With so much happening to small businesses and their employees – everyone is constantly adjusting to keep up with the steady stream of changes. We turned to our team to hear some of their personal reflections and tips as they navigate the uncertainty 2020 has brought their way. Here’s what they had to say.
"While my own day-to-day life and routine hasn’t changed much, we’ve been busy working with our clients to help them stay ahead of this situation. Once this chaos ends and normal life resumes, the world will be a different place. The businesses that have worked to maintain their relationships with their customers will be the ones to come out ahead. Communication is the key right now. A clear brand message delivered in a consistent manner has been an integral part of our business growth strategy from the beginning, but these days we’ve kicked it into high gear. We’ve been working hard to help our clients clearly communicate their core message and connect with their customers on a personal level. This is proving to be a life-saver for the businesses we work with, and it’s been keeping us pretty busy."
"As a mom who works from home, there haven’t been any extreme changes to my life since COVID-19, just minor routine adjustments. The first hurdle that required adjustment was having my 5 school kids home all day. It took a few days to set up online schooling and to enforce rules about not sleeping till noon everyday, but we got there. The second hurdle was having my husband home all day, everyday. It wasn’t long before we both realized he would need something to keep busy, and now those long awaited home improvement projects are getting done! The third hurdle was and still is grocery shopping. Rounding up a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 10 is no small feat. Typically I order them Friday evening from Walmart and pick them up the next day. Now with stores limiting items like butter, milk and bread to 2-per-person, I have had to get a little more creative. We haven’t gone hungry yet so thankfully we figured that out. So you could say my life has gotten a little more exciting and interesting but I’m thankful for the small changes – since those are things we can deal with."
"My life is pretty normal right now. This pandemic has definitely encouraged me to get more creative though, as I can’t go to the gym or hang out in town. I’ve used my extra time to brush up on my guitar skills, paint, read, and do a lot of hiking, running, and snowshoeing.
Working from home is not a new concept to me. I’ve been homeschooled since 4thgrade to my graduation last year (which is when I started working remotely for Sharper Strategy) so I’m no stranger to this routine. I’ve always loved/been grateful that I get to work from home and have a fairly secure job. The COVID-19 pandemic has really caused me to be more grateful than normal though, since a lot of people my age don’t have job security and have lost their jobs. I think my age range will have a hard time with this. They’re used to hanging out with friends constantly and most likely don’t have money saved for a “rainy day”, or in this case – a global pandemic. One thing that helps me stay focused while working from home, is setting my intentions for the day first thing in the morning. I list my top priorities for the day, and do some future self-journaling. If I lose focus, I simply look back at my journal and it helps me recalibrate my brain and get refocused."
"My life isn’t much different now than it was before this pandemic took off. My wife is a nurse and I work from home so things haven’t changed for us. We spend more time outside than before as there are no more indoor activities. That being said, my wife had to sign a waiver that would require her to quarantine at the hospital she works at for 2 weeks if they saw an outbreak of the Coronavirus. If this happened, our life would be upended pretty quickly!
Here are some tips to stay focused if you’re working from home for the first time:
• Put your kids outside
• Let your kids watch YouTube
• Put noise-cancelling headphones on
• Let your kids run amuck and destroy the house while you work"
"I’ve only been working from home for about 6 months now, but one important lesson I have learned in this short time is to set clearly-defined working hours for myself. It keeps me motivated and productive at work but also allows me to be more present in my home life. This has lately become even more important for my family and I as we navigate through the constant changes this pandemic has brought. Our weekly routine helps us stay grounded while our weekends give us a healthy dose of spontaneity. "
"The biggest changes in my life due to this pandemic have been no more going to the gym, and a cancelled trip. Getting outside to run every day keeps me from going too stir-crazy. If I can sneak in an extra walk or snowshoe, even better. I’m definitely missing some of my favorite restaurants and coffee shops, and am hoping that our local small businesses aren’t hurt too bad from this situation.
If you’re a first-timer working from home, you’ll find it so much easier if you stick to a schedule. Other things that have helped me stay focused while working from home are noise-cancelling headphones, wearing decent clothes and doing my hair (seems random, but it helps me feel productive!), and putting my phone in another room so I can’t see or hear notifications come in.
It’s incredible how fast life can change! I’m so grateful to be working for a company that can help make a difference for small businesses in uncertain times like this."
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. It has showed us how fragile and interconnected life is, but also how innovative people/businesses are at improvising, adapting and overcoming challenges in the most inspiring ways!
We’d love to hear from you. What has your experience been during this pandemic? Let us know in the comments.
Bridget is our Resident Artist, Blogger, and Graphic Designer. Her love of travel and nomadic spirit shine through in her graphics and copyrighting work. What makes this girl extraordinary when it comes to design and copywriting? Her unique understanding of marketing, and how it ties in with writing and design.