Posted October 18, 2021
Working from home for a prolonged period may take its toll on one’s physical and mental health – consider these tips to boost your work from home productivity even when staying in a condo. Image from: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/working-from-home_16719269.htm.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live in unprecedented ways. It continues to affect the way we interact with other people, the way we do business, and perhaps most challenging of all, it changed the way we work. At the onset, companies scrambled to implement a full work-from-home set-up for employees. Working remotely seemed like the most viable arrangement, as it kept employees safe from the virus.
More than a year into the new normal, and despite having already established work-from-home routines, a lot of people still struggle to be productive when working from home. The place that we used to consider our safe sanctuary has taken on new meaning and purpose. The very space where we used to only eat, sleep, and rest has now become our workplace too. While it is a privilege to be able to do work at the comfort of your own home, it may come at the expense of one’s mental health and personal time.
Even with the ramping up of vaccination drives, we still tread in uncertain times. But one thing is for sure -hybrid work arrangement is here to stay in the foreseeable future. It is truly up to you to navigate smarter into this new normal. If you live in a condo and are collaborative and social in nature, you might ask yourself, “How am I supposed to be productive at home for the long haul?”
Whether you live in a studio, one bedroom, or two-bedroom condo unit, you can still make your space work for you. Here are some tips to consider to help you boost your productivity and simultaneously still enjoy your personal space:
1. Designate a workspace.
This can be as simple as a table and a chair, the balcony, or even the dining table when space is really limited. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown office set-up. Just make sure that you stick to this chosen area when working to train your mind and body to think that it’s work time when you’re in this specific spot.
Similarly, choose an area with a clean and decent background for video calls. It can be just a curtain or a bare wall but ensure that your privacy is still protected. If you live with other people, try to not situate behind doors to avoid someone accidentally coming in during a meeting. If you’re planning to redesign and move things around, you can consider this top interior design tips specifically for a condo unit.
2. Let there be light.
Having natural light while working improves one’s overall mood and disposition. Image from an artist’s perspective of 3Torre Lorenzo studio unit.
Staying in front of the screen for a whole day can be exhausting for the mind. One trick to ease the mental load is as simple as letting natural light in. Open that window. It would be best if you can locate your workspace near the natural light. It will not only look good on video calls but will definitely help in lifting your mood for the day. Hence, making you more creative and productive.
If your condo doesn’t have plenty of natural light, you can try adding some house plants near your workspace to help brighten up the room and create an illusion of being outside. Plus, having house plants keep the air in your condo clean too.
3. Create and stick to a schedule.
It’s convenient to start and end working whenever you feel like it. Sure, it’s easy to send emails and answer messages from your boss using your phone while lying in the bed. However, this practice can hamper your productivity because there’s no rhythm and you can easily get distracted. It’s important to plan your schedule ahead. Make a to-do list of your tasks for the day. Reserve time for morning coffee if you must. Have lunch on the same time every day. The key thing is to stick to this schedule that you created. This way, you can track your progress and know what the day will be like.
It will also help to write or print this schedule out in your workspace so that you constantly get reminded and motivated.
4. Set guidelines especially if you’re living with other people.
Working from home is especially challenging when you’re living with other people. Whether it’s roommate who doesn’t have the same schedule as you, or kids who constantly cry and ask for attention, our companions in the house invariably affect both our physical workspaces and mental states of mind. One solution is to clearly set guidelines and boundaries and explain this to everyone in the household. If you have kids or a spouse, it will be helpful to dedicate a specific time for bonding so that they won’t have to look for you all the time. You can put up a “Do not disturb” sign and lock the door when you’re in a meeting to ensure privacy. If you’re living in a studio unit, you can establish this form of boundary using a curtain to mark your workspace.
5. Get dressed.
One way to boost your productivity in a work-from-home set-up is to actually get dressed, do your make-up, or fix your hair – just as you would when physically going to an office. This habit creates a big difference on how you approach the day. It makes you more confident to show up in meetings and creates a sense of normalcy and professionalism. Plus, it will help make you feel good about yourself. And when you feel good overall, you perform better too.
6. Take actual breaks.
This is something a lot of people tend to take for granted. When creating your schedule, do not forget to include break times even just for five minutes. When we say break, this doesn’t mean drinking coffee while still answering emails on your phone or listening to a webinar. This is not an actual break. A break means resting your mind and eyes from the laptop or phone screen. Try listening to a bit of music, looking outside the window, or stepping out into the balcony. Put your feet up. Taking real breaks will do wonders for your mind and body.
7. Maximize your condo’s outdoor amenities.
Take advantage of your condo’s outdoor spaces for your mental and physical health.
Cabin fever from staying in your unit the whole day dampens your mood and mental health. This is why one of the advantages of living in a well-maintained condo is that you get to enjoy amenities without having to go out of the building. If your condo has outdoor areas like a garden or a sky lounge such as the premium amenities in 3Torre Lorenzo, these are ideal restful zones that you can maximize during your break times.
As long as you practice social distancing and observe health and safety protocols, don’t hold yourself back from taking a breather.
8. Engage in non-work talk.
At least once a day, take some time to talk to your colleagues about anything but work. Ask about how your officemate’s dog is doing, or how their new plant hobby is keeping them busy. Ask questions about family, or about the recipe used to make your co-worker’s yummy looking lunch. This might seem like just chatting, but it is more about creating connections with your co-workers even when online. Opening up communication lines will eventually create a lighter atmosphere and encourage collaboration among your team.
9. Clock out.
At the end of every work day, it is important to shut down that laptop, fix your office workspace, and disconnect mentally from the day’s work. Call it a day. Drawing a clear line between your work time and personal time helps you get up refreshed the next morning and be ready once again for another work day. When working from home, logging off is easier said than done because of the expectation that you’re always online anyway, but try to do it one day at a time until it becomes a habit.
Lastly, don’t forget to practice self-care even at home by eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping well. Taking good care of your mind and body is your biggest protection to any illness.
Ultimately, we have to recognize that the work from home arrangement will be part of the new normal. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot take steps to make your home, no matter the size, work for you. This is why you have to be discerning when choosing a place to invest in. You have to ensure that you are dealing with a developer with foresight to build well-designed spaces anticipating the needs of its clients, like Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation (TLDC). From pioneering premium university residences in the country, the company has grown its portfolio to include mixed-use and leisure developments in Manila, Quezon City, and Las Pinas, as well as in key emerging regions like South Luzon and Davao.
Quality and investment value are the hallmarks of TLDC’s premium residences, which have become distinct addresses in the metro’s university districts. In Davao, TLDC has partnered with international hospitality brand Dusit to bring Dusit Thani Residence Davao, Dusitd2 Hotel, and Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation resort - providing the most rewarding residential and leisure experiences in the region.