Cottage life is often the very best part of spring and summer in Canada, and a lot of us have been spending extra time at the cottage during the pandemic. However, most everyone does have to work -- and remote work seems to be the new normal. As you spend time relaxing at the cottage, you may very well also have to work from home.
The vacation feeling of being at your cottage is usually everyone’s favourite part, so it’s important to separate work from play in any way you can. Here are our three steps to WFH at your cottage without losing that cottage-y feel you love so much:
1. Create a dedicated workspace
One of the most important pieces of working from home -- especially when working from your cottage -- is to create space between work and the rest of your living space. If you have an office, perfect! Clean it up, create a desk space, and work from there. If you don’t have an office, use the guest bedroom or even a part of the kitchen table.
Do your best to create a workspace that mimics that of your real office space, whether that means using a double computer monitor or placing pictures and coffee mugs around your space that remind you of your other work desk. The most important part of creating a home workspace is that it’s precisely for work. Ideally, you should look at your home workspace as a place for only work -- and, the only place to work -- in order for it to be effective. That way, you can enter your workspace at the beginning of each workday intending to work, and then you can leave your workspace each evening without a struggle. Discipline yourself to stay off of the couch and to avoid working from bed, instead of only using your workspace. This helps you to create the balance and routine that you had before working from home.
2. Tune-up your remote technology
If you’re used to working from an office most parts of the year, you’re most likely also used to corporation-speed wireless internet and quiet space. When working from your cottage, things can often be different. Especially with the number of Zoom meetings and conference calls that we all seem to be on these days, it’s important that your home internet can stand up. Consider having a tech specialist out to your home to check up on your wireless internet, and think about adding an ethernet cord to your work computer for extra connection assurance. In addition, you may need to use a secure internet connection like a VPN at your cottage. Your workplace will likely keep you updated on things like this, but it’s always important to check!
3. Remember to have fun
While working efficiently is obviously important for all of us, it’s just as important to remember to have fun while you’re spending time at your cottage. Your cottage is meant to be a place that helps you to get away from the struggles and worries of everyday life, so do your best to keep that vibe going by creating a balance between your workspace and your fun home.
While the problem of COVID-19 continues, pack your non-working days with socially distanced activities that have you out and about. From finding new nearby hiking trails to setting out on fishing expeditions, be sure that you’re getting out and relaxing as best as you can. This pandemic is new to all of us, and finding ways to adjust, be safe and stay mentally healthy are incredibly important. If you’re not feeling the outdoors, it’s also the perfect time for an easy renovation project or a DIY activity around the home.
While you’re spending all of your extra time at the cottage, you’ll want to make it as delightful of a place to stay as possible. Download our guide to seasoned cottage ownership for all the information you need on everything from keeping your cottage cool to tips and tricks on turning your cottage into a long-term home.
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