Keeping Up With the Coal Crew | September 2020
Over the last few months, Coal Creative has joined the ranks of companies switching to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the initial transition was definitely bumpy at times (internet connectivity issues, pets making guest appearances on Zoom calls, etc.), the Coal team has come to appreciate the remote work life.
Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of joining studio BE for a virtual mindfulness & stress course! Studio BE, based out of The Accelerator in Downtown Wilkes-Barre, offers mindfulness training programs to companies, non-profits, and individuals.
Dr. Christine Kiesinger led us through a Mindfulness and Stress workshop, where we learned about the science of mindfulness and how we can apply it to stressful situations in our day-to-day lives. The awesome individuals at studio BE were also kind enough to give us access to the course so that we could reference it whenever we need to, and also recommended a few specific meditations to accompany what we learned.
Following our session with studio BE, the Coal team found that many of the techniques taught during the session can also be applied to the experience of working outside of the office. After countless weeks of working from home and more Zoom calls than we can remember, our team has compiled a list of tips for working remotely:
- Create a Designated Workspace- “When I first started working from home I would find myself getting easily distracted,” says Camaryn, our Relationship Manager. “Now I make sure my “office” is away from anything that can easily distract me (like the pile of clothes that need to be put away). I also make sure I set aside time for self-care. I find myself forgetting to eat some days. Something I learned from studio BE is when I find myself getting overwhelmed with the amount of work I have, I take a step back and do a quick meditation. I find that after that I feel completely rejuvenated.”
- Put Your Phone on Silent- “Something that really helps me stay focused is putting my phone on silent,” says Bri, our Public Relations & Content Specialist. “Getting texts and notifications can really take you out of the zone and make it difficult to get back to work, so I usually put my phone on silent and sometimes even flip it over so that I’m not tempted to look at it at all. Once I’m finished with a task, then I’ll take a break and check Instagram or watch a few TikToks.”
- Give Your Eyes A Rest- “There’s a program I use called f.lux,” Travis, our Web Developer shares. “It tints your screen yellow, which helps reduce eye strain for long work sessions. You can check it out at justgetflux.com.”
- Set Healthy Boundaries- “Be sure to set a time to start work, and probably even more importantly, a time to stop working,” says Holly, Coal Creative’s CEO. “It can be extremely difficult to disengage from the workday when you’re already at home. Close the laptop at 5:00PM and put it out of sight. If your computer is in a main room and hard to get away from, simply close all of your tabs and shut it down. Create an action that symbolizes you are “signing off” so that you can also begin to mentally transition into your evening flow.”
- Stay Connected With Your Team- “Not being in the office with your co-workers can make maintaining communication difficult,” Matt, our Lead Web Developer & Lead Designer admits. “In the web department, Travis and I are only a few feet away, so it’s easy to work through site issues and new ideas together at the same computer. Luckily, our messaging app, Slack, has a built-in screen share feature that makes solving problems collaboratively quick and easy without having to jump to another program. You can even draw on each other’s screens!”
- Take Breaks- “I find taking breaks throughout the day to be effective,” says Alex, our Production Manager. “I’ll usually have coffee and go for a walk, anything to get the blood flowing before I get back to work.”
- Carve Out More “Me” Time- “When working from home, it can be a challenge to separate when the work day is over,” says Sam, our Creative Director. “As a creative person, most of my tools are located on the computer that I work from. Finding an activity or habit to “switch hats” from work mode to personal creative projects is important for me to be my most creative self. Whether it is practicing an instrument, exercising, meditating, changing shirts or whatever you find yourself doing to transition, switching out of work brain is important for your mental health.”
It’s been a busy month for the Coal Crew, but our team has proven to be resilient and capable of handling anything thrown our way. Until next time, Stay Coal!
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