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Revving Up Remote Work: Tips to Remain Positive and Thrive Through the Pandemic

Abandoned notebooks. Empty desks. Post-it notes with to-dos that have been long forgotten. Office plants that have surely dried up. Just one year ago many office workers across the U.S. traded in their heels for slippers, their favorite work trousers for their most coveted pajama pants and their commute time for at-home schooling – to shelter in place until further notice due to the onset of COVID-19. 

While there are many positive things that have emerged during this time, it’s no secret that many people have also hit a few stumbling blocks. 

"No matter what your personal circumstances, quarantine, social distancing and remote work have been challenging," says author, speaker and workplace happiness expert Jennifer Moss. "Now is a good time to reassess and take steps to revive your routine. By being proactive, you can help fuel positivity and productivity in all aspects of life." 

To help inspire, Moss shares her top five ways to stay positive and better manage a remote lifestyle:

1. Block time for self-care

Chronic stress of pushing through the pandemic can cause brain fog. Examples of brain fog include difficulty getting motivated, losing your focus easily, searching for your words when trying to communicate and having difficulty making up your mind. At times, small tasks can feel overwhelming. 

To prevent brain fog, take a break from work, school or other must-dos and schedule time to do something you enjoy for 10 to 15 minutes. Without these breaks you’ll end up less productive and less engaged at work overall. This inevitably forces you to expend more mental energy to reach the same goals. A quick break will help you refresh and refocus. 

2. Take a fake commute

Although long and unpredictable commutes can increase stress, there were aspects of commuting that may have been beneficial, such as listening to music or reading a book. Instead of doing these enjoyable activities at home, many people have simply replaced this lost time with more work. 

Rather than working from the time you wake until dinner, consider being more mindful and try scheduling a fake commute instead. That means taking the same amount of time you would have spent in your car or on the subway and replacing it with a walk, listening to your favorite podcast, or spending time with loved ones. Did you know the average roundtrip commute is 48 minutes? While working from home, reschedule that time to focus on your wellbeing. 

3. Reduce video meeting fatigue

The average worker has experienced a 24% increase in meetings since the start of the pandemic, and video meetings can be especially taxing. Overall, meeting fatigue has shown to increase stress and reduce productivity. To lessen the effects of meeting fatigue for yourself and your team, ask these questions:

  • Is this meeting necessary? If yes, then ask:
  • Does it have to be a video call?
  • Does it have to be longer than 30 minutes?
  • Which attendees are essential?
  • Can you turn off the cameras and use photos or avatars?
  • Can you do an audio-only conference for a screen break?

Of course, some video meetings are necessary. For those, consider starting with a check-in by asking: How are people feeling? Does anyone have a back-to-back call? What time of day is it? If you’re leading the meeting, set a timer so you can end promptly.

4. Work away for the day

Kids, spouses, roommates and even pets add new elements to your workday that can distract from your concentration. When you need time to focus, consider a change of scenery. For example, WorkSpaces by Hilton is a work-from-hotel solution for individuals seeking office space to boost efficiency during their workday. This is a great option for when you have an important meeting or presentation, need to fully focus, or just need to get away. 

Through WorkSpaces by Hilton, you can enjoy a private, standard guestroom during your work hours and access Wi-Fi that isn’t taxed by everyone in the household. Plus, you have access to hotel amenities, including business centers, gyms and pool areas, where available. Visit workspacesbyhilton.com to book a room or learn more. 

5. Unique times require flexibility.

Always remember, people are not working at the same productivity and engagement levels as they did before the pandemic started. In addition to chronic stress and anxiety, people are juggling competing demands, like homeschooling and not having access to daycare.

It’s important to have realistic expectations of what demands can be met for yourself and your colleagues. Create daily and weekly goals and have regular, honest conversations with your managers about work-life balance. If you are a manager at an organization, keep this in mind for employees as well as yourself and embrace a responsive approach to these conversations. What's more, keep this in mind with your family also, as your kids and partner may also require some flexibility at home, too.


About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising 7,000 properties and 1.1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the 139 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.