Categories
Business

Make Remote Working Work

Written by Samantha Proctor

The biggest question of this year is “how do I make this work.” With curveball after curveball thrown at us, all we’re able to do is dodge and adjust. Between work, digital learning, family, and attempting to maintain a social life, we have done a lot of dodging. But don’t let this get to you or overwhelm you! We have a solution to the question of the year.

Growing up, when I felt overwhelmed, my grandpa would ask me, “how do you eat an elephant?” I thought the question itself was silly, but then he would answer “one bite at a time.” An even sillier response! But as I’ve gotten older and responsibilities seem to pile on top of one another, his answer makes more sense.

Let me make his question relevant:
Question – How do you eat a global pandemic (and maintain life at the same time)?
Answer – One bite at a time.

Our best advice for taking it “one bite at a time” is to schedule everything–including your time out of the house. Part of what makes our coworking space great for remote workers and work-from-homers is our quiet, convenient workspace. Your scheduled time with us will be productive and valuable to your goals (and your sanity). Because we know schedules are flexible and change frequently, we have multiple areas for you to work from! Whether you need a devoted space or just a table for a few hours, we have you covered!

While some of us are new to working from home, some have been doing it for years. But even for the seasoned remote worker, this pandemic continues to twist our arms to its side effects–digital learning being a major one. As more schools offer digital learning, working your typical 9-5 isn’t possible. At our workspace, we provide 24/7 access to members who need to work early mornings, late nights, and/or weekends. Since your office and home weren’t meant to occupy the same square footage, it’s beneficial to your todo list and mind to separate the two when they unexpectedly merge.

Although this is one of many solutions you’ll find along your journey through 2020, we hope to be a space where you can try new ways of adjusting to spending time with your family, working from home, and everything in between.

Categories
Business

SMART Assessment: Reclaim Your Business Goals

June has come to a close and the year is still as interesting as it was a few months ago. Although Covid-19 may have thrown off some of your goals for the year, it is time to get back on the saddle, tighten the leash on your plans, and head off to the races. Whether it’s a business or personal goal, you can reevaluate where you are now to stay on track. Many of us have been able to adjust to this season but some goals have inevitably slipped through the cracks. The SMART assessment is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, and it will help you examine where you are to help you get where you want to be! Read below to see how you navigate each SMART step:

Specific

This section provides space to ask the question, “what do you want to accomplish?” Then you follow the answer to this question with who, what, when, where, why, and how. Answering all of these questions creates the groundwork for the rest of the assessment.

Measurable

Here, you’ll categorize what you want to see, hear, feel, touch, and experience when you reach your goal. Think of this as the tangible manifestation of your goal’s outcome and who it impacts, whether it’s you or your customer.

Attainable

This step is simple but not always easy to accept. Your question here is “do I have the resources to make this possible?” If you are limited on time, money, or employees, then this goal may be one to save for a later date. But it also allows you to see the reality of what’s in front of you!

Relevant

Think of the end goal and whether it is relevant to you now, when it’s done, and later down the road. You may this is not the right direction to take your goals, or you can see ways to make it better for you and/or your customers!

Timely

Don’t forget the importance and value of your time! Consider the amount of money (and time) you’ll spend accomplishing the goal. Is it worth it? Here, you’ll want to create a realistic timeline and set deadlines for you and your team.

 

To see an example of this assessment, click here!

You can also change a few of the questions, while keeping the concept, to make this your own.

 

Categories
Business

Balancing Life & Working Remote

Articles on work-life balance may seem like white noise to most at this point, but it’s important not to lose focus! As I was sitting at home yesterday, I noticed a couple of trends: 1) I was putting fewer tasks on my to-do list and 2) it was taking longer to accomplish each one. My time in the office was easily becoming the most productive time of my week. If you’re finding this to be your case and habits while at home, then check out the article below. It reiterates many of the tips we’ve heard before with a refreshing perspective.

“3 Tips on Resiliency to Help You Avoid Remote-Work Burnout” | Alain Hunkins, May 21, 2020

 

 

Categories
Family

Quarantine Fun: DIY Movie Projector

As the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer, you’ll have more time to spend enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Now’s the time to begin planning your backyard outings. Create a backyard movie theater for outdoor entertainment this summer! This guide will show you in 5 easy steps how to get started in creating your own movie projector!

Materials needed for your DIY Projector:
  • – Shoe box 
  • – Magnifying Glass that is 5x magnification (NOTE: When purchasing your magnifying glass be sure it does not contain a smaller lens inside. This will distort your picture)
  • – Pen/Marker
  • – Velcro strips (These can be found on Walmart, Amazon, or Home Depot
  • – Box Cutter
  • – Black Tape
  • – Black Paint 
  • – Smartphone 

 

STEP I: 

You’ll start by taking the magnifying glass out of the frame. Once that’s out, place the glass on one end of the box and trace a circle with your pen or marker; making sure that the circle gets traced on part of the lid as well. With your box cutter, carefully cut the circle out. 

STEP 2: 

Paint the inside of the box black, and allow it to dry! 

STEP 3: 

Once your paint is dry, you’ll take the lens and securely fit it inside the circle you’ve previously cut. You’ll then take your black tape and use it to secure the lens around the edges so that it is nice and snug, making sure there are no gaps. 

STEP 4: 

On the back of your smartphone, you’ll attach two velcro strips. Inside the back of the box, you’ll attach two more velcro strips. These will help your phone stay sturdy and in place when you put your phone inside the box.

STEP 5:

Before placing your phone inside the box, be sure to lock the screen orientation and insert it with the picture displayed upside down. The magnifying glass will flip the image and project it on whatever surface you play it on! 

 

A perfect movie night isn’t complete without the essentials! Make sure you have your snacks, drinks, and blankets to get ready for a summer full of fun spent under the stars; enjoying your favorite movies with the ones you love!

Categories
Business COVID-19

Skills to Develop for Post-Coronavirus

In the midst of Covid-19, we are experiencing adjustments in our everyday work flow, getting on numerous video calls and searching for new software. We all have a sneaking suspicion that life after this pandemic will not resemble what we were used to. In this time as we’re learning new skills, we may see some of them shift into new, normal skills. Below, you’ll find an article from Forbes outlining expected skills.

8 Job Skills to Succeed in a Post-Coronavirus World | Bernard Marr, April 2020

 

Categories
COVID-19

Communicating Across the Cyberspace

There is a reason the phase communication is key has been relevant for so long. It’s hardly ever an easy task and has only increased in difficulty during Covid-19. Between text messages and emails, tones are mishandled and wording isn’t always clear. Although many of you who use coworking spaces have adjusted to remote communication, it is new for many of us. Approaching conflict, having difficult conversations, and clearly sharing ideas isn’t as easy as expected. Hopefully, these tidbits of information below are helpful to you and your team! And if you have any additional thoughts on this topic, make sure to share them at the bottom of this page.

Get Tech Savvy

It may sound like a challenge, but it gets easy with a little bit of time. The bulk of this work comes through research–which anyone can do! A simple Google search will help you find a good video conferencing platform, a way to manage your new schedule, or a tool to easily converse with your team. It’s important to keep not only an easy tool in mind, but also how your team will adjust to it. Not all platforms and tools are user friendly, but you’re bound to find one that works for everyone. To help you get started with your search, read our blog about Navigating Business in Uncertain Times.

Keep it Simple

Just because you find a tool that says it’ll help you communicate better with your team doesn’t mean it will. When looking for tools, consider the time it takes to onboard everyone involved. Major shifts in your communication style could cause more harm than good. Instead, try to find your current holes in communication and fill them. Your overall goal is to create a clear communication path where shared ideas are easy to understand, find, and reiterate. 

Rely on Face-to-Face Communication

Although you cannot physically meet in person, do not limit your face-to-face interactions. The best way to stay in communication with your team is through video conferences. Check in with everyone, share ideas, and continue conversations as normal. This will help to prevent any frustrations, misinterpreted tones, and will benefit the overall comradery of your team!

We’ll all learn as we go during this time, but we can help make it easier! And remember: dream teams are important now more than ever. So get together with your coworkers and have fun navigating this change together!

Categories
COVID-19

What COVID-19 has Taught me so far

Written by Samantha Proctor

It’s day 62,843 of quarantine, right?  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t worn the same outfit for 3 days in a row…oops.  Most days I can’t even remember if it’s Tuesday or Friday, or if I’ve eaten anything today. What I do know is that this pandemic is something that our generation, heck, even the generation before us, has never seen. I don’t know how to navigate this, and going to my parents for advice is useless. For me, this has been a period where I am in uncharted territory. We are having to figure this out alone. Luckily, we’re 3 weeks in and some very valuable life lessons have been learned! These made a huge impact on my family so far,  and I pray they help you as well! 

 

Family comes first

I am so lucky to work for a company that has always instilled this in their employees. I do have workaholic tendencies, but being a 39 week expectant mom has really made this sink in. At the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for my husband, my unborn son, and myself. The thought of going anywhere that I could bring germs into my house is a scary thought. I am learning each day that regardless of what is going on outside of my house, it isn’t near as important as what is happening and who is inside my house. 

 

Even if you feel alone, you’re not

This time of ‘quarantine’ or isolation, whatever you want to call it, is sad. Especially when your spouse is an ‘essential’ worker, and you find yourself spending all of your time at home alone. The feelings of loneliness tend to creep in during this time. I had to remind myself, and still have to, that this is temporary. Quarantine will not last forever. I am not alone, because hundreds of thousands of people all over Georgia are in the same boat. If they can do it, we can too. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. 

 

Control what you can

This kinda brings me back to the ‘family comes first’ point. I have learned that I can control what happens in my house, and for the most part, control what my family does. What I can’t control is how the media thrives on our fear and anxiety, and I can’t control how irresponsible other people are. What I can control is how much attention I give the media and I can control my decisions to stay as sanitary as possible. This situation that we’re stuck in has really forced me to let go of the reigns.

 

Let go and let God

A huge part of letting go of control is letting God have it. My faith has really been tested during this pandemic. Jeremiah 29:11 has been playing in my mind for the past 62,843 days (okay, I’m being dramatic, more like 20!): “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God has us in His hands. He knows how this will all play out, and I have to put my trust in that–even when I don’t want to. Even when I am feeling alone, sad, and like the world is crashing down around me, God has my back (and yours!). 

Moral of the story is we are going to be okay. Our anxieties may be high, we may be seeing business repercussions of this global pandemic, we may be feeling alone and depressed, but write this down: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” Read it, write it down, say it aloud. Make it your mantra for this time–and really for every day. We’ve got this, friends! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! 

Categories
COVID-19

Navigating Business in an Uncertain Time

As business leaders, we have the opportunity to influence not only people inside of our organizations, but also those around us every day. To do this, we have to understand how the role of leadership plays in this current climate as well as in our personal lives and habits.

Lead Our Companies & Community

We need calmness, not craziness. Don’t lean into the panic of the media; instead, work as a reliable and peaceful source for your team. 

  • – Good leaders act like leaders.
    • > Know your strengths and weaknesses
    • > Focus on making others successful
    • > Seek help from others
    • > Tell it like it is: as leaders, especially during this time, we need to be honest with ourselves and our teams.

Keep Clients in Mind

Clients need reassurance that you’re keeping them as a priority. To make sure you’re doing everything you can, here are a few questions to ask:

  • – What can I offer my clients that would help them generate revenue fast?
  • – What can I offer that would help them save money on marketing, sales, or operations? (think automation, online ordering, online forms, funnels, etc.)
  • – Is there something I can do for my clients that if sold as a stand-alone service, it would be valuable to others in the market? 

Another helpful and intentional way to let them know you’re thinking about their wellbeing is to send individual, personal, thoughtful emails to every client. Ask how they’re doing and if there’s anything you can do right now to support them.

Balance Work & Life

The best way to maintain balance is keeping a clear mind. We talk a lot about work/life balance, especially when working from home or a coworking space, but it is especially important right now. When there are no coworking spaces to turn to and you’re stuck at home, make sure to care for your routine.

  • Practice self care. Prepare for your day as normal. Get dressed and work from an area that is quiet and allows you to focus like you would at your normal workspace.
  • Create a routine, not a schedule. A schedule is a set of blocked times to do a certain task. If you weren’t doing this before, then it will most likely not be helpful right now. Instead of listing out your schedule of when you’re working, create a routine. Routines are habits that you create and set in motion. These will help your mind adjust and be more effective. 
  • Lean in to the positive and be intentional with the time we have with families. Although this season is unexpected and far from ideal, don’t let this time slip by. Enjoy the extra time with your family and focus on growing relationships and creating memories. This will always be a time to look back on cherish–even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Here are some ideas to help keep the family entertained if you run out of activities!

Additional Resources

 

Categories
Work

Cornerstone: Night of Worship

My name is Alyse Doty and I am a worship leader at Rivertown Church in Jacksonville, Florida. I began working in music ministry 10 years ago, and since then have served at around 50 different churches. Worship has been such an important part of my personal walk with Christ throughout my life. I grew up singing in church, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized how vital worship was. There is something so powerful about stepping corporately into the presence of Jesus through song. Throughout my personal experience as a worship leader, I have truly learned the importance of constantly acknowledging the steadfast faithfulness of God. Praising Him through seasons of blessings is so uplifting and joyful, but praising him through trials is what teaches us to trust Him. 

A song that has constantly been on my heart lately is Way Maker. The lyrics repeat, “way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness” and it is such a powerful declaration. The first time I heard it, a verse came to my memory. Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Jesus promises that he will make a way when there is no way. The first example is through the crucifixion and resurrection, which makes a way for us to enter into salvation. But God cares about us so deeply and loves us each individually. He sees each of our needs and draws us near to Him in times where we struggle and doubt. For me, this song renewed so much hope in my heart of who God is and how he cares for us. 

 

Categories
Business

Prayer Plans for Your Business

This month, as we focus on praying over businesses, we want to help you get started with options for guided prayer time. Sometimes it’s difficult to narrow down what to pray for or it’s difficult to pray with authority. Below you’ll find a few options for devotionals or guided prayer specifically related to business. We hope you are able to find ways to apply these to your business, goals, and personal life.

Demonstrating God’s Presence In Business: This plan walks you through God’s desire to use Christian entrepreneurs in the workplace to bring transformation through His presence. It is a 4-day reading plan using Scripture to support the ways God is present in your business.

Demonstrating God’s Love in Business: Entrepreneurs have a vantage point with unique opportunities to show God’s love in the workplace and minister to people who would never know the Gospel. In this 4-day plan, you will read through Scripture to learn the ways you can reflect God’s love in your business.

Good Ideas vs. God Ideas in Business: As an entrepreneur, you are constantly filled with ideas. However, not all ideas are from God and worthy of pursuit. This 5-day plan offers Biblical insight to help you discern the good ideas from the God ideas.

THE PRINCIPLES for Business: Formerly known as Good Business Daily, this 31-day plan includes principles of work, leadership, and business. You can read one principle per day, or read through them as issues occur in your business.  THEPRINCIPLES were recorded by authors skilled in business and amassed great wealth. Moses learned mathematics from the Prince School of Egypt. Solomon traded internationally and built cities. Matthew, who recorded Jesus’ Gospel, was a tax collector. THEPRINCIPLES change the way we work and improve our culture. Following this plan will prove to bring great reward to your business, organization, and your life’s work!

The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far: This reading plan includes seven daily devotions based on Louie Giglio’s book The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far. Each reading draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.