What We’re Taking with Us from Quarantine
Working from home can be one of two things: it can be amazing, or it can be exhausting. Often, it’s a mixture of both. Many individuals are finding time to do things they never did before and many are developing better work and health habits. Our hope is that everyone takes at least one good thing with them from quarantine back out into the post-COVID world.
At Lamark, we’re extremely connected internally. Even when we’re not working in the office. While we always make sure to meet our deadlines and produce our absolute best work, we also check in on each other personally. Many of us have developed close working relationships, and a casual “How are you!?” message from a teammate is the norm. We find that while we’re working from home this is more important than ever, supporting each other, as we know that remote work impacts everyone differently.
We checked in with our team recently to see what they were doing while setting up shop in their home office, at the dining room table, or in the spare bedroom. Many said they were forming habits they wish to continue, no matter where they’re working from.
Developing New Work Habits
Working from home during quarantine comes with its own set of challenges. How do you stay away from the lure of scrolling social media? How do you say no to your dog’s big sad eyes begging you to play? Most of all, how can you ensure you get all your work done by the deadline?
Agency life naturally comes with requests that need quick turnarounds and spur-of-the-moment Zoom calls. At first, many of us had to find our groove. However, once we worked it out, it became apparent that we learned to work smarter and healthier.
We found several common themes when we asked our company what professional #WFH habits they want to maintain once there’s a return to the office.
- Maintaining Communication
That’s right, what you may consider a barrier of working remotely has actually turned out to be a benefit to our team. The number one thing that our co-workers said they want to continue doing at the office is maintaining the open lines of communication we have now working from home.
As a company with offices in different states, it can be hard to block out time to speak with those halfway across the country under traditional circumstances. But we’re doing it! People stated they’re setting aside more time for one-on-one meetings with each other, participating in more video and phone calls, and messaging each other on digital platforms more than ever before. Many of our team members say they’ve built better relationships with each other while working from home, and have gotten to know each other, fostering better teamwork and communication.
- Stepping Away from the Desk
The second most popular response to our survey was that more individuals plan to take short breaks from their work periodically. Some responded that they want to take a few minutes each day to walk outside, while others said they want to make sure they get up and stretch every hour. Many said they want to continue making sure they take their lunch hour every day. All of these things are excellent, as we know that staring at a computer screen for hours on end can lead to blocks in creativity, which is not what we’re about here at Lamark.
- Setting Aside “Me Time” In the Office
While this may sound like something you do at home, many of our co-workers are finding it easier to block out time for themselves, without distraction, while working from home. The ability to hit the “away” button and post a quick status asking not to be disturbed is helping many of us get our work done faster and more efficiently. Several people said they’re now using time blocking specifically for this purpose to get creative, ideate, and go on to create great things.
Developing New Personal Habits
With more time at home, it’s natural that members of our team are finding new hobbies or changing up their everyday routines. On our social chat channel, we frequently throw out top news stories or playlist suggestions throughout the day. Naturally, we also wanted to share what we’re going after hours—it turns out many of us have the same hobbies.
Nearly every teammate who provided a personal habit they want to maintain post-COVID fell into one of three main categories.
- Physical Fitness
By far the most popular answer, the Lamark team stated that they were maintaining better fitness habits while working from home. While some of us are using the time before our morning meetings to work out, others are completing fitness routines during lunch. Some of our teammates are lifting weights and others are riding bikes and rollerblading.
- Quiet Time
The second most popular category of #WFH activities was setting aside time for reflection and quieting our minds after hours. We have team members who have gotten super into meditation since we began working from home and others who are reading copious amounts of books. Others are journaling, taking the time to learn embroidery, and setting aside time just for themselves.
- Family Time
From having lunch with the kids to cutting the family’s hair, being present for bath time to sit down for a home-cooked family dinner, many of our employees want to make sure they continue spending as much time with their loved ones as possible. It’s those little moments together that mean so much that we all want to hold onto.
Maintaining a Routine Post-COVID
No one knows what the future holds yet and as a team, we continue to grow and adapt by the day. When we began this journey of working from home, we thought it would be a few short weeks. As the situation evolved, so did we. Professional and personally. And that’s the way we love it here at Lamark. Anything that pushes us outside our comfort zone undoubtedly makes us better. Above all else, that’s what we want to take with us post-COVID.