Remote Working — Challenges and Benefits

Do you love remote working? Or do you yearn for time in the office? In this My Crazy Office podcast, Kathi and Katherine examine the pluses and minuses of remote working. They start with a question from someone who has a new remote job and misses the camaraderie of office life. During the second part of the podcast, Kathi and Katherine consider those people who prefer remote working and have to go back to the office.

#37: The Needy, Anxious Employee – My Crazy Office, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about needy, anxious employees on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we discuss how to manage an employee who is a hard-worker but also needy and anxious.

Then we give self-management advice to someone with high anxiety.

#6: Crying At Work – My Crazy Office, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about crying at work on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to a new manager who is trying to handle a chronic crying employee.

Then we discuss what someone who cries easily can do to manage themselves in challenging work situations.

#22: Motivation Under Adverse Conditions – My Crazy Office, Season 7

Kathi and Katherine talk about motivation under adverse conditions on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to a worker having difficulty staying motivated amid company lay-offs.

Then we discuss how managers can keep staff motivated under pending lay-offs, no promotions and hiring freezes.

The Importance of Being Present

With all of the upheaval and uncertainty we are facing, it can be more challenging than ever to be in the present moment. With the threat of another wave of COVID-19, with the death and losses already endured from the virus, with the pain and outrage over police brutality and the many forms of institutional racism that plague our communities, our emotions are running at a high pitch. Our minds either race forward to predict outcomes or look back to assign blame. 

No matter how angry or sad or anxious you are, coming into the present moment can help.

Being in the present moment gives us the chance to take a break from projecting forward with catastrophic images, from obsessing about what is coming. Being present creates the space to feel our feelings, breathe into our bodies, and slow down the racing mind. 

Being present is not a solution to the many challenges that lie ahead, but it is a tool for managing our feelings and projections more effectively, so that we can take constructive actions in the short term. 

If, for example, you find yourself constantly worried about the future of your industry or concerned about losing your job, being present can give you the headspace to examine the reality of your current situation – exactly what is happening – and generate a list of small actions that you can take to protect yourself right now.  

How do we bring ourselves into the present moment?

  • Breathe – Check your breath right now. Is it shallow or deep? Is it fast or slow? Are your chest and shoulders tight or loose? Can you feel your stomach going in and out? Breathing slowly, deeply, consciously for 5 – 10 breaths will do more than anything to take you out of your head and put you into your body. Regular deep breathing will take your mind out of obsessing about tomorrow and into dealing with today. 
  • Exercise— We’ve said it before and will say it again, exercise is a great way to move the emotional and mental energy in your body, to release tension and stress, and to ground you in the present moment. The more wound up you feel, the more you will need to exercise. Run, walk, do video workouts, try yoga, play a sport – if any of these options work for you, make sure to do them.
  • Take an inventory – This tried and true technique for getting out of your head and coming into the present moment involves answering five questions that examine your current reality and clarify your options: What’s happening here (what is the story that has you emotionally wound up)? What are the facts? What is beyond my control? What is in my control? What are my options?
  • Meditate – Meditation is not about rising above what’s happening, it’s about learning to sit with whatever feelings and thoughts you have so that they aren’t just surging through your body creating discomfort. You can try meditating on your own or enlist the help of an app like Headspace, Calm, or 10% Happier. Whatever form of meditation you attempt will help usher in the present moment.

As we venture back to work, as we contend with the many public health, economic and societal challenges ahead, it is worthwhile to make a concerted effort to stay in the present moment as often as possible. By grounding ourselves in the present moment, and making short term plans, we can turn sadness into compassion, anger into activism, and anxiety into constructive planning.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

Are You Giving Yourself Credit?

As we move through week 10 of sheltering in place, it may be difficult to give yourself credit for much. You may have trouble focusing at work. You may be tired of making the best of a confined living situation. You may feel that you just aren’t getting things done. Instead of holding yourself to pre-COVID standards, why not look at your current circumstances through the lens of accomplishment? Here are some things for which you probably deserve credit:  

Managing work and home

These days work and home are so blended that it’s hard to “turn off” one to fully focus on the other. Yet somehow, you’ve managed to perform your work duties while juggling home responsibilities, whether they involve cleaning, cooking, child care, animal care, family care or home maintenance. You deserve a round of applause for that. 

Handling social isolation

Even if you’re an introvert who prefers being alone, this degree of social isolation is hard. Human beings are social beings at the core. The pandemic has deprived us of even casual social contact with people on the street or in public places. Whatever your situation, give yourself credit for enduring the isolation and taking actions to maintain safe contact with co-workers, family and friends.

Living alone

For those who live alone, sheltering in place can be particularly challenging. It takes courage to keep your spirits up, to stay out of catastrophic thinking, and to trust that this too shall pass. Your ability to be resilient, to take one day at a time and to find creative ways of staying connected to others deserves recognition. 

Living with others

It’s one thing to live with others during normal times. Each person is able to come and go, and shared space is only shared for short periods of time. Sheltering in Place has created a completely different dynamic. Now, it can be hard to have a quiet moment, find privacy, or feel relief. It may seem like everything you do is scrutinized, or that everything you do goes unappreciated. Whatever your experience has been, give yourself credit for keeping your cool most of the time, and for successfully sharing a home under extremely stressful conditions.

Being patient

Even if you don’t feel patient, you have been patient enough to weather the restrictions placed on you because of COVID-19, and to follow the guidelines of your local and state leaders. You’ve patiently waited for instructions about how to live your life, what kind of contact is permissible and when you may be able to resume certain activities. Patience during times of uncertainty is NOT easy. Give yourself credit.

Moving forward

Preparing to step out into the world, into your workplace, and into your community may be anxiety provoking, but it is part of returning to life. You are doing it. You will be doing it. And as you take the initial steps to return to certain locations and activities, you can give yourself credit for taking the necessary precautions and getting back into the game.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

#2: Hitting A Career Wall – My Crazy Office, Season 7

Kathi and Katherine talk about career walls on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to someone who has accomplished all of their career goals and has hit a career wall.

Then we discuss whether or not a manager should help their star employees determine their next steps?

Best Of: If You’re Feeling Hysterical, It’s Probably Historical: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 6

Katherine talks about historical triggers on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

Often when we’re feeling emotional about something at work, it’s because it’s triggering a past experience.

Listen to this week’s podcast here.