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

Private Offices Available

We love any opportunity to grow the Cornerstone family and we have a wonderful chance for this right now. Two of our private offices are available for you, or someone you know, to move in! Here’s the rundown of what these offices include:

  • – Furnished private office with desk, chair, and bookshelf
  • – Bring in your own furniture (if you want!) and deck it out with your logo
  • – 24/7 access to the building
  • – Access to the private resident wing with common area
  • – 10 hours per month to use in the Conference Rooms
  • – Business address and mail service included in the price

 

Each office varies in square footage and provides plenty of space for one to two people to work comfortably. Not only will you be able to have a wonderful space in the growing, Downtown Lawrenceville area, but you’ll also join a welcoming community of workers. And current members: if you refer someone who signs up for this office, you’ll receive a free month on your membership!*

To learn more about these private offices, email info@cancollab.com. We hope to make you a Cornerstone Resident soon!

*A free month discount applies only to the membership level costs and will not discount membership add-ons.

 

 

Categories
Family

Summer Events with Social Distancing in Mind

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

Summer is on the horizon! As COVID restrictions begin to lift, we can press play on our summer gatherings and begin enjoying time with our community without Zoom–thank goodness! However, it’s important we still maintain a sense of caution when gathering together with those we care for. Here are a few socially distanced party ideas to enjoy while keeping safety in mind, but without compromising on fun! 

  •  > Flower Arranging Party: Flowers are an integral part of life. They lift the spirit and improve the overall mood on any given day. But what’s even more therapeutic than looking at flowers, is playing with flowers! You don’t have to have an excuse to ever play with flowers, but if you are hosting a bridal shower, baby shower, or even a birthday party consider adding this as an entertainment piece. Find a flower expert in your local area and gather a small group of your gals for an afternoon of flower arranging! You’ll be able to share your stories and experiences as you create something beautiful. Find an open, shaded, outdoor space where you can host your party. If you decide to have it at a venue or inside your home, be mindful of the number of guests you invite and where everyone will be sitting. After you complete your gorgeous arrangements, find the perfect place for them in your home, or gift them to bring a smile to someone’s face. Flowers By Yona hosts fantastic Flower Arranging parties, providing all of the essentials needed for you to create beautiful arrangements through the art of storytelling.

 

  • > Paint Party: Replace your computer screen with a canvas and release your inner artist! A socially distanced paint party can be enjoyed in the comforts of your home with friends or the kiddos. Transform the largest space in your home into an art studio where guests can spend time creating beautiful masterpieces. Paint With a Twist has Twist at Home Kits that can be ordered and picked up. Included in the kit is a canvas, all the paint colors needed to create your selected masterpiece, paint brushes (for keeps!), other essentials, and written instructions along with a video link to follow along with your instructor to complete your painting.

 

  • > Pop-Up Pool Party: Bummed you’re having to spend your summer away from the poolside? Well, having a pool party isn’t completely out of the question! Throw a backyard pool party with giant inflatables, cocktails (or juice boxes), and some summer tunes. Minnidip has a stylish line of adult-friendly kiddie pools! Space out a few of these in your backyard for a pop-up pool party to keep yourself and others cooled off and entertained this summer. Add a couple of loungers for those who want to soak in the sun, but don’t forget to bring out the Super Soakers and water balloons for a contactless game of tag! No pool party is complete without burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

 

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
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

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
COVID-19

Helpful Widgets to Keep You Focused at Home

So the madness has officially set in. Personally, this means everyone rushes to the store to get the essentials: toilet paper, bread, milk, coffee, wine, and (if you are anything like me) ice cream. However, as an employee that is preparing work from home, your essentials may look a little different. Of course you need the same basics to stay alive and sane in your house but what tools do you need to remain successful working from home?

Well, after a little time at home, I have found a few resources to help save us, keep us sane, and manage our time wisely. When you are at work, you probably make a point to take a lunch break and step outside of the office for a moment to refresh yourself. Maybe you enjoy walks after you accomplish a daunting task on your list. But at home you may find it harder to keep track of time, mark off your to-do list, and make sure your meetings are on schedule and efficient, Hopefully theses little tools will help you manage your time wisely while also taking care of yourself:

  • Break Timer is a Chrome extension that reminds you to step away from your computer to give your eyes and brain a break. 
  • Toggl is another Chrome extension to help keep track of your time and what you are allocating it towards. This will help with time management and help you track where your time is going!
  • – Video calls are a great way to communicate with teammates and/or clients during this time. It keeps your meetings personal, productive, and efficient. A video platform we recommend is Google Meet. This platform is user friendly and easily compatible with all other google apps we love. 
  • – If you are anything like me, there is nothing more satisfying than making a task list and checking each item off. But sometimes, your physical checklist can’t follow you everywhere. Here are some virtual checklist and task management recommendations:
    • > Tasks is a google chrome add on that you can have pulled up next to your email and google calendar. This is also available as a mobile app to access anywhere.
    • > Trello is a great platform for managing tasks, adding checklists within the task, setting reminders, and collaborating with a team. 

 

Everything works differently for each person, but these are some great resources and surely one of them will prove useful to your everyday routine

 

Categories
Family

Social Distancing but Make it Fun

2020 has been what we all expected. With the devastating fires in Australia, the tornado that destroyed Nashville, and now COVID-19 crippling most of the world. It feels like we can’t catch a break. At a time where we all need to feel a sense of community and support, we are being told to stay home and distance ourselves from others. While this is what the CDC recommends (and is absolutely for the best), it isn’t easy. It’s been less than a week, the stir-crazy is sinking in, and the wilder the kids get the quicker your patience runs out! Before you absolutely lose your mind and lock the kids in the backyard, check out a few of these fun things our team has been implementing in our homes. We hope they are helpful to you as well! 

  • – Connect with nature: Now that it’s finally stopped raining, take advantage of feeling the sunshine on your face! And just because you’re social distancing from other humans, doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside. Go for a walk around the neighborhood with the kids and dogs, break out the soccer ball and run around the backyard, even just take a drive with the windows down. Vitamin D will do you some good! 
  • – Add some fun to your todo list: We are all working from home, but honestly, many of us have pretty empty todo lists. Now is your time to try something you’ve always wanted! Whether that is teaching your kids how to do the cupid shuffle, or working on that puzzle that’s been sitting halfway finished for 3 months, make sure you add some fun to your day. Laughter and joy is what’s holding most of us together when it feels like everything else is falling apart around us! 
  • – Dance the blues away: Like I mentioned earlier, teaching the kids the cupid shuffle is a fun way to break the day up, but also you have to get up and move too! One of my favorite Instagram families ‘The Boss Family’ (Stephen is the DJ on Ellen Degeneres talk show) are live streaming dance workouts throughout the day to get you moving, get the blood flowing, and bring some smiles into your day! You can check them out by searching for @Allisonholker or @sir_twitch_alot
  • – Be Productive: This might not bring a whole lot of fun in the moment, but once it’s done you’re going to be so relieved! How often do you get 2 weeks at home without having a sick kid or having to use PTO? Use this time to tackle the coat closet that’s been collecting junk for the past 2 years or finally do the kid-friendly scie! You have extra time, don’t let it go to waste by binge watching Friends for the 24th time (we are NOT judging you for this!!). Use this time wisely, don’t take it for granted! 

 

We’re here for you during this time–whether it’s to video chat so you can have ‘adult conversation’ or if it’s to give you some ideas to help break the day up. Just know, The Cornerstone Team has your back! We look forward to seeing you all back at Cornerstone in a few weeks once the Coronavirus has run its course and our community is back on its feet! Stay safe, clean & healthy, Coworkers!