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Being Creative while Working Remotely

The global pandemic has forced many of us to work from home and stay home. Upwork estimates that 22% of the workforce (36.2 Million Americans) will work remotely by 2025. Many people have taken this opportunity to be more creative than usual. 

When it comes to creativity, some argue that having a job and working from home is holding them back. However, there are many ways to foster creativity while working remotely, especially since it is very important to have clear boundaries between work and home and taking time to be creative is known to boost overall happiness.

Do something different and don't be afraid to take risks

The best way to express creativity is to think outside the box. If you’re struggling with innovative ideas, don’t be afraid to ask others for help and guidance. Doing something different will give you a different perspective on things, and this could be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing again. 

Don't be afraid to take risks, either. Getting out of your comfort zone will make you a more creative and receptive individual. As long as you are not breaking any rules or putting your job at risk, then why not? Learning new things is exciting! 

Find a supportive community and get feedback

It is a good idea to be part of an inclusive community that can provide feedback and support. Whether it's an online community or a local community, having people you can bounce ideas off of, who can give you honest feedback and guidance, can be invaluable if you want to improve your creative streak.

When you're working remotely and not in the same physical space as others, it may feel more difficult and challenging to find this kind of community. Modern sites like Facebook Groups, Reddit, and Twitter provide places for anyone to find others with similar interests, no matter what their geographical location. 

Additionally, there are tons of meetups that have gone virtual as more people shift towards hybrid work. You can also attempt to connect with people individually on LinkedIn or Twitter who seem supportive and interested in what you're doing. Join conversations about topics that interest you and see if there are like-minded people who also seem enthusiastic about them. 

Take regular breaks for self-care

One of the most important things you can do for your creativity is to take regular breaks for self-care. Your brain needs this time to refocus, recharge and be present in the moment. It’s also a great way to break up the monotony of the day and keep a healthy work/life balance. Some people like to take 15-minute breaks every couple of hours while others prefer to take an hour or two when lunchtime rolls around.

It is of utmost importance to get away from your desk and do something that gets your mind off work. Whether that’s taking a walk outside (with social distancing in mind), reading a book, or playing with your pet, make sure you’re indulging in hobbies or activities that help you relax and focus on the present.

Even though you may be out of the office and unable to collaborate with coworkers face-to-face, there are still plenty of tools available to help you communicate with teammates effectively. Modern technology enables widespread global connectivity through tools like ShowMyPC, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts.

Indulge your interests

Even though many of us are working remotely, either by choice or because we have to, it does not mean that we have to only focus on work while we’re at home.

With our day-to-day routine upended, there is an opportunity for us to explore new skills and interests, which can be a great way to find creative inspiration and escape when things get stressful. Creativity is known to improve overall health and happiness and make a person smarter.

Even if you’re not someone who is employed in a creative field, you can still benefit from the mental and emotional benefits of being creative. Exploring and acquiring new skills is a huge mood booster and also makes you a more receptive individual.

Find ways to celebrate small victories

You will not be able to replicate the culture of your office fully in a remote setting. However, you can still find ways to celebrate small victories with the team and create new customs that are unique to your remote team. Better communication within hybrid teams is a must for the proper functioning of any team, and can nurture creativity. 

For example, have a weekly "Coffee Talk" online to catch up with each other on what's going on outside of work. Or have a monthly virtual happy hour to celebrate life and company events, such as birthdays, new hires, etc.

Just like anything else, being creative takes practice and time. The more you practice, the easier it gets and the better you become at it.

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