This spring has brought about numerous unprecedented changes in the way we conduct our daily work lives. For many of us in the Colorado construction industry, this includes working solely from home for what could be the first time. At first it sounds like a dream – pajamas all day, your kitchen only steps away, quality time with your spouse who is also confined to the home. But after about day three (or hour three), the magic wears off and the isolation sets in. For anyone who is struggling with the work-from-life, take a deep breath and follow these handy pointers:
1. Communication is Now More Important Than Ever
Worldwide pandemic or not, strong communication and collaboration within the construction industry is always the key to success. If you’re stuck at home instead of at the office, communication needs to be doubled…maybe tripled. Set up regular touch-bases with your project team so everyone is following the same course of action, and opt for video meetings when possible to help fill the social void.
2. Maintain Normal Working Hours and Routine
It can be tempting to sleep in, work late, take three-hour lunch breaks, etc. Ultimately, this will just make productivity even more of a challenge. Starting and ending work at definitive times helps with accountability and focus. We recommend setting up a “home office station,” whether that’s in a spare bedroom or the kitchen table, so you can still feel like you’re arriving at and leaving work.
3. Keep Projects at Front of Mind
It’s all too easy to slip into a “what’s the point” attitude when we’re surrounded by everchanging chaos on a regular basis. If that sounds like you, here’s the motivation you were looking for: While nearly every other industry is shutting down, construction keeps chugging along because it is considered essential to our lives and the lives of future generations. Construction is needed whether the economy is thriving or suffering, and our community is depending on you to pull through. To sum up, YOUR PROJECT MATTERS!
4. Minimize Distractions…As Much as Possible
This probably sounds much easier said than done, especially if you’re now adopting the role of homeschool teacher (parents, we salute you). In order to survive working from home, try to eliminate the optional distractions – unnecessary social media, Netflix, noisy roommates, depressing news reels, etc. Set aside time at the beginning and end of your work day for all these distractions instead.
5. Use Lunch Breaks for Neighborhood Walks
Finally – and most importantly – “Shelter in Place” does NOT mean “forget what sunshine feels like.” Use your lunch break to take a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air and clear your head. If possible, work from your deck or at least position your home office near a sunny window. It’s no secret we’re all about those outdoor spaces – use them as comfort when you need them most.
Together, we will make it through these tough times. Hang in there, and here’s to unexpected pajama days!