Working from Home and Ways to Cope
Earlier this year I was hired on as the Community Liaison for Hashtag Cowork Place inside of Bitwise | 41 in downtown Fresno. I had a stone-cold 10 days of working inside the two-story, decked-out cowork spot when Bitwise and it’s team members were sent home for two weeks of remote working due to COVID-19. Flash forward nearly six months and the world is — no exaggeration here — upside down.
Those first two weeks, I loved meeting the motivated people that make up Hashtag. Every day, there were conversations that inspired me to head for my goals while soaking up the determination of just about every member I spoke to.
I’ll admit, when I first heard about working from home for a couple of weeks, I thought it might be an interesting kinda vacation. Now, we’re half-a-year in and “normal” life feels like a distant memory. My admiration for those who have always worked from home has grown exponentially. Learning to adjust without a normal routine, tons of constant distractions, and a severe lack of community has proved to be very difficult … but not impossible!
Here’s a few tips that have helped me over the last 182 days (but who’s counting):
ROUTINE! Admission time: I’ve personally never been a huge fan of routine. I have ADD and the constant day in day out tends to turn my brain to mush. 2020, though, has made me realize routine is key while working from home at least a routine with structure and possibility is a little more promising than a few weeks without structure or feeling like there’s nothing to do during that day in, day out.
So, what can you do to help livin up your inevitable routine? Make yourself a schedule and don’t just focus on productivity, include things that help strengthen your mental health. After all, those two things go hand in hand! Maybe start the morning with meditation or some yoga? Not a fan of mornings? Pencil in some time to get out of the house! How about a lunch-time walk? Sadie suggestion coming at ya: go for as many walks as you can, take a drive, or even work outside. Make a routine out of setting aside time for work and time for yourself. Being cooped up in one place for too long isn’t good for anyone!
You may be thinking that routine sounds like a great idea, but what about DISTRACTIONS? Children! A pet! Roommates! These things were never something we had to worry about when work and home were separate. So how do we adjust when other things want or need our attention and we’re trying to do our job plus form a routine?
For some, it requires getting up earlier or staying up later when everyone is asleep. For others like Leah Sadoian, it means working in 25-minute increments. Leah is the Content Specialist for Bitwise Industries. She’ll crank out some kick-ass content for 20 minutes and then take a five-minute break to talk to her roommate/cat, Marge, while fitting in a quick stretch.
Play around a little bit to find what works for you and don’t be afraid to include distractions in your routine. Be firm about your work time, but also schedule breaks. Include your family or roommate on one of your walks, make a meal together, or make a playlist and go for a quick drive. Set aside time you may need for the distractions in your life in your schedule and adjust accordingly.
I want to make a quick note here: While some might be feeling challenged by the amount of distractions in their new workspace, others might be wishing for a distraction or two, feeling the loss of community and activity.
Every day I spent in Hashtag included networking and connection between our members. Kindness, encouragement, and friendship. I miss all of it. Creating and fostering a community is hard when we can’t all be together, but it’s amazing what people have been able to do virtually. If community is something you’re missing, look into starting a virtual game night, happy hour, or even a book club. Plan a weekly Zoom or Facetime with some of your favorite people and remember not all connection is lost!
Things are difficult right now – that is one thing that can’t be ignored. Despite that, no situation is hopeless. There are still ways to adapt when we’re faced with unexpected circumstances. When we reach out, we realize that we’re all not as alone as we feel. Until we can be at Hashtag together again, remember to stay safe and stay well. We can’t wait to see you again in person soon! In the meantime, drop me a line at email@example.com if you want to chat!
Sadie Cobb is the Community Liaison at Hashtag Cowork Place, and is responsible for overseeing the Hashtag community, prospective members, and helping the Hashtag fam grow and connect with each other. Outside of the office, Sadie loves theater, playing music, and spending time with her family and friends.