Creating Functional Spaces for Work and Stay at Home

Dated: September 13 2021

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Work/Stay at Home: Create Functional Spaces in Your Home

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us have spent a lot more time at home. While it can be understandably challenging when being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this situation.

 

Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and functional spaces within your home for work, school, and fitness. We also share some of our favorite ways to stay connected.

 

Begin with the Basics

 

A basic home emergency preparedness kit is a great addition to any home, even under normal circumstances. It should include items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and other essentials you would need should you temporarily lose access to food, water, or electricity.

 

Fortunately, authorities don’t anticipate any serious interruptions to utilities or the food supply, however, it may be a good time to start gathering your emergency basics in a designated location, so you’ll be prepared should your family ever need them.

 

Working From Home

 

If you’re transitioning to a home office, it’s important to create a designated space for work … so it doesn’t creep into your home life, and vice versa. If you live in a small condominium or apartment, this may feel impossible. But try to find a quiet corner where you can set up a desk and comfortable chair. The simple act of separating your home and workspaces can help you focus during work hours and “turn off” at the end of the day.

 

Of course, if you have children who are home with you all day, separating your home and work life will be more difficult. Unless you have a partner who can serve as the primary caregiver, you will need to help manage the needs of your children while juggling your work.

 

If both parents are working from home, try alternating shifts, so you each have a designated time to work and to parent. If that’s not an option, experts recommend creating a schedule for your children, so they know when you’re available to play, and when you need to work.1 A red stop sign on the door can help remind them when you shouldn’t be disturbed. And for young children, blocking off a specific time each day for them to nap or have independent screen time can give you a window to schedule conference calls or work uninterrupted.

 

Homeschooling Your Children

 

Many parents with school-aged children may be taking on a new challenge: homeschooling. Similar to a home office, designating a space for learning activities can help your child transition between play and school. If you’re working from home, the homeschooling area would ideally be located near your workspace, so you can offer assistance and answer questions, as needed.

 

If possible, dedicate a desk or table where your child’s work can be spread out—and left out when they break for meals and snacks. Position supplies and materials nearby so they are independently accessible, and place a trash can and recycling bin within reach for easy cleanup. A washable, plastic tablecloth can help transition an academic space into an arts and crafts area.

 

In addition to creating an academic learning environment, find age-appropriate opportunities for your children to help with household chores and meal preparation. Homeschooling advocates emphasize the importance of developing life skills alongside academic ones.2

 

Staying Fit

 

Maintaining the physical health and mental wellness of you and your family is important. Implementing a regular exercise routine at home can help with both.

 

If you live in a community where you can safely exercise outdoors recommended, try to get out as much as possible. If the weather is nice, go for family walks, jogs, or bike rides.

 

Can’t get outside? Fortunately, you don’t need a home gym or fancy exercise equipment to stay fit. Look for a suitable space in your home, garage, or basement where you can comfortably move—you’ll probably need at least a 6’ x 6’ area for each person. Many cardio and strength training exercises require little (or no) equipment, including jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups.

 

And if you prefer a guided workout, search for free exercise videos on YouTube—there are even options specifically geared towards kids—or try one of the many fitness apps available.

 

Socializing From a Distance

 

Here are some interesting ways to stay connected to our communities and our extended families. Modern technology offers countless ways to organize networked gatherings with family and friends. Try using group video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom.

 

There are safe ways to connect offline, too. Rediscover the lost art of letter writing. Drop off groceries on an elderly neighbor’s porch.

 

 

Sources:

1.     CNBC -
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/how-to-work-from-home-with-your-kids-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

        2.TheHomeSchoolMom.com - https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/benefits-of-homeschooling-2/

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Patricia Parker

While a native of the East coast, I began my real estate career on the West coast in 2001, as a Broker in Oregon and Realtor in Southern California. Loving the concept of “home”, the personal, uni....

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