery Engine posts, and once I reach that goal, I stop.”

Sarah Enwright

“At the end of the day, I turn off my computer and I don’t like to go back on til my work day starts again. It feels good to shut my laptop for the day. After work I like to go outside, go for a run, do a workout and (pre-quarantine) go out and run some errands.”

Avoiding Distractions

Sarah Enwright

“Challenges I’ve encountered have mostly been from other people not fully understanding that I still have work to do even though I work from home. So when my mom calls me and wants to talk for an hour, I need to remind her that I am working.” 

Meredith Schnoll

“Resist the temptation to talk to family members who call during work hours (unless you’re taking a break). Sometimes friends and family don’t understand that although you are home, you are working! I’ve had friends stop by in the middle of the day only to tell them it wasn’t a good time b/c I was working. It’s a hard concept for some people but, now that everything is closed, well, a lot of things, maybe this is less likely to happen.”

Sarah Enwright

“I make sure to get up and stretch/walk around every few hours. I have dogs, so they make that part easy!”

Remember Self-care

Meg Paolini

“Get up and take a break. It’s easy to get sucked in to just work, work, work, especially when there’s nowhere to go or no coworkers to chit-chat with. Walk into the other room for a few minutes, take a lap around your home, or just do a quick stretch. You’ll be more productive.”

Meredith Schnoll

“So, you have to make sure you take some time for yourself during the day. It’s very important to take lunch (I never do) or go take a walk, ride your bike, walk your dog. It’s unrealistic to stare at a screen all day, which I do sometimes, and that’s not good. We all have to make sure we incorporate some ‘self-care’ into our days.”

Be Grateful for the Hidden Perks

Kieran Boland

“I save a lot of money on gas and not buying coffee every day.”

Meredith Schnoll

“Working from home means you can help the environment because you are less likely to buy more clothing, especially ‘fast fashion,’ which damages the environment. Also, you are leaving less of a carbon footprint because you are not driving.”