Mental health when working from home

Working from home can be a rewarding and fulfilling pathway to entrepreneurship for many. However, sometimes entrepreneurs working from home can feel isolated or disconnected from colleagues and others. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are working from home who may not be used to it. It can take a toll on our mental health if we don’t have proper support or connection.

The Globe & Mail recently shared some mental health tips when working from home, from Shrad Rao, the founder of remote company Waypoint. In the article, Rao says:

As a company that’s worked 100-per-cent remotely since day one, we’ve learned some important lessons about staying mentally healthy while getting the job done from home. Our solutions may not work for your company, but if you can take any positive from our experiences, then we’re all better off for it.

Visit the Globe & Mail’s site for the full article with mental health tips from a remote company.

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Keeping your small business productive in summer

Summer is entering the home stretch here in Canada. How have you seen your small business’ productivity change this summer? Were you or your employees hard at work, or were you answering the siren song of beaches, barbecues and beer?

Even though summer’s not quite over yet, you might appreciate some tips to keep your small business humming along for the next few weeks. Here are some great articles/blog posts we found online this week about keeping positive and productive in the summer:

And some summer productivity tips from us at GoForth Institute?

  • Take advantage of the downtime to handle behind-the-scenes work. If all your clients are on holidays, why not tackle that filing you’ve been putting off?
  • Encourage your team to enjoy summer. We’re not saying to let them work half days all season, but don’t forget that happy employees are productive employees.
  • Don’t deny yourself some sun. Along the same lines as the previous point, it’s important for the boss to be happy and productive too, especially if you’re a sole proprietor doing all the work.
  • Stay organized. Juggling all your employees’ and clients’ summer holiday schedules is possible – just stay on top of everything and plan accordingly.

Now get out there and enjoy the remaining few weeks of summer – come Christmas, you’ll be glad you did!

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Stress-relieving tips for entrepreneurs

No matter how large or busy your small business is, you’ve likely experienced even a little bit of entrepreneurial stress. And in case you’ve managed to ignore the advice of your family, friends and doctor, here are some ways you can relieve a bit of the stress that goes hand-in-hand with running a small business.

  • No more eating at your desk. Yes, wolfing down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while reviewing your expense reports is more productive, but it’s also not at all relaxing. You may feel you don’t have enough hours in the day, but you’d be amazed at how much smoother your brain will work by enjoying your lunch in a different room or even outside. While you’re at it, why not go completely nuts and spend your lunch hour with some colleagues? Humans are social beings, after all.
  • Delegate more. Even the most well-balanced organization can stand to review its employees’ workloads from time to time. Many entrepreneurs are protective of their small businesses – they’re the ones that gave birth to it! However, you may already have a sneaking suspicion that you can’t (or don’t want to) do it all. What can you offload onto another, trusted, member of your team? What can you ask someone to work on with you for a while? We don’t want you to have nothing to do all day, but if you notice that you’re the only one running around in a frenzy, it might be time to evaluate how many tasks you’ve been giving yourself.
  • Make your workplace less stressful. Even if you’re a relaxed, my-door-is-always-open kind of manager, there are probably things you can do to reduce workplace stress. Talk to your employees and see where their satisfaction levels are. Acknowledge employees’ achievements (publicly or privately – it’s up to you). Encourage your team members to take a short break in their days to recharge and maybe creatively brainstorm new ideas for their work. Foster environments of group collaboration and organize employee events. Make your workplace as physically comfortable and inviting as possible (while still looking like a workplace, of course).
  • Bring your work home with you. No, we don’t mean literally, but when someone asks how your day was – tell them. You don’t have to get into specifics, but going over key events of your day and how you managed them or how they made you feel is immensely satisfying. Your loved ones ask because they care about you, so talk it out.
  • Stretch and move. Many entrepreneurs – especially those with desk jobs or who undertake repetitive tasks – understand all too well the need to get up and move around from time to time. If you don’t, you could end up with hunched posture, sore joints and lovely assorted aches and pains. The good news is you don’t need to invest too much time in stretching and moving to get the benefits. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends a break for 5-10 minutes for every hour you’re working. Check out their website for specific tips and stretches.
  • Take a vacation. There’s no honour in burning out. No matter whether you run a home-based sole proprietorship or are the manager of a good-sized team, you should take at least a long weekend off every now and then (and it might go without saying that we want you to take a real vacation sometimes too!). Many entrepreneurs start their own businesses for the freedom of setting their own hours, so do it! Make sure to give your clients or customers enough notice and leave the business, if necessary, in the hands of someone you trust. Let this person know your contact info for emergencies, but resist the urge to “check in” when you’re off the clock.

What stress-relieving tips for entrepreneurs do you have? Let us know!

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