How Lawyers and Other Professionals Can Set Up Their Work-From-Home Space During COVID-19

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Since the federal government’s mandated social distancing orders, working from home has presented new challenges for professionals at law, real estate and financial firms alike. Below are four tips on how you can get acclimated in your redefined workplace.

  1. Set Boundaries – One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to take advantage of the extra time on your hands since the work commute has vanished. However, it can be tempting to work from the most comfortable place in your home – your bed. Studies have found that working from your bed decreases productivity levels and makes it difficult to fall asleep at night because your brain associates your bed with work and stress. It is important to set boundaries between your workspace and your place of relaxation. Try setting up your space in a separate room such as the living room or guest room; in a smaller or studio apartment, you can set up a divider wall to establish designated spaces for work and play.
  2. Lights, Camera, Action! – Having your workspace near a window where natural lighting can seep through is an energy booster and stress reliever. According to medical professionals, the rays from the sun improve the communication between the regions of the temporal lobe which control emotions such as anxiety and stress. Sunlight also produces endorphins and serotonin hormones – “happy” hormones – that enhance our moods throughout the day.
  1. Minimize Distractions – While this is a challenge if your home has turned into a school and entertainment center, there are ways to avoid daily distractions. One example is limiting cell phone usage by using the “Screen Time’s Downtime” feature available on all Apple iPhone devices and many Android devices. Try setting it up during your work hours to avoid spending unnecessary time on social media. Wall calendars, daily to-do lists and designated browsers for personal and business activities can also keep your mind focused throughout the day. If you live with loved ones and/or roommates, establish “quiet hours” so everyone is on board and aware of your allocated time to focus.
  1. Create a Routine – When adapting to this new reality, creating a routine is key to maintaining your mental wellness and productivity. Shower at the same time you normally would, wear what you would normally wear to the office (although loungewear may be tempting!) and prepare your preferred type of coffee, tea or infused water to start your day. Most notably, make sure you go outside and remain active to improve blood circulation to the brain. When it’s time to return to business as usual, you won’t feel sluggish and your mind will feel ready more than ever to tackle the day.

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