Rapid change and extreme uncertainty has been flooding our lives for the past few months now. For the majority of working people, new challenges have come with working from home.
Right now, it might feel like a challenge to keep your personal brand top of mind, given everything that’s going on. According to The Atlantic, “The coronavirus outbreak has triggered an anxious trial run for remote work at a grand scale.” Maybe you’re working from home for the first time, sharing limited space with a spouse who has been laid off or furloughed or even juggling work obligations with the new responsibility to home-school your children.
Whatever your specific circumstance, there’s no ignoring that our world right now is frightening. However, your personal brand is one thing you can control, even when everything else feels chaotic.
Tips to Stay on Top of Your Brand While Working From Home
We’re all dealing with a tremendous amount of anxiety right now. It can be difficult to stay focused and motivated, particularly if you’re not used to working remotely. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a job still – and even if you’re not currently working – it’s critical to maintain a routine as close to normal as possible.
Here are a few practices you can incorporate into daily life to create a sense of stability and maintain the personal brand you’ve worked so hard to establish.
- Make Time to Meditate: If you don’t already have a regular meditation practice, now is a great time to develop one. There are plenty of free meditation apps and videos available. It’s easy to find ones that address your specific concerns. You don’t need to meditate for a long time to see benefits: five minutes a day will help tremendously.
- Take a Shower and Get Dressed: According to an article in Scientific American, “What you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate.” You don’t need to be dressed to the nines but ditch the pajamas and show up for your personal brand. It’s just as important to look good on a video call as it is in person.
- Style Your Hair and Apply Your Makeup: If you normally wear makeup daily, you should continue to. If all you put on is lipstick or a little blush, that’s fine. Pay attention to the details when working from home, and you will gain trust and credibility with your team and clients.
- Watch Your Posture On Video Calls: Pay attention to posture and body language. How you sit, your tone of voice and your gestures communicate your energy and engagement levels. Nod, smile and be pleasant, just as you would in person, and mute yourself when not talking.
- Avoid Eating During Meetings: We all know that eating with our mouths full is not proper etiquette. Unless your company has indicated that it’s OK to eat during a virtual meeting, don’t do it. Eat before or wait until the call is over. And if you have to eat during a call, turn off your video.
- Set Boundaries at Home: If you have a dedicated workspace, communicate your daily schedule to family members. Ask them to knock before entering and take breaks to check on them throughout the day. If you’re working from your kitchen table, send the kids to another room when you have a meeting. Set up the environment so that it’s conducive to work.
- Turn the TV off: The media you consume can have a profound impact on your emotional state. Yes, you need to know what’s going on locally and nationally, but one or two daily check-ins should be fine. According to the American Psychological Association, “Media exposure during the 24/7 news cycle can increase perceptions of threat and activate the ‘fight or flight response,’ which can lead to subsequent physical and mental health problems.”
There is no doubt that we are living in challenging times, but this too shall pass. Make an effort to stay on top of your personal brand now, and you’ll be ahead of the game when we’re all back in our regular work environments.
If you’d like to learn additional tools to manage your personal brand while working remotely, contact me.