6 tips for working from home in your strata property during COVID-19
With strata properties and homes being turned into temporary workplaces due to COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s time to establish routines and plan activities to keep spirits high
COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns are still very much a part of our lives, so it’s unsurprising that so many of us work from home while riding out this public health crisis. Despite how you feel about working from home in your strata property during COVID-19, putting your health first, maintaining boundaries and keeping things interesting are paramount.Here are 6 tips for staying in high spirits and keeping things interesting when working from home in your strata property during COVID-19:
- Follow a routine that benefits your physical and mental health
- Ensure your home work or study area is safe while working from home in your strata property during COVID-19
- If you’re sharing workspaces with a partner, housemates or family members, consider establishing dedicated work and fun meeting zones
- Be your own in-office chef, and make time for things that make you happy during your lunch break
- Follow a normal workday, maintain boundaries, and stay in touch with your colleagues
- Make sure you abide by your by-laws or building rules
Follow a routine that benefits your physical and mental health
Research has shown following a routine has far-reaching benefits, including alleviating anxiety, stress, insomnia and various mental illnesses. In fact, Headspace says routines have a soothing effect because they things we can do well and control. This is particularly helpful when going through tough, mostly uncontrollable, times like COVID-19.
When working from home in your strata property during COVID-19, you should make an effort to follow a good routine. Here are a few of our tips:
- Get up and get dressed
- Don’t work from bed
- Work at a proper workstation that is comfortable
- Have set breaks and meals as you would at work
- Get some exercise
- Have relaxation time
- Go to bed a similar hour every night
- Reduce screen time before bed
- Get good and restful sleep.
Ensure your home work or study area is safe while working from home in your strata property during COVID-19
Typically, before you start working from home, your employer would go through a checklist to make sure your remote work environment is safe and risk-free.
Knowing this, you should still take the initiative to self-assess your setup before you start working from home in your strata property during COVID-19.
Check your home work environment for:
- An appropriate desk area: watch for cords and trip hazards, keep your desk tidy, remove waste appropriately, have an evacuation plan and clear paths, make sure you have a first aid kit and only use working electrical appliances
- Ergonomics: make sure you have a comfortable chair and desk and be conscious of how you are sitting. For example, face your screen straight-on, change postures throughout the day and don’t twist from the hips.
- The necessary lighting and temperature: make sure you have appropriate lighting, minimise glare, and ensure your room is not too hot or cold.
3. If you’re sharing workspaces with a partner, housemates or family members, establishing dedicated work and fun meeting zones
If you are used to a quiet office environment, you may initially struggle to stay focused when working from home in your strata property during COVID-19. After all, there can be so many distractions at home, like pets, endless snacks, the TV… and so the list goes on. Avoiding distractions and staying focused may be particularly difficult if your partner, family members, or housemates are also working from home.
If this is the case, perhaps consider setting up dedicated work zones that stay active during the workday. For example, a spare bedroom or a chosen section of your home can become a dedicated quiet work zone, which can only be used for focus time.
To avoid distracting others in your home when speaking during meetings, your might consider turning your living or dining area into an ad-hoc meeting space during work hours. This is a great opportunity to get creative — you could change the orientation of your furniture during work hours, introduce some indoor plants for ambience or even introduce some cushions or homewares to inject a little fun into the space.
Be your own in-office chef, and make time for things that make you happy during your lunch break
When working from home in your strata property during COVID-19, looking out for your mental health is critically important. Ensure you take time for things that make you happy.
If you’ve always been envious of those who work in offices with in-office chefs, now’s your chance to make this happen for you. If you like being creative in the kitchen, you could prep your lunch each morning before starting your work day and then cook and add the finishing touches to your gourmet meal during your lunch break.
You could also try some of the following during your lunch break if you need a pick-me-up while working from home in your strata property during COVID-19:
- Enjoying an al-fresco lunch on your strata property balcony
- Reading a good book
- Going for a walk outside or sitting in the sun (remembering social distancing regulations)
- Completing a home exercise or yoga class
- Writing in a journal or trying to create something
- Working on a puzzle
- Going on a digital museum tour
- Cooking something healthy your mind and body will benefit from.
Many of us would not have time to indulge in these activities during a normal work day, due to our busy schedules. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of the extra downtime we may have during COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, to do the things that make us happy.
5. Follow a normal work day, maintain boundaries and stay in touch with your colleagues
The lines between work time and private life can be blurred when you start working from home in your strata property during COVID-19. Remember to stick to your set work hours and what’s normally expected of you. Start and finish your days as you normally would.
Working from home for long periods of time can, unfortunately, increase loneliness and feelings of disconnection. While we are required at this stage to stay physically distant, we don’t have to become socially disconnected from our colleagues.
Aim to have at least one face-to-face conversation with a team member each day using technology when working from home in your strata property during COVID-19. This will help maintain a sense of camaraderie and connection. Communicating with your team will help you to remain proactive and task-focused.
It can be helpful to talk to your team members about something non-work related too. Give them a call and ask if they are okay and see how things are going. This can make a big difference in people’s lives and mental health.
If you are not currently working or are retired, the slower pace of life during lockdown could be an ideal opportunity for you to take up that hobby you always wanted to try but never got around to. You could even host an online hobby session with friends or family.
Make sure you abide by your by-laws or building rules
When spending more time at home, we should be increasingly aware of abiding by strata property by-laws or building rules. By-laws are in place for a good reason and control things such as noise, whether pets are permitted, nuisance or hazardous smoking, damage to plants on common property and the hanging out of washing.
When working from home from your strata property during COVID-19, be mindful of:
- Where you take work phone calls
- If you have smoking breaks, where the smoke from your cigarette could be going
- If your work requires playing music or making sound, how loud you are being
- If you like to listen to the radio as you work, how loud your music is.
The longer we spend in our homes, the more we will want to branch out with our home activities. Be mindful of what you can and cannot do on your property, particularly with physical distancing rules in place, the closure of different amenities like gyms and pools, and reducing the spread and transmission of COVID-19.To learn more about making the most of strata living, access our library of interesting and informative articles here. For a consultation to review your by-laws, our Kemps Petersons Legal team is at your service to assist. Or, one of our team members can assist you with a free strata management assessment – it’s free and carries no obligation.