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
COVID-19 Family

Working, Teaching, & Parenting…Oh My!

With Gwinnett’s decision to have digital learning for a season, many parents are continuing to face the challenge of working and teaching. Many of you already balance working from our space and from home, but now there’s another factor to think about. Although we don’t have the answers, we found a source to answer some of your questions or to help put you a little more at ease! Read the article below to join the back-to-school conversation.

“4 Things Parents Can Expect from Their Kids When They Go Back to School” | Maressa Brown, Aug. 2020

 

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
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
Leadership

Maintaining Work Culture in Uncertain Times

No matter what role we play in our respective business or workplace, we are all shaping our work environment and culture. Because we are living in a primarily virtual world, it is now more important than ever to have intentionality in maintaining, growing, developing, and shaping our environment. Burke Allen, CEO of Cornerstone Coworking and Novologic, often says, “regardless of titles, everyone is a leader, you are either a good one or a bad one.”

Luckily, as leaders, we all have a role we can play in taking care of our work culture. It begins with a fairly simple task: caring. We need to make sure the people we work with know we care about them professionally and personally. The only way to make this happen is through caring for the health of our culture. Because it’s not a tangible object, we have to be mindful and intentional in how it’s created. We believe focusing on four concepts: compassion, trust, stability, and hope will help create the environment our teams need to thrive. 

Compassion—

Compassion is recognizing and sympathizing with the needs and experiences of another person. During Covid-19, we are all making adjustments. Whether you’ve recently become a remote employee, full-time teacher, and/or caretaker we are all covering new territory. In this season, and to create a positive and understanding work culture, we have to show compassion. When an employee doesn’t immediately answer a phone call or has to help their child with an assignment or lesson, show you understand their time. As long as we’re able to work together, you’ll help create a stronger team. 

Trust—

Building trust takes time, but as we are all working from a distance it is important our coworkers and employees know they have a place to turn to. As we are in an uncertain time, we need to remain open and honest with our teams and ourselves. Sharing what we do and do not know will help communication and understanding. It also allows the opportunity to create and stick to expectations. When we understand why, how, and when a task is to be done, it is more likely our teams will accomplish it. Over communicating helps to clarify and remove any possible barriers of a task or goal.

 Stability—

As we deal with Covid-19 and all of its side effects, stability is key to creating a safe environment. Through being present for our teams, standing up for them whenever you can, and helping to identify where they can step in are all ways you can lead this word out. 

Hope—

In the midst of Covid-19 and not knowing what our future will hold, we need to come together as a team to offer a sense of hope. It’s what many of us cling to in difficult seasons, and we can do a lot when we come together. Whether you are creating short devotionals or words of encouragement, saying thank you, sharing good news, and celebrating one another, there are reasons to find joy with and in your team.

 

 

Categories
Event

Quarantine Cocktails + Mocktails

Okay, it’s about time quarantine moves on out of the way; but since that is not happening, it’s time to make it fun! A few weeks ago, we had a little virtual Happy Hour to see how you were all doing! We encouraged you to BYOB (bring your own beverage), but we decided that’s not good enough. So here is a list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for you to make at home! Feel free to bring these to our Zoom calls or just enjoy them alone, in the dark, with a good Netflix movie–we’re here for you, not to judge you.

Iced Coffee:

  • This version includes Bailey’s, so it’s probably not the smartest way to start your day. Nonetheless, it’s a sweet treat when you need a little caffeine boost!
  • – There are a few ways to make coffee with this recipe so you can make it your own!

Peach Bellini:

  • – Nothing says getting ready for summer in Georgia like peaches. Enjoy a Peach Bellini while you work those long days from home!
  • – If you’re wanting the taste of this summer drink but still have a Zoom call to hop on, then try this version!

Raspberry Lemonade:

  • – You cannot get ready to kick summer off without a nice glass of lemonade. This Raspberry Vodka Lemonade is perfect to pair with a weekend outside or an afternoon snack.
  • – Some days you really want to share homemade lemonade with your family, so here’s the perfect recipe. And if you haven’t made this homemade before, we highly recommend it. 

 

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