The Next Normal: This Spring, Do a Digital Detox — but Make It IRL
Last year, when the pandemic suddenly shut down our very big worlds and pushed them into tiny isolated spaces, we had to learn to adapt. Part of that learning curve last spring was centered on creating a conscious balance to mitigate the always-on digital mobile-first existence that kept us connected to the world, while simultaneously keeping us safely away from each other in hope of flattening the curve.
In the past twelve months or so, we've shown you how to create invisible yet ever so real boundaries with your teams in a virtual office. We offered tips for how to keep the devices that had become our lifelines both hygienic as well as organized and efficient. We shared the best ways to use your devices to stay in shape and avoid the common quarantine food coma that left many feeling sedentary. In short, we explored a number of ways to try and keep it together as COVID-19 virtually took our whole world virtual, blurring the lines between work, life, phone and reality.
One year later, a lot has changed. Now, as the larger world starts to slowly open back up, it’s time to start thinking about getting back out into it. Not quite ready? Here are some tips for Spring cleaning your life as we adapt our digitally dominant days to take things IRL once again.
A Fresh Start at the Office
First, if your remote office space remains your multi-hyphenated everything space (gym-kitchen-bedroom), you have to come to terms with the fact that research shows the home office can be dirtier and more disruptive to your overall health than work offices. Perhaps it’s time to do a deep clean of your home workspace? If you’re not feeling all that motivated, your phone can help! Apps like Spotless and Clean My House offer tools and tips that will help you schedule chores, create cleaning checklists and organize spaces in your home to make clutter a distant memory. Also, if you’re staying put, it’s time to take a serious look at your connectivity standards and make sure it’s up for the challenge of a full remote life. For instance, for both you and your employer, T-Mobile WFX provides three solutions on the nation’s fastest, largest and most reliable 5G network to help businesses and their employees thrive in a radically-transformed, post-pandemic, work-from-anywhere world.
Going back into your actual office? Things will probably be a bit different from your pre-pandemic work days. In addition to new layouts, a rise in part-time arrangements and inquiries on your vaccination status, office life as you knew it will likely have changed. T-Mobile was recently named to FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For after it put some rigor into its recent headquarters renovations in Bellevue, Wash. and Overland Park, Kan. to address the concerns of its employees. Everything from social distancing signage, capacity limits, sanitation stations, contactless building features to new HVAC systems that maximize fresh air exchange rates and MERV 13 filters considered hospital-grade filtration that meet or exceed industry standards.
Tackle the COVID 19
The numbers are in, and it turns out that most Americans have experienced pandemic weight gain. According to a recent study in the JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the average American packed on 7.08 pounds between February and June 2020. Looking to de-crumple your body and adjust your quarantine diet and WFC (work from couch) days? There are plenty of apps like the Nike Training Club, SWEAT, Happy Scale and MyFitnessPal that can help you get and stay fit to re-enter the world with confidence.
Clean out Your Quarantine Closet
Maybe you stocked up on sweats early in your quarantine days, and now have an excess of comfy clothes — if such a thing exists anymore! — as you return to life on the outside. Or perhaps you’ll be working from home indefinitely, and won’t be needing so many stiff suits and novelty ties.
Donating old clothing or other household items is a breeze with apps like Lugg, which can help you schedule pickups for your stuff. Need an extra push to clean out your closet? Apps like reGAIN offer exclusive discount coupons for donating unwanted clothing items to charity.
Prepare Your Pets
Whether you’re heading back to the office, resuming your weekly happy hour book club, or finally taking that rescheduled vacation, the fact of the matter is, your pets are likely going to be spending more time alone — at least compared to your early pandemic days. Maybe it’s your quarantine pup’s first solo work week, or your cat’s inaugural house-sitting gig — which, let’s be honest, she’ll probably love. If your pet will be spending some time alone, apps like Dog Monitor and PetCam help you rest assured your best friend is safe and happy.
Happy Spring ... and IRL return!