The 920 | Business Brief

Business Brief July 2020

Tips for Remote Workers

by Amanda Krueger

Many of us have unexpectedly become long-term remote workers. Make the most of your new arrangement with these helpful tips:

Set the Stage

Take some time to consider potential workspaces in your home. While you may already have an area set aside, it’s not too late to switch things up.

Where is the best place for privacy with natural light and a neutral background for video calls? Don’t rule out a quiet spot in a sunny hallway, a corner in your bedroom, or even a breakfast nook.

Once your location is decided, make it comfortable! Find a supportive chair and a small lamp. Add a bit of cheer with a framed picture, a candle, or flowers. The little things can make a great deal of difference!

 Maintain a Routine

As creatures of habit, a routine is essential in creating both comfort and efficiency.

Designate your working hours and stick to them—don’t pick up your phone after hours. As we’ve welcomed our work into our homes, we need to learn to draw a line between personal and work time.

For those with children at home, teaching them your routine and sticking to it is important. Develop a system for your family that makes the most sense. Perhaps a posted schedule on the refrigerator with reading time, outside time, and screen time works best. 

Set Boundaries

One of the most awkward things in transitioning from the office to working from home is setting family boundaries. Our spouses and children may not understand just how demanding our jobs are or what time of the day is best for an interruption.

Have an honest conversation with any adults in the house about your preferences to avoid frustration.

For children, a closed door can help signify focused work time when you shouldn’t be interrupted. Setting expectations throughout the day can also be a great reminder for little ones. “Mommy is going to be on a video call. You may come in quietly, but no talking, please.”

 Take Five

Without the customary chit chat of our office environment or the regular walks to the kitchen for snacks, we tend to spend more time glued to the screen.

Set a reminder to get up and walk around for a few minutes each hour. This will greatly reduce eye strain as well as neck and shoulder pain.

Take in those blooming flowers outside, enjoy a five-minute yoga session, or give your pet a tummy rub.

Speak Up

Working remotely can be quite an adjustment when it comes to communication. Some of us do better with face-to-face conversations. If you feel something has been miscommunicated, you can save a chunk of time by reaching out with a video call.

We often learn so much through body language and tone as opposed to a lengthy email chain. Don’t be afraid to reach out!

May your next few weeks of remote work be even more efficient and prosperous with these tips in mind!

Failure is Feedback

Why Messing Up Can Raise You Up

by Amanda Krueger

“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”

Brené Brown

It’s time to look at failure in a different light, because it just may be one of the most crucial steps in reaching incredible success.

Sure, none of us actively welcome failure or enjoy it when it hits. It often means discomfort and the loss of time, money, patience—and perhaps pride. It’s an uncomfortable space to be in. We feel all eyes are on us. We feel the weight of social judgment and assume everyone is criticizing us. But, being our own harshest critics, this judgment is almost always fully imagined. So, rather than pulling ourselves down, why not become our own biggest advocates and lift ourselves up?

After all, failure is not equated to weakness. If you’re alive and trying new things, you absolutely will fail at some point. It’s evidence that you’ve come up with new, creative ideas to try and you’re pushing beyond the status quo. It’s these new ideas that change the world, so don’t be afraid to go after them!

Imagine 50 years ago, telling your grandparents that one day they will be able to order products to be delivered to their home with a simple voice command or that they’d be able to hold a conversation with someone at their front door while they’re miles away. All new ideas can seem a little hard to believe at first, but our world can’t advance without them.

Should your ideas fail, it’s the time to practice perseverance. Only the strongest of us get back up after a failure and try and try again. Learning to bounce back is an essential skill if you want to succeed. It’s what shows real character, persistence and grit.

It’s after we’ve waded through the disappointment and come out the other side that we see the true value of failure. It gives us the opportunity to look at what’s not working and figure out how to make it work. It’s invaluable feedback that shows us something needs to change before we can reach success.

We all fail, so let’s just be willing to do it. It makes us more interesting and more relatable. Why not own our past failures and be willing to share them with others? It’s an excellent way to develop rapport and build trust with others by showing some vulnerability. It may just be your finest networking tool!

Take some time to think about a past failure. What went wrong? What did you do right? How can you take that information and forge ahead?

Failure is simply feedback, after all, not the end of your story.