In March 2020, our life as we knew it changed overnight.
Lauren was preparing to leave for her one year anniversary/honeymoon trip to New York City.
Brian was blissfully enjoying the beach in Mexico.
Lora’s son was finishing up his freshman year of high school and they were planning a summer vacation.
You know how the rest of this story ends up…
For the first few weeks, when we thought “quarantine” was going to be two weeks long, we packed up our things and headed home. We had make-shift desks and tried to find a work-life balance. For a while, it was fun putting life on pause and being able to explore other hobbies, like baking breads and desserts! As the months went by, though, we soon realized we had to make our homes into our offices.
Two years later and after a little bit of trial and error, we found what worked for us. We sold our office on Pickens Street after almost 3 decades and purchased, then renovated, a smaller office space on Richland Street to meet our current needs. We officially adopted a hybrid workplace method. We go into the office 2-3 days a week but if things come up, we stay home. It has greatly enhanced our quality of life, and the best part is: we really haven’t skipped a beat when it comes to working together to produce for our clients.
Here are a few things we have found to optimize the hybrid lifestyle. Some of these are no brainers, but some are things we had to learn along the way.
- An organization system. To keep up our high standards for clients, we’ve utilized organizational methods to make sure we are working harmoniously. When you’re used to spending each weekday within earshot of each other, it can be difficult to adjust to a hybrid workplace. Our weekly meetings and use of online tools help us ensure projects are completed efficiently and with care.
- A comfortable chair. While in the office, we tend to get up and walk from desk to desk, or even take a walk around the block at lunchtime. At home, though, we sometimes find ourselves at our desk for hours on end and eventually our back and neck feel the effects. Investing in functional items for our “home offices” like office chairs and proper desks help keep us comfortable. We’ve even come to appreciate smart home features that allow users to set timers for every hour or two, reminding us to get up, stretch, and walk around!
- A designated “Zoom Corner.” Over two years into the pandemic, virtual meetings via Zoom are a given with clients and coworkers. Having an appropriate setup can relieve the stress of scrambling to find a decent spot before you turn on your camera. Consider picking a spot with good lighting and acoustics… ideally free of piles of laundry in the background! Placing a houseplant in the frame can work wonders for your aesthetic, too.
- A hobby. We are all incredibly lucky to be able to work in a creative space. We don’t have to do a tremendous amount of manual labor each day but as the saying goes: don’t let your job be your only creative outlet. When days are long, or you just need a break, it helps to have something to focus your mind on that isn’t work or social media. Brian’s artistic eye is a perfect example. His passion extends beyond his creative work for ADCO, and painting allows him to unwind without restrictions or pre-determined color palettes.
- A place to sit outside. This is a big one for everyone, regardless of your industry. Being able to go outside and sit in a hammock or in a chair and listen to the sounds of nature has really helped us when we get in that “Life will never be the same!” panic. A short walk can refresh your mindset during an arduous day and getting Vitamin D never hurts either!