Mad Fish Digital will continue to be a 100% remote through the end of 2020. This decision was a tough one. We are all eager to see each other face-to-face and interact in a more casual, less planned structure. Zoom fatigue is real and we were hoping that in-office work would be an option for us. But, as a company and team, we are concerned about the health and safety of each person. Without the ability to ensure safe and equitable work environment for our entire team, we opted to embrace remote work. 

We will put our resources toward making each person’s work from home situation as positive as it can be. Our creative team members will continue to host fun, interactive activities. This way, we can bond, grow and socialize with each other. Fun(ish) activities like happy hours, group lunches, and innovation sessions have built us into the team we are today. We are excited to keep those things going, even if they look a little different for a while.  

As a team, we have talked about what each person is doing to help prepare themselves for long-term remote work. Here are a few of the many habits our team has adopted as they make this transition. 

Add Breaks to Your Calendar 

To begin with, it is easy to get caught sitting at your home workspace all day with little movement. This can trigger the feeling that you live at work. However, creating space in your day to step away from the screen to recharge is critical. Our client strategy team has been blocking off a full hour for lunch. By putting it on their calendars and sticking to it, they give themselves a mental break. They also set aside time each morning for mental health and fitness activities before jumping into a full day. Building even short breaks into your calendar forces you to acknowledge you need them and take them.

Create Your Own Routine 

Creating a routine is grounding for a lot of our team members, especially those who love to plan! Amanda Craig, one of our Client Strategists, has worked remotely in the past. In her experience, sticking to a routine helps her stay focused each day. In addition, Morgan Nicholson on our content team recommends switching locations for different activities to keep work interesting.

Embrace the Flexibility

There are a lot of advantages to working from home. The greatest benefit is the added flexibility it gives you to mold the day into what works for you, your style, your clients and your family. For our client strategist, Dre Valentine, working from home has allowed her to move between her client work and being a full-time mom. She has greater flexibility to be there for her son in the afternoons. Then, in the evening, she’ll jump on and finish her day feeling prepared for the next. In this way she feels she can be accountable to both her clients and her family. Other team members have molded their work day to match their natural energy levels and preferences. Without a commute to manage, you can adapt your schedule to match your preferences.

Get up and Move

This is a common one that is easy to forget. Not being in the office, and perhaps home with minimal distractions, means you may sit at your desk for long spans of time. In the office, we moved around to chat with colleagues, met in a conference room, or played with one of our office pups. However, team members now regularly make space to go for a walk around their neighborhood to get fresh air, chat with roommates, and walk their dogs. When doing so, they will let the team know they are stepping away, reminding everyone that they should get up as well. These little shares make getting up a reality for all of us no matter where we are. 

Trigger the End of Day by Moving

Some of our team members have gone so far as to incorporate their original leaving-the-office routine into their work from home life. The goal is to mentally trigger the same response they had ending a full day of work in the office. Our Client Success Manager, Cierra Cegielski, will often take a drive to get out of the house when she finishes her day as if she were commuting home. Others like Brian Penner, our Paid Media Strategist, will take a walk outside, backpack and laptop in hand, to make arriving home feel like the completion of his day. 

Take Vacations

Now more than ever, mental breaks are imperative. We have to acknowledge the mental gymnastics we are performing everyday as we try to do our best work, stay informed on the myriad of news topics in front of us, and keep ourselves and our families safe. Anna Knutson, our Associate Director of Client Strategy, encourages her team to keep those vacations and three-day weekends, long ago planned, on their schedules. Making the space to take time off, even if it’s just to be at home is still a valuable break worth taking. Vacations may look different right now but they are still worthwhile. 

Stay Connected

Finally, how are we connecting virtually? We miss the random pop star debates and dream sharing that was spontaneously generated in our office. Those social interactions are not as easy to create over a video call. However, our team is determined to keep our teams engaged and connected. Marcella Wentz, our Vice President of Operations, says keeping our social structure active is what helps her keep work fun and fulfilling. As an example, we have bi-weekly 1:1 creative catchups and on-going happy hours and coffee mornings to continue to develop the social structure we enjoyed working together.

We hope you’re safe and well during this time. If you liked this post, we encourage you to sign up for our email newsletter below. We share about webinars, industry news, and tips from our team every month. You can also follow us on social media where we do education around social justice, digital marketing, and social impact.