Learning how to work from home
Remote work, now an important skill to master in every company. At Mortgage Direct, our qualified advisers have been working remotely since the 2006.
Although the lockdown period has enforced isolation on people that are used to a more social way of life, for those that have started to work from home it has had some upsides; the removal of the daily commute, more time with family, fewer distractions and more focus.
We at Mortgage Direct (MD) are thinking of all those affected by the current circumstances. Fortunately, our team of advisers has always worked remotely and are well-equipped to work under the new guidelines in place in our various countries and regions. However, for those of us with families, the presence of new faces in our workplace has brought new challenges.
As a team we would like to share some tips and tools that we have found useful in helping you to adapt to a new working environment. We have been using these tips well before COVID-19 and since MD was established in 2006.
Remote work: 7 tips to make it remote and efficient
- If your daily commute has been replaced by a few steps to your desk, consider starting and ending the working day with some time outside (subject to your country’s guidelines). This helps demarcate your working day from your personal life. And where possible, if you used to work Monday to Friday, try to maintain this in your new work from home life and keep the weekends work free so you feel ready to return to work on Monday.
- To minimise the disconnect from your colleagues try inviting them to a quick virtual catch up at the start of each work day. Keeping up-to-date with their news – professional and personal – maintains the feeling of working within a team.
- If you usually dress differently for work than in your leisure time, consider maintaining this and dress for work, then later change into casual clothes. This can switch your mind into work mode and thus help you to be more focussed and then help you switch off when you change into your comfy clothes.
- Try to keep some structure to your work day whether by using pencil and paper to-do lists, digital planners or an app. It’s easy to let the day drift beyond your usual home time or to forget to take a break. Pomodoro and Break Helper are two techniques used by the MD team.
- But don’t use up your break time on social media. It’s a break for your mind but not for your eyes and body. Move around, stretch and focus your eyes on the distant horizon.
- Where possible, turn off notifications on your Mac/PC and mobile. Focussing only on the current task will help you complete it quicker leaving you ready to deal with those new emails and messages.
- If your working day is now fighting for attention with family members, try scheduling one period in the day that is purely focussed on them with all work distractions out of mind and out of earshot.Looking beyond the current restrictions, the ease with which many office workers – and indeed whole corporations – have switched to home working has raised the question “Can we work from home forever?”. Twitter has announced that virtually all employees will now have this option and while other companies may not make such a drastic announcement, they will be grappling with how to adapt offices for the social distancing requirements that must be adhered to.
What does remote work mean for Mortgage Direct service?
One of the advantages of remote work for me and my colleagues is that we can adapt more to our client’s needs. We work with clients all around the world and due to the different time zones, we may need to speak with someone late at night or early in the morning. Also, less time is spent commuting to an office meaning we have more hours in the day to attend our clients. Having worked in an office in the past, I can definitely say I’m happier working from home and I believe this reflects in the positive service I give to my clients.
Our mortgage enquires since the outbreak of Covid-19 have remained steady. While some of these enquires are from people with a long-held dream of a second home abroad, some are realizing that if working from home is the new reality, then that home could be anywhere in the world. We are seeing an increased proportion exploring the option of a second or primary home in Spain or Portugal. Property portals have also mentioned to us that they have seen an increase in potential buyers searching for properties suitable for working from home.
We wish you and your family all the very best and please do contact us via email or phone with any questions about the current state of the market in Spain or Portugal or any mortgage requirements you may have.