Like many of my fellow writers on AC—and a growing number of workers nationwide—I work exclusively from home. Most of the time, this is a true blessing, and I rarely have a complaint about my home office, which doesn’t resemble a cubicle in the least. However, when your house is under construction, working from home can try your patience in unique ways. So how do you deal with contractors during remodeling? Moreover, it can be overwhelming at times as we see construction recruitment agencies doing a lot of work simultaneously in order to finish the work on time. With the help of the following tips, you can manage yourself as your house gets renovated or constructed.
Talk to the Supervisor
The best way to deal with any uncomfortable or frustrating situation is to communicate your irritation before it ever begins. You know that you work from home and you know that your house is going to be under construction, so let the supervisor know that you need to be productive while his contractors work on your house.
Of course, there is only a limited number of things the supervisor can do to keep your sanity intact. If the contractors are knocking out a kitchen wall, you’re not going to be able to tune it out by closing your office door. However, the supervisor can tell his crew to cut down on loud music, laughter, shouting and other unnecessary noise.
Set Boundaries in Your Home
Dealing with contractors during remodeling isn’t all that much different from dealing with a group of children in your home. They need boundaries in order to coexist with you in harmony, so lay them out as soon as they arrive. Let them know that your office is off limits unless you give them instructions otherwise, and that you need as much peace and quiet as possible while you work from home.
Just because your house is under construction doesn’t mean that you need to be bothered every ten minutes with questions or comments from contractors. Instead, instruct them to call you on your cell phone when they need you just as they would if you worked from a remote office. When they have to pick up a phone and dial, they won’t bother you nearly as often.
Take Your Work Elsewhere
Some writers, Web designers, programmers and other freelance professionals can work from any location where a computer and word processing program are available. If you find that you can’t work from home while your house is under construction, consider taking your work elsewhere. Internet cafes, friends’ houses, hotel rooms and other locations can provide the peace and quiet you require.
If you take this option, you might want to have a neighbor or friend come to your house to supervise the contractors. While they’re remodeling your house, your “baby-sitter” can watch television or find other ways to keep themselves busy. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust contractors alone in your home, so don’t take any unnecessary chances.
Set Time Limits
Some people (i.e. me) respond well to limits, in which case you need to be more firm with contractors while your house is under construction. Let them know that they can’t just show up at any old time, and that you need a definitive starting point so you can work from home. If necessary, you can call their superiors to stress the importance of arriving (and finishing) on time every day.