Hidden Meanings Behind Famous Logos

  • Many company logos include subtle references to their origins and history.
  • Clever logos use hidden symbolism and emotional colors to define the brand.
  • Some logos have kept the same symbolism throughout many iterations.

Ever wondered how your favorite companies got their logos? Clever logo designers spend days or even months on the design. The best logos stick out in people’s memories, yet communicate the personality of the company and what it offers its customers. Sometimes, there are hidden symbols that express a brand’s history and values. Let’s take a look at eight memorable logos with secret messages.

Toblerone

We all associate Switzerland with its glorious mountains, so it makes sense that Toberlone’s logo features a mountain. This famous treat is made in Switzerland. Moreover, Toberlone is made in Bern, whose coat of arms features a bear. If you look closely at the mountain in the Toblerone logo, you can see the outline of a bear.

Cisco

This telecom company features a simple wordmark with nine vertical lines of varying lengths above it. At first glance, the lines seem to represent radio waves, energy levels, or some other symbol of the technology that the company offers. However, the founders say that the lines mirror the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, where they registered the company.

FedEx

The FedEx logo features a bold font with contrasting colors to indicate its standout service. However, there’s hidden symbolism in the type: the FedEx font is run together so that an arrow appears between the “E” and the “X.” This symbolizes the speed and efficiency of FedEx’s service.

Pinterest

This social media platform allows users to “pin” images as though they’re building a digital bulletin board or pinboard. The unique shape of the “P” in the logo is modeled after a pushpin, in keeping with the pinboard metaphor.

Amazon

The curved arrow beneath the wordmark extends from the A to the Z, indicating the large range of products Amazon sells. It also resembles a smile to express the happiness that its customers experience.

Baskin Robbins

Ice cream is fun, and Baskin Robbin’s colorful logo celebrates that. However, there’s also a bit of company history in the logo. The ice cream shop was originally called 31 Flavors, and if you look closely at the “BR” in the logo, you can see that the pink portion of the letters makes up the numerals “31.”

LG Electronics

LG’s logo features a shiny red button with a winking face. If you look closely, you can see that the shape of the face is actually a “G,” and the nose is an “L.” The overall composition of the logo resembles a power button, symbolizing the types of products that LG makes.

Goodwill

Goodwill rebranded a few years ago, and its new logo expresses the career development opportunities that the organization provides. The logo includes half of a smiling face that resembles a “g.” The face logo also appears in the “Goodwill” wordmark.

Wrapping Up

Logos have a big impact on our lives. When we look at them, we immediately recall our experience with a company and the values they represent. Logos that don’t align with a brand’s personality just aren’t as effective! That’s why this “hidden” symbolism is so important: it’s not actually hidden. It’s communicating to us that we should support the brand. And once you see the secret message, it’s hard to un-see it!

How Graphic Design Has Helped During COVID – 19

  • During the COVID 19 crisis, graphic designers have stepped up to help create attractive, uncomplicated designs to clearly communicate messages that provide critical information and guidance.
  • Graphic designers have helped government, community, and business organizations with design expertise and by offering free access to gathered resources.
  • The graphic designs created impacted millions of people globally, creating emotional reactions and influencing behavior to help stop the spread of COVID 19.

The need for concise, easy to grasp information and guidance have come to the forefront during the COVID 19 crisis period. Millions of individuals have looked to all types of media for virus-related facts and stay at home orders and to validate their emotions including fear and isolation.

What better source would there be for user-friendly information than a graphic design? Professional graphic designers took on the call to create thousands of online and in-print infographics, charts, graphs, images, and photos mixed with words and numbers that have helped us get through the crisis.

Stepping Up

Graphic designers have faced the same challenges as everyone else during this COVID 19 crisis. Some suffered from a reduction-in-force, while others lost contracted work.

When meeting these obstacles, members of the graphic design field went to work for the good of helping everyone cope. Some were hired to work for organizations that needed to get their messages in the public eye.

Others volunteered their expertise and assistance, whether locally for community groups and area businesses or on a larger scale for further-reaching organizations. What did this creative community do? They made designs for websites, social media, and email.

They designed leaflets, information sheets, and postcards for neighborhood groups. Graphic designers were asked to create various types of COVID 19-related visual communications in a way that only a specialist can: creatively, attractively, strikingly yet with a clear, simple message.

If you read news articles, you’ve seen the images with lined up matches, people standing six feet apart, individuals in masks, and frontline workers. You’ve seen infographics that communicate the status of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and mortality rates, consumable in a brief moment. You’ve seen signs and floor markers in stores. Graphic designers have had their hands and their considerable talents in these visual communications.

Pitching In

In many cases, graphic designers have simply volunteered their time and talents to help government and community organizations get their messages to the people. In addition, some major advertising agencies offered their designers’ services for reviewing and providing feedback on in-house creations. The input of the designers improved the delivery and impact of the messages.

Some graphic designers created repositories of information and resources surrounding COVID-19 virus information and created apps so that others could access it freely, all because they knew it was the right thing to do. Helping each other strengthened the COVID 19 information campaigns touched.

Creating Change

Professionally designed infographics, charts, graphs, images, and photos including the right amount, often a minimal amount, of written content sends a message quickly and expresses it. People react emotionally to visuals in a way that they can’t quickly react to text-heavy materials. Emotional reaction can influence behavior in the desired way. It’s hard to beat the impact that graphic design has had during the COVID 19 crisis. in a way that cuts through literacy, language, and cultural roadblocks.

Are graphic designers heroes? Maybe not. Are they essential workers? No. Behind the front lines of essential workers and first responder, many services have been needed and numerous graphic designers stepped up to fill a support role with professionalism and forethought.

Millions of people across the world have seen beautifully designed visual communications displaying COVID 19 information and guidance, understood the message and did their best to stop the spread of the virus. If you want to know what it means to flatten the curve or to properly socially distance, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find a great graphic design that explains the concept perfectly.

Ways To Be A Successful Business Leader in Our Day and Age

  • True leaders are able to inspire others toward action rather than resorting to demands.
  • Leadership stems from a strong mindset and clear vision, not a job title or other artificial characteristics.
  • Being humble, authentic, and compassionate are the ingredients of a great business leader.

For as long as people have been around, leaders have emerged to guide others through projects and inspire them toward action. Countless books, plays, and films have explored the concept of leadership and what it entails. But how does one become a leader? Is it innate or learned? And during these troubled times, what does it mean to be a leader? “Leader” isn’t synonymous with any job title, and it’s not something that naturally happens as you move up in your career.

Being a true leader comes down to your mindset. As the saying goes, you don’t need a title to be a leader. You do, however, need the right attitude and philosophy.

Clarify your vision

Think of your leadership as a journey. Without a roadmap, how can you expect to show others the way? The first step to building your leadership role is to build a strong vision. These are tough times, economically and otherwise, but you shouldn’t confuse vision with prediction. Successful businesses survive because their leader’s vision carries them through — even if the landscape changes.

Humble yourself

People with authority may point and shout orders, but true leaders inspire action by demonstrating their willingness to get their hands dirty. If you’re tucked away in your office as other people do the hard work, that’s not very inspiring. A leader is someone who can share their wisdom because they’ve been there, rather than someone who doesn’t “walk the talk.”

Show compassion

The best leaders throughout history have been able to inspire others because they connect with them on a deep level. To do so, one needs to have empathy for those they are leading. And with empathy comes compassion. When your employee or team member makes a mistake, how you respond is the difference between a supervisor who judges them and a leader who empowers them to do better.

Be authentic and honest

You’re only human, and you make mistakes as well. It can feel scary to be vulnerable if you’re in a leadership position, but it’s important to own your missteps. By doing so, you show others that you’re not burdened by pride. You’ll also instill trust in those you lead. Honesty and authenticity go hand in hand, and your team is more likely to be open to change if they see that you yourself can change.

Share your mission

Any marketer will tell you that the “why,” the story, permeates all their efforts. Why should anyone care? What is the story that we’re telling? That’s true for leaders as well. Have you taken the time to communicate your mission to your team? Be open about what makes you tick. That’s the key to inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

Show appreciation

One of the most common complaints in the modern workplace is about micromanagement. The last thing you want is for your team to feel like they can’t do anything right. That means that if you have any perfectionist tendencies, you need to let them go. Your team can sense that. The flip side of this attitude shift is to express your appreciation whenever possible. Show your team that you value them and their work. They’ll be much more likely to put in extra effort to put your vision into action.

Wrapping Up

Being a leader is much more than having authority or issuing orders. It’s a role that you assume on a team when others need guidance. True leaders clarify and express their vision to inspire others on a shared mission. There’s no need to overexplain or judge your team because they’re already empowered and motivated to work with you. Building yourself up as a leader comes down to your mindset, not your job title. With a great attitude and strong philosophy, you can be a true business leader.

Graphic Design: Its History and Where It’s At Now

  • Graphic design began its evolution with the dawn of printing, when typefaces were created to share mass-printed material.
  • Graphic designers use visual language cues to represent more than what words alone can say.
  • In the digital age, design is crucial to communication between brands and their audiences.

Since we specialize in graphic design, we found it fitting to feature a blog about our chosen field, its history, and where it is at now. Graphic design has always been intricately tied to the era in which it’s produced. Since the origin of the printing press, it’s played a key role in how we communicate. The art of graphic design is somewhat hard to define, as it entails everything from the design of memorable logos to lush, immersive book covers.

Indeed, it wasn’t until 1922 that book designer William Addison Dwiggins coined the term. What’s clear is that graphic designers are deeply connected to technological trends. Moreover, they typically design to express a brand rather than for their own creative expression. Graphic design, then, is a specific form of visual language. Let’s look at how this language has evolved over the centuries.

The Origins of Graphic Design

Graphic design essentially began with the creation of typefaces, which were used in printing presses to mass-produce written content. One of the earliest typefaces was Trajan, and it’s actually still used by today’s graphic designers. The printing industry also invented logos; printing companies used pictographic representations to label the documents they produced. In time, graphic design encompassed complex combinations of pictures and typography, as well as logos and word marks.

Notable Graphic Design Styles Throughout History

Art nouveau

Emerging after the Industrial Revolution, Art Nouveau features organic flourishes, elegant shapes, and ornate typography. Today, it has a bit of a vintage look but can still be seen in designs such as the General Electric logo.

Art Deco

The style we associate with the Roaring Twenties and the Prohibition Era is called Art Deco. It features geometric elements, high color contrast, bold typography, and gold flourishes. Designers use this distinctive style in throwback designers.

Modernism

During the 1950s, graphic designers made a deliberate departure from past styles. The modernist style features thick, smooth lines, bold colors, and open designs. It can still be seen in logos such as AirBnB and NASA.

The Use of Graphic Design in Marketing

Graphic design used to revolve around illustration and typography, dating back to the ads in corantos (newspapers of the early 17th century). As printing techniques improved, we began to see print marketing emerge in the form of chromolithographs, which were often used to reproduce advertisements. With advancements in printing technology, ads evolved into a complex communication style, especially in the text-heavy ads that appeared in periodicals of the 1940s and 50s.

In time, typographic elements began to give way to image-forward designs. Now, graphic design can communicate a brand’s long history, cultural assets, and core values with a single logo. We’ve always been a highly visual species, but graphic designers have helped us refine our visual communication style.

The Importance of Graphic Design

Graphic design is crucial to marketing efforts. Designers create the visual presence that helps brands connect with their audiences. Everything from emails to social media needs custom, branded design. Each piece must be carefully cued into its intended platform and audience. Now that marketing has expanded into the digital sphere, there is high demand for graphic designers, crossing all forms of media.

Wrapping Up

We’ve come a long way since the dawn of printing. Now, we thrive in the age of the image, where decades of visual communication and technological advances have led us to a shared visual language. The core principles of graphic design reflect years of tradition and culture. Good design taps into our psychology to cross boundaries and forge deep connections. That makes graphic designers essential architects of our shared experience.

A Quick Guide to Design Thinking

  • Because Design thinking is human-centric, it can adapt the creative process to the needs of the user.
  • Design Thinking entails five stages that prioritize innovation and adaptability.
  • Taking a user-friendly perspective helps your project or process break out of a rut and better serve your audience.

“Design Thinking” has become a bit of a buzzword in marketing circles, but it remains a mysterious, vaguely philosophical concept. We know that it’s responsible for everything from improved UX to successful startups, but what is it? How can we put it into action to meet our own goals? Design Thinking crosses boundaries to provide a framework for both thought and action. While there are several variations of the concept, all revolve around the idea that the user comes first.

Let’s look at Design Thinking in more detail and see how it impacts our efforts.

What is Design Thinking?

The core of Design Thinking is that you must prioritize the user when addressing a problem. Often, we become entrenched in our way of thinking, to the point that we can only envision solutions within established structures. If you’re working within an outdated business model or design paradigm, that presents a hurdle to your success. And often, these “solutions” require external resources or unnatural user behavior to work. Design Thinking means that your project or process keeps the user in mind. With Design Thinking, when you “think outside the box,” you’re thinking about complex problems from a human-centric perspective.

That’s what designers do, which is how this concept got its name. However, anyone can put Design Thinking into action.

What are the Stages of Design Thinking?

Design Thinking stemmed from the ideas of Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in his 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial. However, it was Stanford’s Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) that developed the five-stage model that most people use today.

  • Empathize. The key to successfully implementing Design Thinking is to think about something in terms of the problems it presents. This human-centered approach entails empathy, in which you abandon your preconceptions and think about your project from the user’s perspective. In other words, to find user-friendly solutions to your problem, you must put yourself in others’ shows.
  • Define. In the Define stage, you translate the perspective you gained in Stage 1 into a framework for your problem. This might involve rewriting or reconceptualizing the problem from a human perspective. It’s crucial in this stage to stop basing your process on your desired business results and start thinking about what you can do for your audience.
  • Ideate.This is where innovation comes in. With your human-centric perspective, you can start to develop solutions that stem from the user’s needs rather than your own. Ideation is the process of brainstorming, body storming, and reverse engineering as many ideas as possible to solve your problem.
  • Prototype. Product designers will create prototypes to evaluate their work, but in Design Thinking, anyone can prototype their solution. This might include a workup of a new process, a trial run of a service, or any other mockup of your user-centered solution.
  • Test. The testing stage naturally follows from the creation of the prototype. A big part of Design Thinking is to be agile and iterative, rather than following a rigid process. Testing evaluates the prototype’s efficacy while incorporating user feedback to make the best possible solution. That’s what makes this final stage so powerful.

How Can I Put Design Thinking Into Action?

With these stages in mind, how can you use Design Thinking to improve your products and services? To start, you must think about the user’s needs. What are their primary obstacles, and how can you help them overcome them? Don’t be afraid to abandon the routines and ideas that you’ve been holding dear. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes goes a long way toward your ultimate success.

You can implement strategies such as regularly obtaining feedback from customers or employees, hosting brainstorming sessions and workshops, or envisioning your products and services from an outsider’s perspective. Throughout the process, stay agile and adaptive; don’t assume that what you learn in Stage 1 is still true in Stage 5. In fact, that’s why many who use Design Thinking run the “stages” in parallel rather than sequentially. This iterative process helps you find the best solution to the problem.

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2020

  • Slick, liquid textures are defining a new standard for graphic design.
  • At the same time, designers are embracing a vintage aesthetic
  •  Text-driven designs are dominant this year.

With each new year comes a new wave of design trends. However, 2020 is a special year. It’s the dawn of a new decade, and graphic designers are taking it to heart by emphasizing innovation and futurism in their designs. At the same time, many are seeking a return to our earthy roots. Here are the top five graphic design trends of 2020.

Magical Metallics

Now that we’re in the ‘20s again, designers are very into gold. They’re using ornate gold designs, glittery accents, and elegant gold type. These designs look classy and timeless, and they remind audiences of wealth and luxury, which is always a good thing. Silver and bronze are also popular design elements, appearing as inlays, borders, photographs, and typographic elements.

Funky Fonts

Who doesn’t love fonts? The right font can make or break a design. But in 2020, designers are elevating fonts to be front and center in their designs. More and more new fonts are being released every day, and typographic distortions, custom-designed letters, and text-forward designs are all very “in” right now.

Mysterious Masks

There’s nothing quite like sweeping a layer of dust to reveal a shiny, fresh image — and that’s the feeling that masking achieves digitally. Designers are layering solid colors over vibrant images, with cut-out letters or shapes revealing the beauty beneath. Masking gives a sophisticated allure to any design.

Luscious Liquids

As graphic design software has improved, so has its capacity to make hyper-real designs come to life. One 2020 trend is an indulgence in liquid dreams: designers are creating fluid, gooey designs to entice viewers. From drippy fonts to wavy masking to fluid textures, liquids are quite in vogue.

Tantalizing Textures

For years, slick surfaces and cool hues defined the modern era. Now, as many designers seek a return to a more organic style, they’re incorporating earthy textures and colors into their designs. Often, they’ll layer the textures to add depth to the design, or use them in unexpected ways to add visual interest. 2020 has seen a resurgence of vintage aesthetics and natural shades, all of which give designs an immersive, engaging look.

Wrapping Up

Graphic designers play a huge role in defining our cultural aesthetic. In 2020, we’re seeing the most diverse and engaging designs we’ve seen in decades. From slick liquid designs to earthy textures and tones to multi-layered designs to creative typography, 2020’s design trends embrace innovation and creativity like never before. Designers are working to change the world through their craft — and we’re all benefiting immensely from their contributions.

What Remote Business Trends Will Continue After The Pandemic Ends

Transitioning from an office workplace environment to a home remote business is catching on and here to stay once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

It’s not so much when the pandemic is ceasing to exist, but how we as a society can integrate working from home as more of the norm. Small businesses have a responsibility to employees to maintain a steady flow of income, yet for the past three months, it’s been touch and go at best. For the average small business owner who understands the value of those who work for them and want to continue attracting high-quality recruits into their organization, the following guidelines will help launch you into a whole new world after COVID-19

  • Recognize the contribution of every employee. In a remote setting, ​constant feedback​ is vital to the strategy and overall success of your bottom line.
  •  Outline specific guidelines and roles for each team member prior to an all-remote setting.
  •  Maintain one-on-one collaborative efforts with key personnel in your organization’s channel, such as weekly Zoom calls to check in, calendars and spreadsheets to track progress, and continual email communication to ensure everyone is speaking the same language.
  • Focus on steady communication with clear goals.

Maintaining momentum in business can be a challenge to some, and a welcomed relief to others. If commuting is a factor, consider working remotely a godsend. If having an essential business hasn’t allowed a moment’s rest, your remote workforce can pick up the slack and hold the shop together via online effort. There are a plethora of reasons that remote work is going to revolutionize America and the global corporate society long after the pandemic is over.

4 Trends to Watch For

Re-clarifying goals

Whatever was designated from the onset of your business might need an overhaul. Coronavirus has disrupted life, work, relationships, the global economy, and the environment. Remote work could toss out old nine to five working regimens in favor of more streamlined processes. Being in an office and having scheduled onsite meetings or check-ins may have you feeling somewhat micro-managed and unproductive in the past, whereas working from home provides motivation from freedom of choice, tending to family responsibilities and knowing how to juggle them, and re-clarifying team goals that favor restructuring.

Decreased labor costs

If you’re a startup and need to monitor every last penny, it might be essential to rely on remote workers who are willing to learn and pivot with the early stages of funding and marketing. Lowered labor costs can profoundly impact your bottom line from the onset, which lends itself to better work-life balance and saved commute times to and from the business. Since well-being and mental health have become frontrunners in working environments, remote work decreases labor costs and adds to happier and more productive employees.

Modern technology upgrades

The internet has completely transformed the way the global workforce tasks and plays. Work-from-home structured setups have to integrate new technology to accommodate the upgrades and remain successful. Teams need to develop an understanding that every new technological methodology implemented during the pandemic is likely to remain. It’s vital the businesses pay attention to the technology being used during COVID-19, as that’s the long-term usage tool which emphasizes project management, customer engagement, communication, and tracking team member collaborative success.

Place an emphasis on personal interactions

Working from home can make you feel lonely and disconnected from the real world, which leads to less productivity, motivation, and engagement. Project managers and business leaders may have a sense of anxiety over how to maintain a positive mindset during a remote-only workforce during a pandemic. You might even tend to focus solely on tasks and responsibilities and less on the personal touch with your employees. It’s a challenge, however it’s crucial to ​keep everyone in mind, schedule one-on-one meetings, ​and ​remember you and your team are human and doing their best.

Looking to the future

Structuring your workday has innumerable benefits for a remote setting. Businesses need to be mindful and pay attention to both the strengths and weaknesses of team members and how to alleviate any confusing messages. The saying “it takes a village” has never been more so evident than during these dramatic health-related times. As you look toward the future and what that means for your large organization, small business, or startup venture, keep in mind that baby steps are required for integration as trends change all of the time.

Creating flexibility with telecommuting is akin to an experiment, as several office-type employees are undergoing internal changes on how to safely and successfully manage their time. Now more than ever, leaders and managers of businesses need to implement compassion and care when dealing with remote workers who are ready to get back to “the way things used to be.” The new normal requires kid gloves and patience for all involved.

Boosting productivity long after the pandemic is over demands clear-cut communication and updating your remote team members on policy changes, project briefs, and any other new specific strategy measures that can help achieve your best results with team member satisfaction.

The Benefits of Businesses Using Social Media Marketing During A Pandemic

Social media marketing has been a vital part of growing a successful business for some years now, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has taken on a whole new aspect. With many people isolated in their homes or practicing strict social distancing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms have become their primary means of connecting to the outside world. 

In this article, we are going to discuss:

  • How and why social media use has impacted customer behavior during the pandemic.
  • The kind of message that will encourage customers to engage via social media.
  • How the current trends will continue to play out once the pandemic is over.

Social Media Use on the Rise

According to some statistics, the usage of Facebook and WhatsApp Messenger has more than doubled since the start of the crisis. These are startling numbers. Humans are social creatures; deprived of congregating face-to-face, they will connect by any means they have. The potential for business owners here is higher than ever, with such large numbers of prospective customers scrolling social media at every hour of the day. 

Online Shopping Becomes More Popular

Many people who have been previously averse to online shopping were forced to open up to the idea with the outbreak of the pandemic and the closing of brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, with people confined to their homes and having many long hours to fill up, online shopping has become an increasingly popular outlet. Smart business owners can capitalize on this trend, advertising their products on social media to relevant segments of the population. 

Thoughtful Advertising

While social media marketing can be immensely effective at these times, with an increasingly engaged, responsive audience, it is important to tailor the message to fit the situation. Ads that project an overwhelmingly ‘business as usual’ message may be seen as callous and insensitive. With the economic crisis accompanying the pandemic, many people are reluctant to spend on non-essentials, and wise business owners will take this into account, making sure their social media posts reflect the global mood.

People Want a Positive Message

At these times of crisis, people want more than the latest gadget or another item of clothing. They want to hear positive, reassuring messages, which is another way business owners can capitalize on social media use. 

During the pandemic, many business pages and posts have emphasized pitching in for the common good, for example donating a small percentage of their sales to hospitals or making free food deliveries to people in need. Others have called for customers to purchase their product as a gift for loved ones, a virtual hug of sorts while meeting in person and physical contact are discouraged. This way, customers have a bigger incentive to buy and, perhaps even more importantly, share the business post with their own followers. ‘We’re all in this together’ is a highly motivating underlying message, one business owners will definitely want to incorporate into their social media posts at these times. 

This time is a golden opportunity for business owners to connect with their potential customers on a more personal level, creating a community that will become immensely useful in the long term. 

Will the Trends Continue? 

While the pandemic will eventually come to an end and people’s lives will return to normal, the benefits of strong social media presence will continue to be overwhelming. Habits created during the pandemic are likely to mark a permanent change in consumer behavior. With more and more people discovering the convenience of online shopping, online counseling, and other remote alternatives to activities traditionally done in person, the importance of smart, consistent social media use for businesses will remain a constant. 

How To Motivate Your Team in a Crisis

●  Put Your Best Thoughts Forward

●  Coach Support

●  Be Specific in Communication Motivation is no small thing.

It’s an achievement during the good times. During the hard times, it gets even harder. The COVID-19 crisis has tested what the best leaders have to offer. Some have been able to reroute and are now working virtually. Others are working on the front lines in person. Wherever and however you work, leadership matters.

Leadership is what keeps teams together in times of crisis. It’s how people overcome the odds. It’s how they achieve things they didn’t think were possible as a group.

The Effects on Business

COVID-19 has taken a toll on businesses of every size. Many are closing, but many will also weather this storm. For those who are open, business has been much slower than usual.

Confusion

One of the worst things that has come to businesses in the crisis is confusion. People don’t understand exactly how they will make it through this. Will the business be the same? How much will it have to adjust? Will things return to normal?

A Slowdown

For many people, business simply will not go back to normal. Things are slowing down. They will stay slow for a long time. It’s hard for employers to keep people on payroll. They have to make painful cuts.

Fear

A great many people are worried about their job security. The fear that they are experiencing can cause people to get stuck in a rut. Their sense of normalcy has been destroyed. They are distracted and worried. Their job performance can suffer.

What Leaders Can Do

Thought Is Power

Your ability to empower your team is directly related to how much thought leadership you can display. Bring your A-game every day when it comes to thought leadership. Your employees are relying on you for direction in action and attitude.

Make sure you send them in the right direction.

Be Honest

Honesty is brutally hard during times like this. It’s hard to deal with realities of lower income, layoffs, and performance issues. What you can be honest about without getting your team down is the true positives.

You might have to look hard. But celebrate the everyday victories. Remember that if you’re having a hard time, so are they. Tell the truth about the good things you see, and open their eyes.

Be Empathetic

Empathy is a prized characteristic. But we don’t always coach it in leaders. During times like this, you may have to brush off some skills you aren’t used to using.

People normally look to leadership to manage things. They know that leadership is looking for achievement. But when things get this bad for people’s health, they are looking for emotional intelligence as well. Realize that people are struggling.

When you show empathy, you are encouraging your team to have some as well. Act with character and kindness. You want your team to have a great example to learn from.

Coach Support

Help your team help themselves. Teams can get into downward spirals without leadership that coaches support. It’s important that your team members look out for one another.

Set a good example. But also reward when other people step up to the plate. A great coach notices people’s small achievements as well as their large ones.

Be the Best Communicator on the Team

You have the power to change your team’s communication style. Everything doesn’t have to be sugar and spice. Clear, concise, and actionable communication is also supportive of people’s well being. They are confused during this time. They can’t guess very much about what’s next.

When you lead with great communication, you make everyone’s job easier. They will have more energy to support and cheer each other on during this crisis. They will also have actionable steps to succeed with.

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.