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Maximizing Productivity While Working from Home

Maximizing Productivity While Working from Home

It’s a new, weird world! While most REALTORS® are used to working remotely, we understand that this might be new for the rest of you. Because of that, we thought it might be helpful to hear some of our best tips to ensure productivity while you are working from home.

The first thing we will address is space. Most people don’t need a lot of space when working from home; however, it is important when you are working from home to have some sort of “designated workspace”. We aren’t saying that you can’t work from the kitchen table. If you are limited on space and you need to work from a communal space, such as the kitchen island or table, do it. Just be sure to stay organized so that your workspace is easily moved when it is time for you or your family to use that space outside of your office hours.

If you have space to set up your own desk, we would highly recommend it. This way, you don’t have to worry about moving your office in order to eat dinner every night! If you are looking for super affordable office furniture, Ikea might be a good place to start. If you want something that will stand the test of time, we suggest looking at places like Copenhagen or Design Within Reach. All of these companies have great options for setting up a nice, workable space.

If you are looking to set up an office in a guest room, but still want to have a bed in the room, many companies including Wall Beds “n” More in Scottsdale and Chandler as well as Costco offer Murphy beds that have desks attached to them. This is a great way to maintain a guest bedroom when you need it, but have a fully functional office space the rest of the year.

If your children are at home while you are working, you may have even more obstacles to overcome than simply space! If your kids are school aged, they are probably attending school online while you are working from home. If this is the case, be sure to set them up with their own workspace as well. Companies such as Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen have some creative options for setting up work spaces for kids.

Depending on how much your child needs your help, it might take some trial and error to figure out whether you want your child’s workspace to be located close to your workspace or not. If your children are younger and require more direct supervision, it might be best to set up a play area near your workspace where your kids can play or watch television while you work. Finding time to make phone calls or set up video chats will be your greatest hurdle during this time. If you can have someone watch your children while you do these things, we suggest it; however, we know that is not always a possibility. We suggest talking with your children and setting some boundaries around appropriate conduct while you are on the phone or computer. Keep in mind, too, that lots of people are working from home at this point in time, and many will be more sympathetic to your situation than they might normally be. We are all in this boat together!

A great workspace isn’t the only thing that will help you make it through the day while working from home. Here are a few more tips on how to remain as productive as possible during this time period:

  1. Get up and get dressed as though you DO have somewhere to go! Not only will this make you feel as though you have something to do, you will never have to worry about having to turn down a last minute meeting! (science proving that when you get up and dress up, it makes you more productive…)
  2. Create a task list. This is something that many people do when they go info an office as well. Pilots and healthcare workers literally live by their checklists full of tasks. Task lists are great because they help you not forget about the little things you need to do. They can also help you prioritize your day. We recommend completing the tasks you like the least first thing in the morning. This way, they are out of the way and you don’t have to worry about them any longer. Your task list will be ever changing. You can cross things off as they are completed and even add to the task list as the day goes on if you want. If there are things left on your list at the end of the day, just pick it up first thing tomorrow!
  3. Don’t be afraid of technology! As REALTORS®, we are used to writing contracts and signing documents on the fly! Some of the best deals we have done have been done from our cars. While we were just as hesitant to change in the beginning as you are now, we promise you, it will be worth it! So, take some time to learn about the technology available to you in your business and make the most of it!
  4. Be sure to schedule drive time (or prep time) for meetings. If you need to be at a meeting at 10:30am, make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. Be sure to plan enough time between meetings to tasks for you to be able to run on time. If you are attending a virtual meeting, make sure you take a few minutes to set up your workspace so that it is as clean as possible. You’ll want to make sure you have minimized any distractions and make sure that people can see and hear you well in the camera you are using.
  5. If you are participating in online or “virtual” meetings such as Zoom meetings, FaceTime or Google Hangouts, be sure to set your self up for success by making sure your background is free from distractions and is lighted appropriately. If you have a window behind you, it might be hard for others to see your face. If there are people or animals moving around behind you, it might be distracting for your viewer. For the best video chats, make sure there is light on your face, not behind you, and that the background behind you is static. 


If you have questions for us about how you can thrive in a remote environment, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help! We have a team of remote working pro’s (i.e. our fabulous team of REALTORS®) on standby to help answer any questions you might have. Stay healthy!