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Working {Not} from Home

As this whole pandemic thing nears an end, it’s safe to say that we all have mixed emotions about working from home… or working {not} from home.

Face it: you’re stir crazy but also comfortable. You want to get out but you don’t want everything to go back to the way it was. We’ve had a taste of this whole modern work-life practice and we’re kinda liking it. 

You’re lying if you say that you don’t enjoy your only morning commute being a walk to the living room, your work attire being PJs, and your office chair being your couch. 

But let’s also not ignore the importance of having some structure in our lives. Having a place to wake up and come to that is your own (and not the same place that’s five feet away from where you sleep) can be a good thing. 

We need a place that’s right for our physical and mental health. Perhaps a place where your kids aren’t screaming “mommy” every five seconds or your boss isn’t constantly popping in your office to ask about that deadline that you’re already well aware of. 

Welcome to coworking.

In case you forgot, we are a modern, comfortable space that gives you the freedom to work how you please. Whether it’s a temporary place to hang your hat on the weekends or a permanent fix to all your office needs, we’ve got you.

 

But how?

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of “what ifs” and “hows” surrounding the coworking industry. So what do we have to say about it? We’re gonna be alright! In fact – maybe even better than before. The important thing is that we are all using this to learn about how we can improve. 

We are coming out of a worldwide pandemic, guys – something that will be in the history books one day. Like all major life events, we must learn and adapt.

Our hopes are that the pandemic may even shape the way we all work in the coming future. 

Working full-time remotely is HARD. Working full-time in person 9-5 Monday through Friday is HARD. It’s exhausting and it leads to quickly becoming burnt out. If we want to succeed…if we want to truly provide the best work environment for our employees, we will need to make some adjustments. If we as workers want to achieve the best work-life balance, it’s going to take some adjustments. 

 

Call it a comeback

With everyone itching to get back out, host those events and workshops they missed out on, and have their meetings IN PERSON we have got a space ready for you! Some of us may be on the hunt for a new job or new connections after being secluded for so long. It’s time for new opportunities right?! 

We’ve got the hookup here with a space that lets you interact with people of all workplaces. You never know who might be in our office from day-to-day. Maybe you’ve been talking to your pets a little too much recently? Come in and talk to us! (Our beloved office Goldendoodle or Bearded Dragon may even make an appearance from time to time.) 

We’re coming at you straight out of quarantine with some even fresher ideas, a positive outlook, and a whole new level of appreciation for our community and the meaning of togetherness. 

We may not have had much of a say…but regardless, we have all tried something new lately. We weathered the storm together and now we can no longer say that we are reluctant to try this new, “unheard” of thing called coworking. Here’s to a new age of working! 

Tips for How to (Sanely) Work Remotely

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For some of us, working remotely has already been a thing for years, but for others it’s a whole new concept. Many are now transitioning to a new way of working due to the rise of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the precautions being taken. From major companies, media sources and universities world wide, we are being encouraged to stay home. While freelancers and digital nomads have been practicing social distancing for years, some of us are finding it challenging to be productive within the walls of our homes.

So what can you do to work productively from home? We want to share a few tips that we use in our coworking space that are easily adaptable to you in your home right now.

 

Be Aware

If you’re like us, you’ve probably felt as though you live behind your desk most days. Now it will be even harder for you as you navigate how to divide your home life from your work life. The key is to be aware of where you are doing your work, when you are doing it and how often you are doing it. Keeping this separate from your home life as much as possible will keep you from going stir crazy. 

Going Off the Clock

While it is necessary to be available when needed, it’s also important to make sure we know the importance of being away from our work when we need to as well.  This means fighting that urge to check those work emails when you’re “off the clock.” Studies say this can lead to further work anxiety and we have enough anxiety going on as is. Those emails can wait, because sometimes your sanity cannot. Take care of yourself first so you can do a fantastic job later.

Take Breaks Often

This could be when you break to eat or when you need to just get a breath of fresh air. (Also we would like to point out – please break to eat. Sometimes that is a forgotten necessity.) Eat lunch away from your work spot. Whether this is your at-home desk or your couch, step away from your work while you eat. Trust me, your crumb-less keyboard will thank you and so will your mind. Get outside, exercise in between Zoom meetings or even take your laptop (if you must) to your back porch while the kids plays outside for a change.

Switch It Up

A key factor in getting work done that we focus on is being comfortable and productive. Chances are if you’re working in the same spot day after day, you may lose inspiration or start to feel burnt out. Being told you have to remain at least 6 feet away from others and preferably stay in your home only adds to the feeling of “burnt-out-ness.” Get creative. Set yourself up for success and designate a few work spots for yourself and your spouse. Most importantly, make sure they are not the spots where you relax or spend time “off the clock.” 

Practice Self-Care

Probably most important of all, take care of yourself. This is what all of these tips boil down to. Simple things like taking a shower, creating more than complaining, drinking water, getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep and so on… These few simple improvements are what is going to get us through this time. Do it for yourself, your career, your family and your sanity.

 

 

Some could look at this time as another roadblock in the world of business. We choose to look at it as a push in the direction toward restructuring and adapting to modern practices. Coworking has been a leader for years in the societal shift to working remotely. Although the current circumstance is not favorable for many reasons, we are still staying here and being a resource when needed.

Best of luck to you in your work journeys remotely!

How to “Hygge” It

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Ever try to get work done, but you’re just not comfortable? The lighting is bad, it’s noisy, or maybe that dang desk chair just isn’t cutting it anymore. We’ve all been there and while this is not meant to be a sales pitch, hear me out. We simply want to show you how you can make your work space a little bit more enjoyable – by adding a little hygge to it. 

This concept, and our theme for the month, can help you bring in all the right vibes that you need in a work space. So how do you bring a “feeling” into how you work? By doing little things that make your space more “you.” Whatever it is that lifts up your spirits. 

Lighting

If you’re like me, natural light and windows can significantly change your mood. Sometimes hanging out by the windows in Ment is the perfect motivation for me. An entire room or skylight to soak up those rays might be just what you need. Use the light available to you to set a mood. No, I’m not talking about rose petals and romantic music (although if that is your thing, we are not against it). I’m talking about dimming those office lights or using those lamps that you have and getting your “cozy” on. Candle lovers, I know you guys are listening – this is for you too! 

This is where I add the Disclaimer right, Hayley? *Ment is not responsible for any fires, naps or yoga sessions that may result. 

Move Around

I’m also one of those people that simply cannot always sit behind a desk. Sometimes kicking your shoes off and cuddling up on the couch or just moving out of your typical workspace can get you into a better headspace. I seriously love sitting out in our open coworking space (preferably on the couches or cushioned chairs) with my laptop and books. 

Enjoy the little things 

Things like the smell of fresh roasted coffee in the morning or the smiles that greet you around the office. Sometimes we just need to take a moment to be grateful for those small things in life. When I enter the parking lot for my work days at Ment, I am forever thankful for that little parking pass that allows me to not have to worry about searching for a spot for 20 minutes! Being able to work downtown in such a beautiful building and with such great people is also uplifting for me. Our members? They love knowing that coffee will be waiting for them and that if they want to take advantage of places in the community, their member perks allow them to do that. 

Comfort Items & Decor

When practicing hygge, it’s all about making a space that works for you. Bring in photos of your loved ones. Decorate your space in a way that brings you happiness. Our community partner is helping us with that this month! Maybe bring in some of the outside with plants, real or fake depending on how well of a plant mom (or dad) you are *shamefully looks away*. Essential oil lovers, we know you are already packing them around with you so embrace it! Bring in that diffuser and let the wellness scents fill your office. Cold natured people or employees of a company that simply doesn’t know how to use the thermostat – do not be ashamed. Keep that blanket close to you or even that heater that you’re probably already hiding under your desk. 

Interact

The Danish are also all about genuine relationships. Interact with your colleagues or fellow office mates. Strike up a conversation or simply give a few greetings and smiles here and there. Basically, just practicing encouragement and spreading good vibes can go along way! Our members are all unique and come from totally different backgrounds and businesses. This makes it the perfect place to get to know those within our own little “Ment community.”

Focus on yourself

Don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Practice self-care and make it a part of your daily routine if you’re not already. Again, it’s all about the little things: take some time for you, step outside on your break, reflect on your day or your goals or make yourself a work playlist. I have been really into coffee shop music and just chill sounds that help me to focus without causing distraction. 

Remember: comfort = productivity.

According to the Happiness Research Institute,“…78% of Danish workers value a safe, cosy and casual atmosphere in the office.” 

Maybe we are not so different here in the U.S. We just didn’t know there was a term for it! So grab those blankets, candles, coffee mugs or anything else that brings you joy and pack it in with you. Get comfortable and get it done! If you need a little extra inspiration, we are only an elevator ride up and a day pass away!

For more information and tips to keep “hygging” on, check out some of our other articles on work-life balance, minimalism and loving where you work.

 

Catching Zzz’s

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When you think of being healthy and creating a healthy lifestyle, what do you think of? Probably eating more green things and less brown things. Maybe going for a walk rather than hitting next episode on that new show you’re bingeing. Now, did you think of more sleep? Our society has become one that believes the less sleep you have, the more productive you are. You’re up for more hours, so you’ll get more work done, right? Wrong. 

As a college student, we’re encouraged to stay up all night cramming for that final in your hardest class or writing that ten-page research paper. It’s normal to hear someone say they didn’t sleep at all before a huge exam. I have been known to participate in some nocturnal study habits in my day, but I feel worse after it. I would have much rather slept a few more hours to give my brain its much-needed rest. 

People are applauded for the low amount of sleep they get. Staying up late working in our Western culture is a sign of a strong work ethic, or that you want to climb your way up the ladder so you’re putting in more hours trying to get that promotion. Make sure to keep your schedule in check. 

Not only has the amount of sleep we get decreased, but the quality of it as well. Late night Instagram scrolling has a bad effect on our brains as we try to wind down for bed. I don’t know the whole science behind it, but the blue light emitted from cell phones mimics real light and our brain perceives it that way. It wakes our brain up, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do when going to sleep. I am not the best at advice for this category because I absolutely peruse Twitter as I am laying in bed. I know it is bad for me, but I do it anyway (story of mostly everyone’s lives). Maybe if I give this advice I will take it: place your phone away from your bed at night. Put it across your room so you are not tempted to get it, and this will help you get up in the morning too, since you will have to physically get up to turn your alarm off. Sounds like a win-win to me. 

Here’s some rapid-fire facts about why you should get a good night’s sleep is important: 

  • Poor sleep is related to weight gain
  • A bad sleep routine can be linked to greater risk for heart failure and stroke 
  • Sleeping less also increases your glucose levels and can be traced to prediabetes 
  • Poor sleep can also contribute to depression and anxiety

It isn’t all bad, though! There are obviously some fantastic effects a good night’s sleep can have on you:

  • Good sleepers tend to eat less calories, which can help when trying to lose weight 
  • A good night’s sleep can help in cognitive function and productivity (i.e. before a big test!)
  • A good sleep can improve athletic performance 
  • Sleeping the correct amount can aid in digestion and boost your immunity 

I know it is easier said than done, though. You can’t just sleep. Carve out time to enjoy the process of getting ready for bed—clean your bedding, put on your comfiest pajamas, diffuse some calming essential oils, and whatever else makes you feel at ease. Remember to limit your screen time prior to going to bed, maybe switch to reading a chapter from your new favorite novel. We can all get more sleep together, and then maybe the world will be just a little less cranky.