There’s no doubt that the past three months have seen some monumental changes in the way we live and work.
Has someone said this time last year that working from home would be the new norm, we would have laughed, and yet COVID-19 has sent us into a spiral of change and disbelief that changes day to day, and at times from hour to hour.
If you’re usually based in an office, able to bounce ideas around with colleagues, sit together for meetings and head to the pub for drinks at the end of the day, being on your laptop in your kitchen with only the cat and your partner for company, you might be feeling a little out on your own right now.
Don’t worry, while you’re alone at your desk, you aren’t alone in this situation. Many people I speak to at the moment are getting used to a new way of working, as well as anticipating the next corona curveball that comes around the corner.
I have some ideas that I hope will help you find a way ahead that is right for you and allow you to keep connected at a time when we can feel anything but.
Have a routine
This sounds simple, but if you have a routine that you follow, you will be more productive and connected. Get up, have a shower, go through emails and schedule in calls for each day to ensure you have spoken to someone. Have breaks, stop for lunch, do some stretches, drink plenty of water and don’t be tempted to just keep going as this won’t do you any favours.
I do suggest you do get dressed – yes yoga pants are comfy and getting some exercise is important right now, but do they make you feel like you are connected with work and reality? Simply putting on a clean pair of jeans and a bright t-shirt can change your mindset and if you do need to jump on an unexpected Zoom call, you won’t be making apologies for your PJs and bedhead hair!
Get to grips with Zoom
Speaking of Zoom! I know video calls can seem intimidating but this is a trend I can’t see going away. To help get over those camera-shy fears, find somewhere at home that is quiet so you won’t be interrupted when you are speaking to clients. Look at the space behind you and if it’s not the best you can get backgrounds – I had a call this week with a podcaster at the Old Vic. When you are on a call, remember everyone is probably feeling self-conscious and we all focus on the lines, spots and imperfections, but no one else will notice. It isn’t real life, but Zoom calls can help us to keep connected, so try to embrace them if you can.
I believe it’s really important to decide when your day starts and ends and to keep those boundaries in place. Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you’re on call 24.7, so if it’s 10am to 6pm, with no weekends, then stick to it.
Celebrate your wins
Got a new client? Made some serious sales? Created a website from scratch and got it up and running? Good for you. This is not the time to hide in the shadows, but instead celebrate your wins with others and congratulate them on theirs. Not only will this make you feel good but connected too.
Virtual catch ups
It might be a Monday morning coffee, mid-week drinks or a Thursday night quiz, but by organising to virtual catch up with your team or work friends you’ll stay connected. This might seem a little alien, but you’ll be amazed at how much catching up with people you’re used to seeing most days, can lift your spirits. You might not be able to hug them but knowing what is really going on with someone rather than just looking at their carefully created IG squares, can do you, and them, the world of good.
Most of all, be kind to yourself and to others. This won’t last forever and everyone is dealing with something different, but if we are mindful of the situation, connections can be maintained when we work from home.
About the author
Natalie Trice is an award winning PR coach based in Devon. From CEOs of international TV channels and Finance Directors of IT companies, to entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industry and ambitious start-ups, Natalie has worked with them all, and many more.
Today, as well as retained clients, Natalie teaches women the fundamentals of PR and gives them the skills and confidence to go out and talk to the press. With her ideas, contacts and cheerleading approach, her clients secure the column inches and airwaves that will help them to stand out from the crowd, and shine.
As the Good Enough Coach she also helps her clients to find their confidence, live the life they love and step into the wonderful women they always have been.
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