Since the onset of COVID-19, most of us find ourselves transferring many parts of our lives to a virtual space. For some, this change is easy. For others, it can be harder to adapt. So how do we accomplish our everyday tasks and capture our existence in this new (virtual) reality? In this five-part blog series, we'll explore tools for making various aspects of your new virtual lifestyle a success! Read on for blog number two:
Make WFH Not Just Tolerable, but Enjoyable.
Give Your Space a Facelift
With a record number of us working from home for an undeterminable time period, it's important to make your space your own. We're not talking spending lots of money on decor or remodeling the home office! Simple, accessible actions like lighting a candle, having a nice lamp, positioning yourself to face a window if possible, or bringing in a plant, can all help make your new office a pleasant environment to be in for the foreseeable future.
Communicate Well and Often
It has never been more important to communicate effectively. All of us are trying to navigate this unknown terrain and we need to be up front and honest with our leadership, co-workers, partners, friends, etc. in terms of our expectations, needs, and potential road blocks. Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering how things should be delegated? Wanting to make sure your employees are holding up alright? Say so! Check in with each other. Be open and be honest. Now more than ever, we are relying on effective communication to keep us connected and on the same path.
Conference calls are an option. But with more and more businesses and organizations being forced to work remotely, it has become clear that some dealings just aren't as effective without face-to-face interaction (courthouse hearings, counseling sessions, etc.). Even for businesses that can function decently via phone, there is often tripping over each others' words, unintended interruptions, and lag that impedes productivity and seamlessness. Zoom is a frequently used video chat platform that allows for easy and accessible video conferencing with multiple participants, is free for calls up to 40min long, and has just recently updated its privacy and security policy.
Get Up and Move - and Get Outside!
Most of us are in #shelterinplace mode. But that doesn't mean we can't move! Think about all the times you get up while in the office to get a cup of coffee/water, go to the restroom, ask a question of a colleague, grab your lunch...have you moved from your home office today?! Probably not. We forget to get up when we're removed from our work environment. Stretch, do some jumping jacks or lunges, change your location halfway through the day. And if it's nice outside where you live, take advantage! Walk around the block, work on the patio or deck, or at least open your windows for fresh air.
Plug in and Stay Connected
We typically hear about "unplugging" -- getting away from our devices to be deeper/more intimately connected to the world around us. This is a unique time in history when "plugging in" is one of our only ways to connect. Whether it's with your family, friends, old classmates, co-workers...stay connected. Host a virtual happy hour or online game night. Even a group phone call or email thread keeps us in touch and somewhat "together". Check our blog post on virtual communication tips for more ideas.
Give Yourself a Break!
These aren't regular times -- this is a pandemic! Yes, by giving yourself a break, we do mean literally taking regularly scheduled breaks to have a meal or snack, take a walk, throw in a load of laundry, etc. But it also means extending yourself some grace. Feeling guilty for the more consistent "TV/app time" the kids have had, your more-easily-distracted work ethic, the frequent grazing in between meal times? ...don't! We are all doing our best to figure out this new way of being. Take a deep breath, regroup, and remind yourself: you're doing just fine. This isn't forever.
Check back for blog number three -- Tools For Your New Virtual Lifestyle: Staying Active!