So, here we are, one year into the global pandemic that changed the way we live and work. In April 2020 we shared what we were doing as team to adjust to this new normal.  Going into 2021 we continue to navigate virtual working, work from home, home schooling kids, and ultimately balancing your work and personal life. As a team, we have missed our water cooler chats, having a cup of coffee together and having in-person meetings, but we continue to use our tools and skills to make sure we can continue to work effectively, while staying mentally, physically and emotionally heathy.

Blue Horizon Licensing has put in a lot of effort into making sure that we stay connected and healthy during this time. One of the biggest ways we have successfully done this is by incorporating personal well-being strategies and self-development learnings into our weekly team connects and our business objectives for 2021.  I found this very helpful, as I was able to share my experiences and share my opinions in an open and safe space. This allowed me to gain more confidence and have better working relationships with my team members.

Towards the end of 2020 we attended The Global Leadership Summit. We were all drawn to a particular speaker, Vanessa Van Edwards, who shared tips on how to perfect your video calls. These included:

  1. Get the right gear: camera, headphones, microphone which is usually default on laptops and place yourself in the correct lighting with a non-distracting backgrounds.
  2. Focus on the conversation substance rather than your appearance, forget about it
  3. Avoid awkwardness by reminding family to not disturb you, spot check appearance and background, and get things you need (coffee, water, website links, photos, agenda, use restroom, conversation starter)
  4. Designate a driver/leader to set out expectations of the meetings so the objectives are met and the meeting is a good use of your time.
  5. Use hand gestures for engagement and explanation
  6. Learn to read facial expressions
  7. Dress to Impress: avoid distracting clothes such as bright patterns or clanky jewelry
  8. Share notes and next steps after the meeting.

Working virtually definitely has its benefits, like spending less time in traffic and more time with your family, but it also has it challenges. One of the biggest challenges we have found as a team is to be away from each other, being in one space constantly, and not moving as much as we would usually. We had to learn ways to improve our work-home life by implementing small healthy habits into our lifestyles. The ones that have been working the best for me so far are:

  1. Meditating (or just breathing slowly) for 2 minutes a day.
  2. 15 Minutes of moving each day – either exercise, walking around your garden, housework etc.
  3. Learning a new skill or improving a dormant one by practicing it for just 15 minutes every day.
  4. Starting or ending your day by writing 3 things you are grateful for.
  5. Snacking on foods that give you energy.
  6. Create a professional work space in your home that doesn’t invade your personal space.
  7. Try to adhere to normal working hours as much as possible to maintain a good routine.

Adapting to the change from office to home life is not an easy task, but far from impossible. By holding each other accountable and working for a company that sees the value and benefits of physical, mental and emotional well-being, we are able to effectively work 1 year into the pandemic with the hope that we will all be together as a team again soon.

References:

James Clear (Atomic Habits)

Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage)

Vanessa Van Edwards