Tips from a Ruby: working from home.

Hello, business warriors! 

First, I have to say that I am SO INCREDIBLY proud of you. You have (as always) stepped up to this challenge and demonstrated that you are truly a remarkable community of gifted, hardworking, and innovative human beings.

Like many of you, I am so relieved and grateful to be able to work from home, but have noticed that there are some challenges that can come with the new digs! I’ve been working on some strategies to keep myself from sliding out of my regular schedule and headspace, and thought I’d share with you. It’s a work in progress, but we hope to keep building on it and eventually publish thoughts a handy “business at home” guide!

When our bodies don’t move and we work/play/sleep in the same place, our brains get foggy and nervous. Combine that with the stress of a schedule change and a scary virus, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for The Sads. Banish the Blerch by forging your own new daily schedule! Some of these tips are really basic, but when life changes, the little things can start getting away from you.

Physical Swellness:

  • Sunshine! We’re not commuting anymore and aren’t getting the same dose of the outside world! It can be easy to slide into a habit of bed -> work -> bed, especially when we’re all working so hard. Get outside before and/or after work, walk a few blocks and breathe the fresh air! (Hazmat suit optional).
  • Eat yer vegetables! We’ve all heard the stories about empty grocery store shelves, and moving forward we will likely encounter some shortages of fresh produce! We all love pirates, but Scurvy is so 18th century. Take a multivitamin if you aren’t already, and keep your eyes extra peeled for produce when you see it at the store! Maybe even try that weird dragon fruit someone left in the bakery section…
  • Stretch! We don’t have our standing desks or fitness room available, and we imagine you probably don’t either. Get up and leave your computer for breaks, setting a timer for every hour to stand up and get your blood moving again!

Mental Swellness:

  • Keep that morning routine! It is so…so very tempting to roll out of bed a few minutes before your shift because, by golly, you CAN! However, we have all relied on our morning warm-up for years, and depriving ourselves of the coffee/musings/podcasts that we’re used to can really put us off our game. And in that vein…
  • Establish and maintain a schedule! We’re all a little discombobulated right now, so it’s extra important to create a dependable schedule that mirrors our experience at work. Wake up and go to bed at the same time, schedule daily “boost” activities like walking and baby/furbaby snugs time. And hey, there’s an app for that! 
  • Take time off! I know that we all want to put in 110% percent to get through this, but we are under a lot of stress. Recognize it, be gentle with yourself, and proactively schedule a mental swellness day to give yourself some breathing room.
  • Innovate your fun! Over the coming weeks, your days and nights may start to blend together because you’re working and playing in the same space. Come up with new ways to party with friends. (I’ve included a few ideas at the bottom of this post.)

The Work Part:

  • Reach out for resources! We no longer have our trusty desktops, filing cabinets and bookshelves anymore, so you might start feeling like you’re coming a bit unraveled when it comes to work organization. Reach out to your network and see what others are doing to keep their spaces (and their minds) tidy. 
  • Ruby-Fy your desk! What we mean by this is, make it your own. You might be working from the space that you have right now for a while, so take the time to get cozy and comfortable, whatever that means for you. 
  • Check out of your email! Easier said than done, I know, I know. But taking a moment to step away from the constant pings and dings of Slack messages, text messages, emails, and maybe even calls can give you the time you need to keep your business on track. 

 Innovate Your Fun:

  • Remote Board Games! Get your hands on a webcam/mobile device and break out Cones of Dunshire or Candyland and play with a friend! (Don’t play Risk, though. It ends friendships.)
  • Video Charades! Your pet may think you’re weird, but you and your friends will have a blast.
  • Community Movies! There are a ton of apps out there from The Rabbit to Plex to Netflix Party that will allow all of you to watch movies together!
  • Bake/Cook Together! Ruby is well known for our collection of master bakers. We’ve been spending time virtually cooking with one another in the off-hours, and it’s just so sweet. 
  • Online gaming! For all of you sweet summer children who don’t yet spend hours playing video games, there are actually a ton of fun solo and multiplayer games out there! Whether you love working puzzles, playing Scrabble or just plain making mayhem, the gaming world has you covered. Reach out to one of your gamer friends for suggestions (you know who we are).

I know that most everything is tough right now, but there is no grit, no dedication out there like that of a business owner. I know this because I have the pleasure of supporting you, your customers, and your businesses every single day, and I am confident that we can get through this with the heart and grace that our community always delivers. We got this, and we’ve got each other, so keep on keepin’ on! 

All my best,

Amanda Morrison
Problem Solver and Happiness Maker


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