FOURTH OF JULY 2020

With many firework shows and celebrations canceled, and with recommendations to remain physically distant from others in place, Fourth of July looks a bit different this year. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the holiday cannot resume with fun Fourth of July plans. We have some ideas for helping to make your Fourth of July 2020 still one to remember.  

  1. Watch Fireworks 

This one is a given. Even though you may not watch fireworks in person this year, many cities are streaming their firework and live music displays so that you can watch them right from your couch. Boston and Nashville, which have confirmed they are going forward with televised events that will include previously recorded material, as well as live performances. 

  1. Fourth of July Cocktails  

Holidays are the perfect time to try out a new cocktail recipe, especially if you will be home. This easy Fourth of July cocktail will be your new favorite drink—whether it’s the Fourth of July or not! And if you’re in the mood for a non-alcoholic cold, refreshing drink, we’ve got you covered with Red, White, and Blue Daquiris.  

  1. Patriotic Movie Night  

There is certainly no shortage of patriotic-themed movies. And just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you still can’t get your crew together and watch them. Netflix Party allows you to watch movies and shows with your friends by adding a group chat to your screening party.  

  1. Have a Picnic  

Celebrate Fourth of July 2020 al fresco with a picnic. From creating a Bar in a Jar to easy food storage tips, HGTV has all the picnic hacks you need for making your picnic a success.  

  1. Bake Patriotic Desserts 

You can’t celebrate the Fourth without some red, white, and blue! Ring in the holiday with these festive, sweet treats that the whole family will love.  

SILVER AND ORANGE LINE SHUTDOWN SUMMER 2O20

Last week, Metro announced that it would shut down all Silver Line stations in addition to the Orange Line stations that had previously planned trackwork for Summer 2020. Metro had already scheduled to close just three Orange Line Stations this summer, including Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church Station for trackwork. But with low ridership due to COVID-19, Metro has now decided to close all stations west of Ballston. 

“This is about two things: working smarter and working safer,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Closing the stations to get the work done while ridership is historically low allows us to limit the exposure of our frontline staff and contractors, mitigate delays to our capital program, and minimize inconvenience to the public.” 

These additional shutdowns result in nine total Metro stations scheduled to close in Virginia beginning May 23, 2020, and lasting until or after Labor Day 2020. 

Metro’s Summer 2020 Plans at a Glance:  

  • Beginning Saturday, May 23: All stations west of Ballston on the Orange and Silver Lines will close. 
  • Orange Line Station closures: East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Vienna 
  •  Silver Line Station closures: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East 

Metro alternatives 

  • In an effort to ease the impact of the Silver and Orange Line shutdowns, Metro will run free shuttle buses every day that will operate during Metrorail’s regular hours.  
  • The free shuttles will run every ten minutes on weekdays (5 a.m. – 9 p.m.) and every fifteen minutes on weekends (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)  

Shuttle 1: Orange Line service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, and Ballston. 

Shuttle 2: Orange Line express service between Vienna and Ballston. 

Shuttle 3: Silver Line service between Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner, and Ballston. 

Shuttles will not stop at East Falls Church, McLean, and Greensboro. 

Parking  

  • Metro plans to provide free parking at Vienna and Dunn Loring during the shutdown. 

If you have any questions or would like personalized commute assistance, please reach out to Go Avenir Place at info@goavenirplace.com.  

Six Productivity Hacks for Telework Week 2020

This week, March 2-6, we celebrate Telework Week in Virginia and DC. Teleworking can be incredibly convenient, as it cuts out commuting stress and costs, creates flexibility, and allows you to work without typical office distractions. Working from home has an abundant number of perks, but even the most focused teleworkers can get distracted at home.

For instance: the pile of clothes in your laundry basket, dirty dishes in the sink, the trash that needs to go out – your home can pull you in all directions, causing your productivity to suffer.

Whether you work from home every day or have the opportunity to enjoy Telework Week at home, we have six hacks for making Telework Week 2020 the most productive week of your year.

  1. Clear distractions before going to bed.

Waking up and being able to dive right into your work distraction-free is critical. Before you go to bed, put your dishes away, clear off your workspace, and if you’re a seasoned teleworker, get rid of what you know typically distracts from your workflow – after all, you know yourself best! And if you are an occasional teleworker, make a list of what distracts or bothers you, so that you can make the most of your telework days.

  • Get dressed as usual.

Get dressed as if you were heading into the office. While rolling out of bed and keeping your pajama pants on may be comfortable, your comfy clothes may cause you to feel like you are just hanging out at home, not working from home. Not only can getting dressed make you feel put together, but it can also help to boost your energy. Some teleworkers even report that putting their shoes on is a crucial step in getting dressed and feeling ready for the day when working at home. Always remember to dress for success, even at home!

  • Commute to your home office.

According to journalist Emily Price in her book Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More Work—That Actually Work!, leaving your house to take the dog on a walk or going to grab a cup of coffee in the mornings helps you to gain focus and get into work mode.

  • Designate a workspace.

Designate a specific area in your home as your workspace. This space should signal that it is ready to sit down and start working. Whether it be your kitchen table or an entire room, choose a distraction-free, comfortable spot. Natural light is also a plus.

  • Take a break.

Step away from your desk periodically to give your brain and body a refresh. We all need this, even during a workday in the office. Whether you take a walk around the block, drink a cup of coffee while flipping through a magazine, or enjoy lunch away from your workspace, these little breathers are essential.

  • Transition from office hours.

End the workday on an organized note. For many of us, disorganization often leads to unproductive days. End your workday by straightening up your desk, closing out your browsers, and getting prepared to start fresh tomorrow. Take a few minutes to close out your day. A little will go a long way when jumping back online. Here are some tips: jot down where you are leaving off, make a list with outstanding tasks, check your calendar for the next day, throw out any old papers or trash, and set any meetings or reminders.

Happy Telework Week, and we hope these tips help make your telework days productive. For additional resources and information on getting a telework program started for your company, visit Telework VA’s website.