How To Help Employees Handle Newfound Isolation And Loneliness

The pandemic has altered the way men and women all over the country do business. On top of bringing seismic shifts to work and home life, the virus has taken a toll on many peoples’ psyche because of the isolation and loneliness it’s caused over the last seven months. This general malaise often extends into the workplace too, and it’s imperative that you help your employees cope with their stress and sadness in a timely, sensitive manner.

BetterUp has recently released a study which found that lonely workers are less satisfied with their jobs, receive fewer promotions, and, most importantly to your business, switch jobs at a far higher rate than those whose mental health are more stable. These lonely employees are also far more likely to switch jobs within the next six months, which means turnover in your company and the training of new staff and the costs of recruiting.

Epidemic Status

The issue of loneliness isn’t something new just due to the pandemic, even if the virus has expanded the complexity and scope of the problem. Workplace loneliness and fatigue problems have both been of increasing severity in the last decade, as many individuals are feeling disconnected from life in general; the problems have gotten so bad that some experts have started describing them as an epidemic. The virus has worsened these feelings, however, as many are home alone for extended periods of time. In such isolation, mental health quickly begins to degrade, and many are undergoing a sort of extreme form of “cabin fever.”

Humans need interaction and connectivity throughout the day, two essential components of life COVID-19 has invariably removed for most. Employees who are single and childless are at the greatest risk of mental health decline, as are those who are well educated and possess graduate degrees. To improve the lives of your workers and save money and time in the process, you should be tuned in to the mental health of your workers. Here are four steps you can take to mitigate their loneliness and isolation in these uncertain times.

Create Meaning In Daily Life

Undoubtedly the greatest step employers can take is to create a shared sense of meaning for their employees. Many today don’t feel as if their work has purpose or meaning and are struggling to stay enthusiastic and connected to what they do on a daily basis. Managers and other supervisors can counteract these feelings by taking time to speak to employees and connecting them to the work they’re doing.

Employee/manager communications are essential to help boost morale and demonstrate the worth of the work your workers have performing every day. It’s best to foster a shared sense of purpose for all of your employees, try to bring them together and know as a unit that what they’re doing is worthwhile and appreciated. Make an effort to single out many individual employees when they perform well and help unify them around a common goal, such as a project they’re working on. Recognition is a huge part of creating shared meaning and boosting morale for the entire office.

Check In Often

The virus has forced many workplaces to use Zoom and other video communications to connect for work purposes, but your employees want a deeper, more personal connection after work is done for the day. Your managers should take time out of their days to connect with employees on a more personal level, unrelated to work or Zoom. Regular phone calls are still good for connecting with people one on one, there’s no need for a video chat when calling in to ask about an employee’s day or home life.

The call should be totally unrelated to work; just two human beings having a chat about how the employee is doing and if there’s anything the manager can do to ease negative feelings at work. Whoever makes the call should open themselves up to vulnerabilities, just as you want your employee to do. Managers and supervisors have a story to tell during this pandemic too, and they should be free to do so to ease the minds of the worker.

Open Paths To Team Connections

Although difficult, it’s a smart idea to remake the kinds of connections and camaraderie that would be present in the office. Try and allow your employees to connect in the same organic way they would if they were all in the office during a regular year, chatting and making small talk to generally relieve their minds from the stress of work and life. This can be a difficult process, but there are a few steps you can take to create this sort of healthy work environment.

There are channels you can make on applications like Slack that allow your employees to share their feelings and interact with each other in a non-work context. You can also set up “social hangouts,” which are virtual meetings for your employees to join and chat with one another outside of work. Any method which allows them to meet and connect without having to worry about talking about their work is a great start to decrease loneliness and isolation.

Provide Mental Health Help

Your company’s health package should provide some form of mental health aid. It may be costly, but it’s well worth the peace of mind and psychological easing it will provide your employees. People all over the country are dealing with stress levels not seen in a long time and providing them with a mental health option will help them relieve this stress and tension.

Not only is this a generally ethical option to provide, your employees will also work more efficiently and effectively if they’re not mired in stress and fatigue throughout the day. Even if your employees are working from home, you should provide access to remote counseling or another form of mental health help. Do everything you can to ensure your employees are receiving the attention and care they need during these tumultuous times.

Overwhelmed? These 10 Techniques Can Help You Cope With Uncomfortable Feelings

Whether it’s financial stress, your relationships, a big work deadline, or just the world we live in, stress is all around us. It finds its way into almost every aspect of our lives, leading many of us to begin to fall in a mental hole: becoming overwhelmed.

While we use one word to describe the feeling, being “overwhelmed” actually includes symptoms of depression, tension headaches, anger, anxiety, panic, even isolation. All together, this cluster of feelings and symptoms can lead to a poor diet, less exercise, and an overall decline in our health and wellness.

Instead of getting trapped in the same cycle you do every time you get overwhelmed, try some of these techniques the next time you start to feel like it’s all too much.

Focus On Boundaries

A commonly known phrase says that fences make for better neighbors. The same is true when we put fences up psychologically in our lives. For example, creating a boundary about what work you will and won’t bring home, or what favors you are and are not willing to do for certain people in your life.

Take some time to identify what things are contributing to your feelings of being overwhelmed and decide what boundaries you need to set up to create more harmony within yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid To Vent

You know that feeling when you just need to unleash all your stress and frustration, so you go to a trusted friend or partner and suddenly it all comes out? That’s the perfect example of venting. We all need to vent sometimes.

Even if you don’t have someone you can talk to, you can still vent to yourself. Get a journal or notebook and spend a few minutes every day venting about the things making you feel overwhelmed. Chances are, you will feel loads better after.

Let Some Things Go

As much as we would like to be able to say yes to everything and do everything, it’s just not feasible. If you find you are constantly overbooked and overwhelmed because of it, consider letting some of the things on your to do list go. You don’t necessarily have to give up on everything.

Consider using the 4D’s method: Delete; Delegate; Defer; and Do. You can simply cancel certain tasks or obligations. Others you might be able to delegate to another person. If you can put off something, go ahead and do that! What you’re left with are your “Do’s,” the things that you actually need to worry about.

Remove Yourself

Just like we do with our children, sometimes we need to put ourselves in a time out. Even a few minutes removed from a situation that is making you feel overwhelmed can help you to gain some perspective and come back to it with a fresh mind.

Be careful of falling into the trap of procrastinating too long or using this as an excuse to avoid your responsibilities. Simply set a timer and let yourself mentally and physically remove yourself from the overwhelming task.

Focus On One Thing At A Time

We all think we are great at multitasking, but science says otherwise. You will never be as productive on something when your attention is split. Instead, let yourself work on a single task for a determined amount of time. Once that amount of time is over, you can switch to the next thing and come back to the first task.

Be Okay With Imperfection

The quest for perfect could be your top reason for feeling overwhelmed. Take the example of drawing a perfect circle. You might go into the task of drawing a perfect circle feeling confident.

You’ve drawn plenty of circles in your lifetime! But once you draw the circle, you notice a flaw. Not a problem, you try again. Then you see another flaw. Soon your whole sheet of paper is filled with nearly-perfect circles and you have to get a new piece of paper and start over entirely!

The same cycle is repeated when you approach your work and life tasks with the same sense of perfectionism. At some point, you have to let yourself be a little imperfect. A nearly-perfect completed task is better than an incomplete task.

Get Out Of Your Own Way

Going along with letting yourself be a little imperfect, you have to learn how to get out of your own way. We all have a tendency to overthink things, especially when they have to do with our professional lives.

The problem with overthinking is that it can stunt you, even damn you, in once place. You could stay in that same spot for years because you are simply overthinking.

The root of this is fear: fear that you won’t be good enough, that you can’t do something, that it won’t be perfect. Instead of letting yourself wallow in that fear, overcome it by acting! Just make one little step toward your goal or the completion of your task and you will find it’s likely not as scary as you thought.

Take Aways

Whatever the reason for your feeling of being overwhelmed, there are ways to overcome it. Instead of letting fear and perfectionism weigh you down, take one step toward the finish line. Let yourself focus on one thing at a time, and if you need to vent then do it! Take a time out and allow yourself to reset. And never be afraid of eliminating some of the causes of your overwhelmed feeling.

How Technology Has Become the Catalyst For Business Innovation

In our technology-driven marketplace, consumers are constantly evolving. We are inundated with new products and platforms, and the constant change that comes with it. Because the needs and attention of consumers are always shifting with these changes, businesses must adapt through their own innovations.

When we think about how innovation happens, we may find a few ingredients to help a business that wants to adjust their strategy. There is no set formula for effecting necessary changes, but leading experts tell us that one of the most important parts involved in changing business tactics is also one of the things initiating these movements in the marketplace: technology.

Technology’s role in marketplace changes

To explore how technology spurs these marketplace changes that are requiring businesses to innovate, we can look at the example of print media.

For generations, print media – for example, newspapers and magazines – were the source of our news. These were our main way of staying informed. For local communities, it was how changes within a community were progressing. And then came the internet.

We all saw as print media began to suffer. The new-kid-on-the-block was stealing the focus and the physical products were becoming obsolete. In the last two decades, many people have transitioned from getting the daily newspaper or having a magazine subscription to simply catching the stories they want to read online. They look to social media platforms and digital print.

So, print media adapted. They used technology to adjust their model and innovated their product to become enticing to the consumer. Now, major publications have online subscriptions; they still use ads to bring in revenue, though these are now online; and they use social media to increase their readership.

How technology fits with innovation

As we see with the example of print media, the same technology that could be the reason to consider a change could also be the way you make that change.

In fact, innovation in business could be boiled down to meaning a new way to drive efficiency. One of the hallmarks of technology is its ability to help us become more efficient.

Anyone who has worked in the marketplace has the memory of a time before computer systems were so widely used, when paper was king and stacks and stacks of files were everywhere, even requiring their own room in the workplace.

As technology advances, it finds ways to make our businesses more efficient. A survey by PwC showed that “70% of CEOs invest in IT to reduce costs and become more efficient, and 54% allocate funds to emerging technologies to help drive growth.”

Why is technology so important for innovation?

Technology is improving business in many ways. One that we can’t ignore is how much it improves the human element. More and more technology is being developed to identify and resolve human errors. It also allows us to test out products, our marketing campaigns, our message in a low-cost and at speeds that were once considered a fairytale.

Technology is also helping to create new markets. An example is AI technology. It is becoming a more readily available and widely used tool in business thanks to its increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

According to a Harvard Business Review survey, “25% of the 250 business executives in their survey think AI will help them pursue new markets.” With this we see that technology is helping to forge a path for businesses to explore new avenues.

Finally, technology is innovating the way we reach customers. Social media platforms in the last decade have allowed for lower advertising costs and the concept of “going viral” is the goal of many new companies.

On the opposite side of the coin, customers are using the new advancements in technology to find small businesses they may not have had access to before. Ultimately, technology is innovating our business’s relationship with the consumer.

Take-aways

Technology is here to stay, but not here to stay the same. It will constantly evolve and we can and should evolve with it. It will help us become even more efficient through new methods of reaching customers and new ways for customers to find us.

In the recipe for business success, technological innovation is key

How To Tell If Procrastination Is Ruining Your Productivity

  • Productivity tools and practices can distract you from actually getting work done.
  • Procrastination happens when people feel the need to avoid feelings of failure.
  • Being more flexible and adaptable in your work can help you get more done.

Planning is crucial to productivity. At least, that’s what gurus would have you think. But all the pretty planners, color-coding, and overpriced to-do apps in the world can’t solve the problem of procrastination. Indeed, many people lean on planning as a way of avoiding the work they need to do.

After all, planning feels good and productive. Few things are more satisfying than writing a list or updating your planner. Unfortunately, experts say that spending a lot of time organizing your life can be a sign of procrastination, uncertainty, and perfectionism. Here’s how you can tell if your productivity routine is actually holding you back from getting things done.

You feel anxious while doing your planning

Experts advise that you listen to your gut as you break out that planner. Do you feel like you’re in the flow and able to tackle the tasks on your list? Or do you have a pit in your stomach and feel icky about all that you have to do? If the latter, you’re likely using your planning as a way to control the chaos and avoid the potentially unpleasant tasks you have to do.

Instead, start diving into your work whenever you feel anxious. If you feel most creative and productive in the morning, take that post-coffee jolt and save the email-checking and list-making for later. Don’t let the appeal of “getting organized” distract you from the work that needs to be done. Focus on reflecting at the end of the day: you’ll start to feel more on top of things.

You stack your schedule every day.

Do you identify just a few key priorities for the day, or do you schedule every minute of the day in order to maximize your productivity? Over planning is a sign of procrastination, and by doing so, you’re likely impairing your ability to get things done.

Let’s face it: stuff happens. Meetings run late, you get hungry, tasks take longer than you expected. When you pack your calendar full, you’re removing any capacity to accommodate change — which can cause stress — and you’re forcing yourself into an impossible situation.

Build leeway into your schedule: it may feel like you’re relinquishing control, but the opposite is true. You’ll feel more in control and more capable of tackling your work. Your life will also feel less hectic and scattered, which will make you feel more capable of tackling your to-dos rather than hiding behind your task list.

You craft your to-do list in terms of goals

Setting goals is essential to personal development and productivity — but it can also be a way to hide your feelings of insecurity or avoid the possibility of failure. Many people enjoy the process of goal-setting so much that they forget to do the actual work. You may have read some articles advising you to devote set amounts of time per day for your goals. But life doesn’t work that way. Your to-do list should be flexible enough to accommodate life’s curveballs.

That’s why experts recommend that you set goals, but think of them as guidance rather than rules. Focus on what you can accomplish each day rather than viewing your to-do list as an endless march toward your goals. Make adjustments if needed, and forgive yourself if you don’t meet an arbitrary daily quota.

You’re unwilling to take action unless things are perfect

If you’ve ever planned a project into oblivion, you were a victim of perfectionism disguised as productivity. Many people wait until everything is perfect before taking action. In the meanwhile, the momentum they already have for the project fades. As the saying goes, the ship has sailed, and you find that you spent too much time planning to actually take action.

Be willing to jump in feet-first, and trust that you’ll adapt to curve balls and new information. That’s not to say you should skip essential tasks before launching a project, but it’s okay to work on things as you’re inspired to do so. You don’t have to have the perfect to-do list to get started.

Wrapping Up

To maximize your productivity, resist the temptation to over-plan your work. Filling out planners and making to-do lists feels good, but it’s an excellent method of procrastination that distracts us from actually getting things done.

When in doubt, listen to your gut: do you feel stressed and overwhelmed, or do you feel empowered and capable? If you’re making lots of lists and still feel uncertain, you might be hiding behind your productivity scheme. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into your work — even if your to-do list isn’t perfect.

How To Stay Motivated, Productive and Creative During Isolation

  • Monotony leads to distress and distraction, so switch things up!
  • Creativity is a muscle that you need to work out — and rest.
  • Declutter your mental and physical space to keep a level head.

If you’ve been working from home for a while, you may have gotten into the swing of a new routine. Still, it can be hard to get into the right headspace when you’re disconnected from your coworkers. Isolation can sap your energy and harm your productivity.

How can you boost your motivation, check off your to-dos, and think up new ideas? It all comes down to a few simple shifts that help break your mind out of its rut and get moving again. Here are some basic strategies you can implement to help yourself stay on track, even when you’re working in isolation.

Mix up your routine

Many of us wake up, make coffee, and check our emails and social media before officially starting our work day. That routine may be comforting, but if you’ve been doing it for years — and now entirely from home — it can become a rut that drags us down. Try switching things around. Start your day with a workout or yoga session, then immediately dive into your work. Avoid email and social media until you’ve knocked out some of your time-intensive tasks. You’ll likely get more done and feel a little less stressed.

Tidy up your workspace

When we all first started working from home, we heard all about the importance of establishing a dedicated workspace. Now that we’ve been there a few weeks, it’s time to do a quick check: is your desk tidy and organized or a chaotic wreck? It’s easy to become a workaholic when you work from home, and that sometimes causes us to neglect our housekeeping. A clean, well-kept workspace allows us both mental and physical space for new ideas to emerge.

Get your creative juices flowing

Burnout is a real possibility for people who are working hard to stay afloat during the pandemic, especially for those who struggle to disengage from work at the end of the day. With burnout comes a decline in creativity and motivation. Ultimately, it’s important to take a break to resolve burnout, but if this isn’t an option, try a creative activity, such as a puzzle or a bit of creative writing, to recharge your creativity.

Wrapping Up

Of course, you should check in with your coworkers as often as possible. But let’s face it: you’re still working from home, alone, without the exciting buzz of your workspace. That’s why you need to invest in a little extra self-care to keep yourself balanced during periods of isolation. Plus, it’s helpful to switch up your normal routine and physical space so that you can feel fresh and energized. Devote a few minutes each day to tidy up, reflect, and just breathe. You’ll feel much more motivated to tackle the next thing.

Why Teams Are Important

 

Teams in business are essential. They are what help your business run and have new ideas brought to the table. Pretty much every business needs teams for delegating all kinds of different jobs in a company. Writing, design work, phone calls, social media, and so many more jobs are essential to have a team on. You name the job and a team is necessary.

Down below are a few reasons why you need teams in your company and why unlimited teams are even better.

3 Reasons Why You Need Teams In Your Business

1. New ideas. ​Different team members offer different advice and point of view on ideas. When you only have one team member doing all the work, then you don’t have anyone else putting in feedback and sometimes this can result in bad decisions for the company. You just have one person coming up with all the ideas that are all the same, which means no other input and no original thoughts. When you have a team, you have multiple people working on ideas and coming up with new ways of doing tasks.

2. Time. ​When you have a team of workers, you have everyone wanting to do their best and go as fast as they can, because they know other people are waiting on them to do their part. They feel motivated to keep going and are less apt to procrastinate when they know other team members are dependent on them. Teams work together, therefore, teams all have to do their part, so the work doesn’t get held up.

 

3.​ ​People to go to. ​Teams work better because they can help each other with tasks. For example, they can go to each other with ideas and get advice on their thoughts. When you have team members who can work on ideas together and bring a thought to life, it can be extremely valuable. A good team will benefit from their other team member’s thoughts and opinions, as well as their constructive criticism.

All different kinds of teams are beneficial and need to be in any business that wants to build their company successfully. The same goes for having an excellent team of creatives to take care of all your copywriting, graphic design, web development, video editing, and custom illustration needs. You can find businesses that offer all of these teams to you for one set fee a month. Unlimited graphic design teams are very important in a business, and the same goes for the other teams; they’re all necessary for a business to grow and thrive. Working with a company that can give you all of those teams for unlimited is fantastic.

​ Unlimited Voice-Over

 

 

You know those videos you watch, and it has the animated guy or girl walking around and talking? Or the video where someone is talking while all you’re seeing is them showing you stuff on a computer screen? If the answer is yes, then you might know that this is voice-over. Every business needs voice-over to make fun advertising videos, or videos in general to show people how to use stuff. Down below are a few reasons why unlimited voice-over is essential.

A Few Reasons Why You Need Unlimited Voice-Over:

1.​ Number one reason is that when you’re creating an animated video that you are going to use to explain how something works, voice-over can be very helpful. It can make it so when you are looking at that animated person you can imagine what’s going on better. And that right there will make your video ten times nicer.

2.​ Voice-over is the thing that can make someone want to take action after watching your video. Because voice-over can be very persuasive if you have the right person talking.

 

3. ​When it comes to choosing the voice for your voice-over, it is very important that you find one that can make people trust you. Because when people trust you and your brand, they will want to do business with you. This is why it can be helpful to work with a place that can offer you unlimited voice-over. That way, you have more than one voice to choose from.

Voice-over is something you need, and the business next to you needs, and the business next to them needs. Finding a place that you can get unlimited voice-over from is important. Because you will get the most out of it. You can also find a place that will give you unlimited voice-over and more for one set fee a mouth. Either way, if you decide to go with getting voice-over, you should try to get unlimited voice-over at least.

Why You Need a Copywriter

 

Content marketing is quickly proving to be one of the most effective ways to market your services and grow your business. In fact, studies show that customers are a whopping 131% more likely to purchase from a brand after reading their content.

But why should you hire a copywriter? What stops you from writing and publishing your own content? Nothing. However, there are some very good reasons why you should consider hiring a professional to provide you with unlimited copywriting rather than doing it on your own.

Quality Content

Not surprisingly, poorly written blog posts, peppered with typos and grammar mistakes is not going to do your business any favors. The key to effective content marketing is publishing informative, engaging blog posts, not the opposite.

So, although most people can string two sentences together, not all of us can create the engaging, professional content needed to set our businesses apart from the competition. Copywriters can. So don’t short yourself. Instead, hire a copywriter and see for yourself what unlimited copywriting can do for your business.

Time Management

Maybe you could find the time to write and publish exceptional content on your blog. But just because you’re able to do something doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your time. Want more time to pour into other aspects of your business? Consider hiring a professional to provide you with unlimited copywriting and free up your time.

 

Objectivity

Regardless of whether or not you are a decent writer, as a business owner, you have another problem. You see, great content marketing isn’t telling your audience what you need them to know; it is giving them content they want to read.

Because while you might know that your products and services are standing between your audience and a better life, they don’t. And chances are they are tired of being preached at.

What your audience wants, and what your business needs, is a reason to trust you above the competition. For this to happen your content needs to be educational and engaging, not just a thinly veiled advertisement in the form of a blog post.

A copywriter can help you with content that will engage with the right audience, build their trust, and increase your sales.

Branding

A good copywriter will get to know your brand. They will understand your motivation, your business goals, and your approach, and then channel all of that information into copy that will wow your audience.

You want to hire a copywriter that can offer unlimited copywriting and that is willing to get to know your brand as well as you do. The key difference between you and your copywriter will be that they can put your brand and purpose into words better than you can.

Hire a copywriter. There is no reason to be a one-man (or one-woman) show. Not when there are so many ways for your business to access unlimited copywriting.

Why You Need a Team of Creatives

 

Starting up a business requires two things: a lot of work and a lot of money. It’s tempting to try to save some money by doing your own graphic design, ask a tech-savvy friend to help with web development, or do your own copywriting. However, just because it’s tempting, it doesn’t make it smart.

The growth of your company depends heavily on your marketing success, and if you want to succeed at marketing, you are going to need a skilled creative team.

Your creative team should be made up by web developers, graphic designers, and copywriters. Together they will do things like produce ads, design newsletters, logos, or t-shirts, write emails or social media posts, or develop websites.

Unfortunately, high-quality graphic design, web development, and copywriting costs money. Having access to your own creative team will save you both time and money.

For instance, you’ll save money on hybrid projects like ads that require both copywriting and design work. An outside agency might charge you hourly for both the graphic designer and copywriter, but if you have your own team this cost disappears.

Another benefit is that your own creative team will pay better attention to your brand than a randomly outsourced designer would, making it easier to maintain consistent branding and style.

Hiring your own creative team, however, takes time and effort. Creative candidates have to be vetted and tested, you need to make sure they have real world experience, can adapt to change, are flexible, etc.

If you own a small business, you might not need enough graphic design, copywriting, or web development work to justify having a full time creative team on your payroll. This is why many small businesses decide to outsource this work to a creative agency.

 

However, there’s an even better solution. A subscription service offering unlimited graphic design, web development, or copywriting will give you all the perks of having your own creative team, minus the hassle of finding, vetting, and hiring the creatives yourself.

The best way to get an unlimited graphic design team, unlimited web development team, and unlimited copywriting team is to hire a business that offers all three.

In fact, a subscription service is a lot like having your own in-house team. Your creative team is on standby at all times, meaning they can step in quickly to work on urgent projects.

For small businesses, finding a subscription service that offers affordable, unlimited graphic design, copywriting, and web development is much better than trying to hire individual teams. The best way is to work with a business that can give you all three at an affordable price