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With the current economic climate, many organizations have been forced to close their offices, therefor requiring their employees to work from home. Fortunately, here at Watchdog, we are no strangers to working remotely, as it’s in the nature of our position to be flexible and proficient under dynamic working conditions. However, we also understand that many of our clients and industry colleagues may not be accustomed to these remote working conditions. While working from home, it’s important to remain productive and engaged with your client, even more so than if you were on site. Below are a few ways that I have found most conducive to creating a system of normalcy when dealing with an unfamiliar work setting.
Successful ways to stay productive:
- Establish a routine (as if you were still going into the office) – Wake up at the same time, exercise, shower, get dressed, and then sit down at your designated workspace. Establishing and maintaining a routine will enable the feeling of normalcy.
- Carve out a dedicated working space – This workspace is preferably away from distractions such as TV, chores, etc. and, to the extent possible, is equipped with the typical tools and comforts of your office.
- Differentiate time on your calendar – To avoid clogging your daily schedule with new meetings and calls, set specific time slots for work vs. communication. Set office hours to keep yourself from sleeping in, or conversely, working through the night.
- Take a break – It’s important to walk away from your desk a few times a day, whether it’s to just stretch, take a walk, or even meditate for 5 minutes.
Effective ways to keep your projects engaged:
- Hold weekly update meetings (even if it’s just 30 minutes) with your Client and project team – Discuss resources/deliverables affected by the situation, ways to prepare for when things ramp back up, or aspects of the project that can be accelerated during this “off-time”.
- Use virtual communication tools – Video conferencing tools, such as Zoom or BlueJeans, create more engaging and interactive meetings.
- Use collaborative documentation tools – Smartsheets or Google Sheets are wonderful resources for real-time updates on working documents.
- Compile and organize formal documentation – Contracts, leases, and legal agreements will be needed if stop work notices or material delay notices are received.
- Tidy / Reconcile any outstanding tools – Updating these worksheets, such as change management logs, punch lists, or outdated schedules is a good way to stay organized.
-Nina Monzo, Project Manager with Watchdog Real Estate Project Management