Everyone. Welcome to how to maximize productivity and job satisfaction while working remotely. This is an educational presentation provided by Deer Oaks EAP Services of course for. A lot of individual organizations that we support and provide EAP services for. We'll talk a little bit about the services available to you as employees of your organization here at the end through Deer Oaks. I'm glad that you joined us for this presentation. This is the second topic in our 2021 Deer Oaks pandemic support GoToWebinar series. Last month we did one on how to cope with change and uncertainty.

Today of course, is how to maximize productivity and job satisfaction while working remotely. And then there's two additional sessions coming up in the series this year. The third one will be coming up, let's see it'll be coming up in July, how to deal with anxiety in the midst of stressful circumstances. And then we'll come back in the fall, we'll come back in October and do one on preventing and overcoming burnout. If you would like any information about registering for those additional sessions coming up in July and October, all you have to do is hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today and ask our staff to send you the links to those future pandemic support webinar series sessions, we'd be happy to send those to you.

And so I'm glad you're with us for today. So before we get started, though, I want to make sure our technology is working for us. If you can please locate the Raise Hand icon in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right hand corner of your screen. And if you can see the slides clearly and hear my voice clearly, could you please click on the Raise Hand icon now.

Thank you, folks. Looks like we're good to go technology wise. I also want to make you aware that you have two options for receiving the audio during this GoToWebinar platform led presentation today. Most of us or many of us of course when we log on to virtual platforms like GoToWebinar, Zoom, or those kinds of platforms, we will oftentimes just automatically opt for computer audio to take the audio through our computer. But as most of you recognize, computer audio can be impacted by weather conditions in the local area, it can be affected by a temporarily weak Wi-Fi signal.

And so if you do have any issues hearing the audio during the broadcast today, please remember you have a second option. You can click on the Audio button in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right hand corner of your screen. And once you click on the Audio button, you'll see you can switch over from computer audio to telephone or phone call audio. Once you click over to phone call audio, you'll receive a call in number and a code, and then you can dial in and hear the audio over the telephone. So I wanted to make sure you have that as an option as well.

And then last but not least, many of you probably recognize from previous experience with our educational webinars is that during these sessions, participants are in listen only mode, which means, of course, you won't be able to audibly ask questions during the content portion of the presentation, which probably should last somewhere around 30 minutes today, give or take. But your questions are important to me. So when we get to the end of the content portion of the presentation, if you have any questions, please feel free to type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

I do want to let you that this is a very well attended session. And understandably so right because so many of us transition to working from home during the pandemic. We do have several people on the call today, and so I'm anticipating a lot of questions but we will get to as many questions as time allows this afternoon. So I'm looking forward to that question and answer session here coming up shortly. All right. So let's start our conversation today with a quick overview of the benefits of working from home. And some of them are obvious, but I want to remind us all that even though there are challenges to working remotely, there's a lot of benefits.

And I've personally been working remotely since 2009. So I've been working and I've been with Dear Oaks for going on 10 years now. And I was even working remotely before I came to work for Deer Oaks. And so I love it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I receive a lot of benefits personally of working from home. Now initially though when I transition back in 09 when I went from being in an office environment like so many of us are for much of our careers to becoming a remote worker, I had a lot of adjustments to make. And so I'm going to share some of my experience today and what adjustments we have to go through to be as productive as we can working remotely, and to really take advantage of these benefits we'll talk about.

So even though there are a lot of documented benefits and a lot of best practice studies around this, and I really did a deep dive in the best practice literature back in March of 2020 when so many of us transitioned to working from home just to make sure that this presentation was as current as possible. There are certainly adjustments. There are challenges. Many of us don't have an ideal environment to work from home or at least be able to focus and be as productive as possible from home, or at least some of us have challenges and other people that we have to interact with.

And so we'll talk about those challenges here in a minute. But I do want us to recognize though once you make the adjustment and get into a good rhythm working from home. And again, it's not for everybody because some home environments are not completely conducive to being completely productive from home. But if we follow some of what we're going to talk about today, we can at least be more productive. We can manage the flow of our work a little bit better, we can create boundaries with those that we live with so that we can be more focused day to day on our work. We can learn how to create an office environment that's going to maximize productivity in that home working environment knowing that all are a little bit different.

Because there are a lot of benefits. There's one study that talks about once we're comfortable and have a good rhythm working from home, that stress levels go down significant, and risk of burnout goes way down. And I want to cite a Austin College study. And I've personally really experienced this. It took me about I'll be honest about six months to really get used to it. So in 09 when I transitioned working from home, I had been working in an office environment for I'm thinking 25, 26 years at that point.

And so and every once in a while I would work a day from home. But once I transitioned full time to working from home, it was challenging. I had this I had to establish a comfortable working environment, a good office environment. I had to coordinate with my housemates, my family members to be able to get my work done effectively every day. I had to learn how to maintain my social needs, being remote when you're not seeing people every day. So I had a lot of challenges. But I got to tell you once I got in a good rhythm, my stress level went way down. The fact that I no longer had a long commute, and I had more time on my hands, and I could dress down and be more comfortable like the gentleman in the picture in the lower right hand corner, I like being relaxed. I mean, I like sitting in front of my computer in a hoodie and sweatpants.

I mean, if I don't have to be on camera and I and I'm in a relaxed environment, I know most of us have seen that that's a benefit. Because it's interesting when you're in a more comfortable work environment folks and stress levels are lower we tend to not only be more productive, the quality of our work gets better. We can be more relaxed, we can be more creative. And if you're enjoying your days more, I mean you can be in a better mood. And so and of course when you're feeling better emotionally, that also helps to reduce your stress level and increase your productivity.

Now of course some of the hard benefits that they talk about is eliminating time and money commuting to and from work. Nationally the average employee saves 22 hours a month and 22 hours and over $100 a month in gasoline expenses, and oil changes, and those kinds of things. And so for me it was even more than that. Where I used to drive to work was 45 to 60 minutes one way depending on traffic. So I was basically in the car an hour and a half to two hours a day round trip. And it was stressful, and it was expensive. I mean, I remember one year putting 42,000 miles on my car in one year.

And so that car, needless to say that car didn't last very long. I traded it in after about three years or four years just because the miles were piling up so quickly. And so once I was able to start working from home, the life of my vehicles has extended and of course I've saved a lot of money in gasoline and oil changes. A lot of time, I have lots of extra time to spend doing things like more quality time with family, doing things that I enjoy rather than sitting in a car for a long commute. But again, it does take a transition because not every home environment is conducive to comfortably working from home. We'll get into more of that here in a moment.

There's also a Stanford study that really talks about once you're in a good rhythm, once you've set up your home office and you're comfortable working from home, productivity can sour. And I have to say now I've been doing this a long time. So I'm in a really good rhythm and I do have a private office back behind a detached garage, which gives me a lot of privacy where I can focus. And I realize that not everybody has that benefit. But my productivity is absolutely 15% to 20% higher than it was when I was going to an office, sometimes more. I mean I can be really, really productive working from home. There's less distractions, there are distractions but there's different kinds of distractions, but there's less total distractions, and it's just a more comfortable environment with the fact that I don't have to commute. And it really works for me.

Again, it did take me six months to adjust. And so for some of you who have been working from home now for the last year or so, I know many to most of you recognize that there was an adjustment. You had to get into a rhythm, you had to establish a home office, you had to coordinate with those that you live with. You had to get used to working from home and not interacting as much every day with colleagues which can be a little isolating and challenging. But I got to tell you that once you're in a good rhythm, it can be really wonderful to work from home.

But of course it's not within challenges. And so for some of us as I mentioned, establishing a good workspace wasn't easy. Some of you that didn't have a private office probably struggled. I talked to one woman last year early in the pandemic who said she worked with, she had a roommate and they had a one bedroom condo with 850 square feet. She says we are on top of each other 24/7 at the beginning of the pandemic and we weren't getting anything done, and they were both transitional working from home from their respective employers. And she said that was really tough.

She said if one of us had to do a call a Zoom meeting, the other person had to go down to the lobby and take their laptop because we just couldn't both be talking at the same time. And so she said that was very frustrating for us. I talked to another family whereas a woman, so I use the picture of the woman here sitting here. That might remind some of you of what your experience had been at least part of the time during the pandemic if you have kids where you were trying to get your work done with the kids right next to doing their thing.

And so I just I talked to a woman who was having a really hard time being productive at home because she and her husband both transitioned to working from home last spring due to the pandemic and their are three elementary school age kids transitioned to doing distance learning from home. And so they were on top of each other in a three bedroom townhouse and it wasn't working well. And it was really, really hard. So some home environments are not easily adaptable, but I've got some suggestions to make whatever your home environment is worth maybe a little bit more effectively.

Maintaining a reasonable schedule and maintaining reasonable work habits is important. When you start to work from home or when you're working from home, sometimes there's a temptation to actually work more hours. There was one study that came out last spring that said 43% of Americans that had recently transitioned to working from home were now saying they're working more hours even though they no longer had a commute. And basically that's giving into the temptation of going back to your computer or your workstation after hours, checking emails and all of a sudden 15 minutes turns into an hour as you get into some things. And then people just not disciplining themselves.

And it is harder to maintain boundaries between your home life and your Work/Life when they're both in the same physical space in your home. And so I just want us to recognize that can be challenging for some people. We got to establish some work habits. I'll talk about some best practices in that here in a moment. For a lot of people adjusting to be more isolated it was a real challenge. I talked to some people that live alone who were really struggling early on in the pandemic. And it is true that many of us get some to much of our social needs met at work from our colleagues.

And so I had people talking about how isolated and lonely they felt. And so it's harder to stay connected to co-workers, your supervisor, other people that are important to you of course when you're working from home. And then last but not least, even though there's potentially less total distractions at home, you don't have 100 co-workers coming in and out of a physical office space. But it still can be hard. There's still things you can be distracted by personal errands and chores. You can be distracted by the television or social media. You can be distracted by other children or adults in the home with you that when you're trying to get your work done. And so there's a lot of challenges that we probably had to adjust to. All right.

So my goal for all of us, recognizing. I created this presentation last spring at the beginning of the pandemic, but I recognize it still has a lot of value now because so many of us are still working from home. Is my goal would be for all of us to come away from our conversation today with maybe a couple of ideas or things that we could do either more often and more consistently to enjoy working from home more and to be as productive as possible, or maybe something that we could start to do that could make a difference in our overall enjoyment and productivity as well. All right.

So let's start with establishing or maintaining a really good work environment. All right. So as I mentioned, not every home has an ideal workspace for remote work, especially if you've got people on top of you where you don't have a private office to go into where you can close the door and have privacy. And so the best practice is if you don't have a private office that you can close the door and stay away from others so you can have complete privacy, the best practice recommendation is use a low traffic area.

The mistake a lot of people make when they're working from home is they take their laptop and they sit-in front of the TV or they sit at the kitchen table. And especially in homes where you have children at home with you or other adults that are working from home, that can be very distracting, people are coming in and out of those high trafficked areas, and then there's also the temptation to turn the TV on, or click on this little media, or get up and get a snack. I mean, there's just-- so the best practice is to create a quote unquote ''office.''

And if it's not a separate room we can go in and close the door to use a low traffic area. So stay away from the living room and the TV, stay away from the kitchen where if there are other people in the house they're going to gravitate to those areas and you can be distracted more as to put in office or excuse me, put your desk up against the wall with your back to the main living area. That's one thing that creative people have done or one creative thing people have done if they don't have a separate office. And so some people have gone online and ordered those room dividers, those like those accordion things you can wrap around a desk just so they could wrap that around their desk and have at least a little bit of a physical boundary between their workspace and the rest of the home.

A lot of people went and got noise canceling headphones. But really you want to keep people out of your eye view because that's distracting, and you want to keep sounds at a minimum so that you're not interrupted. As we all when you're working from home and other people are there, it can you'll be working at something so I'm going to ask you a question. You've been working and someone will walk by. And it's distracting, it can take-- and then you now you're being more distracted as you might be in a physical workspace. But in the physical office right a lot of times people have separate offices where they can close the door, or at least you've got a cubicle that's very high so you're not seeing everybody walk by. So you're not visually distracted you every time someone walks by. So it's important to be very thoughtful about how you create your workspace at home and maintain your workspace.

And then from a discipline standpoint, it's really, really, really important to avoid going back to your designated work area after work hours. I established core work hours 13 years ago, 14 years ago. I told my wife I'm going to basically work from 8 to 6. So basically she knows that almost every night she expects me into the main house for dinner, and again I do have the benefit of having a separate office behind a detached garage. But I also maintain office hours just like a lot-- and this is what a best practice and remote work is that a lot of people early on the pandemic were getting up whenever they wanted to because they didn't have to get up to commute.

They weren't keeping set hours. And so they would be taking little breaks during the day and then working later into the night. And certainly we want to follow of course our organization's remote work policies if those things are in place for your organization for sure. But a best practice also is to maintain regular hours just like you would when you went to an office. For most of us and we were going into the physical workplace, we had office hours. We go in a 30 to 5:30 or 9 to 6 or whatever the case may be.

And then so you would have those physical boundaries where you would log in at a certain time, work your day, log off, drive home and start your home life that evening. And in those cases, there was much less temptation, less blurring of the lines, and less temptation to work again to go back into your work when you were supposed to be enjoying your personal life. So it really is a good practice to keep core hours, follow those core hours, and avoid going back to your designated work area after work hours. So I made the mistake early on working from home of running back out to my office after dinner to clean up some emails. And again, 15 minutes would turn into 60.

And my wife and I had word sometimes so she's going why do you do that? I thought we were going to watch something, I thought we were going to hang out together. And I was like Oh, I open an email and I saw something, I had to do it now. And I had to discipline myself. It was getting in the way of the quality of my home life. And so I had to discipline myself and nowadays I'm really good. I hardly ever go, I mean I turned my computer off at the end of the workday. So at 6 o'clock I boot down just like as if I'm in a physical driven to a physical office space that day. I turn my computer off, and I go in the main house and I'm done for the day. And most nights I turn my cell phone off as well.

And so I just try to maintain that physical separation between my home life and my work life. Also in terms of protecting your privacy and your focus, you got to be aware of this folks is that we have to establish boundaries and let the people that we live with what our work hours are. Like for example, I tell my wife what I'm doing webinars. I'm a social person so I don't mind if she comes out here during the day to ask me a question or visit for a couple of minutes. But I let her when I'm doing webinars because I don't want someone bopping in here when I'm doing a webinar, I have to focus.

And so I let her ahead of time today I had two webinars. I let her what when my webinars were. And so she respects that, she doesn't bop in here out at those times. My wife's a little different. She works from home, and she's a writer. And she's very creative. And if I go in the main house during the day, it can be even hearing the door open can pull her out of her creative zone. So I literally don't go in other than I let her know when I'm coming in for lunch. But unless I let her ahead of time, I don't jump in the house. She's given me the boundary that she needs, that physical workspace, and to not be interrupted during certain hours when she's writing.

And so we have worked together and we've given each other boundaries, and let each other so we can be respectful of what helps the other person stay focused. And you may sometimes have to discourage intrusions. Our adult daughter moved back in during the pandemic. She was furloughed from her job during the pandemic and she moved back in with us. And my adult daughter is very social. And the first couple of months, it was great to have her home again. But the first couple of months, every time she would see me she would start to visit with me about a YouTube video she just had looked at or something that she was thinking about or doing or.

And I would try to be polite at first, but I'm in work mode. In the middle of a workday it's hard for me to come out of work mode. Other than my lunch break it's hard for me to come out of work mode and do small talk. And so finally I said to my daughter politely but firmly honey, I would love to look at that YouTube video with you, but please can we do it after hours? I mean, it's the middle of my workday and. It's hard for me to switch gears like that and of course, she respected that. But I had to give those boundaries.

I actually heard a woman said that she gave those boundaries to a three and five year old and even the three-year-old, they respected that. I thought that was really great. She said at the beginning of the pandemic when the two kids she would say she and her husband both would trade off you supervising the kids while the other one was doing something about work. And the other one would be sitting with the kids with their laptop doing things like going through email that didn't need as much focus.

But if she had to go take a call or jump on a Zoom call or do something, she would tell the kids now guys mom's going to be in the office right now for the next 30 minutes. And so please leave me alone. OK. I mean, dad's going to be out here if you need anything, but please don't interrupt mommy in the middle of this, it's a very important call I have to take. But if you can just respect that after the call I'll come out and check on you see how you're doing. She said the kids were surprisingly, she said they were surprisingly cooperative which I thought was really, really cool. And

There's other things you can do to protect your privacy and focus as well like turning off your email alerts or your social media alerts. Time management experts recommend don't leave your alerts on they, literally can pin you to death. Throughout the day trying to steal your attention away from whatever you're working on at the moment. So it's really important to turn your alerts off. That way you can check your email and check social media when you want to and not have it be pulling it to and affecting your time and focus. All right.

Next let's talk about structuring your day and managing your time because again, the best practice is to establish a normal routine and stick to a schedule. Just as if you are going into an office and you may have to flex that, and again of course, you have to follow your organization's policies around telework. But you might have to flex that around when you have the fewest interruptions. When my daughter moved back in my wife had to change her writing schedule, and it was frustrating at first but it is what it is. And so she made the adjustment.

As my daughter was going out and doing some things with her life, she and my wife would communicate ahead of time. And when she was gone, my wife was able to get more for her creative work done. So that's an example of just coordinating. You may have to coordinate with other people sometimes or with your child care responsibilities or those kinds of things. The other thing I want to remind us, and this would be true whether you're working from home or working remotely, make your daily plan realistic. One of the best one of the biggest stressors that a lot of people self inflict without even realizing it, and I did this for years is we over commit.

So at the beginning of the day, we try that we put too many things on her to-do list. And so as a result, we go through the day rushed, feeling overwhelmed from time to time. And then if one more new thing comes in kind of upset the apple cart, it's like Oh my gosh how am I going to get through this day. I already had these other things that are on deadline and I got this new deadline. And so I went to an incredible time management strategy workshop 20 years ago and it was a game changer for me.

It said the best thing to do is every morning take your to do list and make a realistic plan. And really the recommendation was you should not have more than three to five things on your to do list every day. Now certainly there's little tasks that we have to check the box on or emails we have to attend to during the day. That's not what they're talking about. But in terms of actual work product, specific tasks, making progress on a project, those kinds of things. They said, don't have more than three to five. If you do, you're going to end up feeling rushed throughout the day, which will compromise the quality of your interactions with others, and can lead you to feeling overwhelmed and unaccomplished at the end of the day.

And so I've been doing that for years folks, it really works. It was a game changer for me. I mean it really, really does. And so it also leaves time for other things that will come in that you're not expecting. If you've only got like I'm looking at my to do list right now and I've got, I have three more things on my to do list today. and? So I can give complete time and focus to this webinar not feeling rush knowing that I've got ample time. I'll have another three hours of my workday after the webinar is over. So I've got plenty of time to attend to those things on my to do list. And even if I get something else that comes in, I mean it's not going to it's not going to ruin my day because I made my plan realistic today.

So be thinking about that, folks. And then in terms of managing your time, the other piece I want to mention is protect your prime working hours. So if you're someone that that's really productive in the morning, don't schedule, and that's me like I mentioned. I mean, I'm 8 to 10:00 in the morning I'm most productive. But I used to just accept meeting invitations during that time. That's not a good time for me to be in meetings because that's when I'm most productive.

Now sometimes of course, you get meeting invitations you can't say no to like from your boss and you have to say yes. But a lot of times we have some say, we have some control over our schedule. And so again, time management experts talk about protecting your prime work hours. So whatever is that period of time that you're most productive, try not to schedule meetings then and then try not to do a little busy work things like spending a half hour on your email inbox when you could be most productive working on maybe one of your most important projects or tasks that day.

And then the other thing is time management experts talk a lot about it's really important to try to focus on the most important or the most complex things in the morning before lunch. Even if you're not a morning person, studies show that 90% of people, roughly 90% of people most of us are going to be more productive before lunch than after lunch. All right. The next piece is staying connected to others. Again, recognizing whether you're an introvert or an extrovert we all have social needs, and many of our social needs tend to get better at work. It can be very lonely working remotely.

And so I talked to one guy at the beginning of the pandemic. He said he was downright discouraged. He says I fell down. He says I was starting to get depressed. He said just because I wasn't around people he says I'm not wired to be myself all day long. And he realized that he just needed to be more proactive and creative in reaching out to people virtually. So he started after about a month when he did his to do list every day not only that he put the work things he had to get done that day on to do list, but he also wrote down the people he was going to reach out to and stay connected to. He said it turned everything around for him

So make sure folks you're regularly reaching out and connecting with people, your colleagues, you're being proactive about it. A lot of times might not think to schedule something like that because I'm just going to get as much work as I can done. But we're social beings, we need to connect with others. Let's stay connected to our supervisor. If you don't have one on one meetings with your supervisor every week you might suggest can I get 20 minutes on your calendar once a week just to stay connected to your boss. I mean it's important. It's important that we stay connected so we're not out of sight, out of mind.

And again, we don't want to feel like we're not we're not significant. I mean, one of the most important motivators for any employee is to feel like people value us, feel like we're important, we're significant. And so a lot of times, if we allow ourselves to be isolated and we're not in the regular flow of communication with others from our office during the day, you can start to feel disconnected and it can affect your motivation and your satisfaction, your job satisfaction. So be sure you're working on that.

Make sure you're all set up with your virtual communication skills. I had to get up to speed quickly on Zoom and Microsoft Teams a year ago as many of us did right. And so make sure you're up to speed on that, you've got a backup plan in case in case your Wi-Fi goes out, I'll talk more about that here in a moment. All right. Last but not least, managing distractions and stress. This is important. And so again, there's not as many distractions working from home, but there are distractions. Like the gentleman looking at the TV while he's working and let's be honest. We've all done that at one time or another. We should minimize that of course. I mean not only is that not appropriate. We need to be focused on our work when we're working, we owe that to our employers.

But it's also distracting. It's hard to multitasking. Although some people are better at it than others, it's hard to really focus and concentrate when you're doing multiple things at the same time. So it's really important that we manage to minimize distractions and disruption. So again, click all the way off of social media, get rid of those email alerts, turn off the TV, resist the temptation to run errands or do chores during your working hours. I've got a neighbor who told me years ago and this is before the pandemic that he worked from home every Friday.

I got to tell you it happens so often. Is that I would look outside on a Friday and there it was, 2 o'clock in the afternoon or 10 o'clock in the morning, he'd be out cutting his lawn or doing work outside around his house. And I'm thinking to myself he's told me he's a full time employee and that he works from home on Fridays. And he's taking advantage. And I don't want to judge him, but that's the kind of thing that supervisors get concerned about when they're supervising remote work teams is that people are going to take advantage.

They're not going to be as productive, they're going to do personal things on an organizational time. And of course, that's not right. And so we need to make sure that we're resisting the temptation. The only exception I would say is if you're taking a break. We all need to take regular breaks to manage our stress. Like sometimes I'll take a break. Like for example I live up on a hill and our mailbox is down at the bottom of a hill. And it's 10 minutes round trip to go down to the bottom of the hill, pick up the mail and walk back up. It's exercise, it's fresh air, I'm going to do it after this webinar today. It's I haven't gotten the mail yet today. Our mail comes around 2 o'clock Eastern, so I'm going to be walking down to get the mail.

I do it as a break every afternoon, especially when the weather's nice. Instead of getting up and walking to the break room like we would in the physical office, I'll get up, go outside, enjoy some sunshine, walk down and get the mail for my wife. And I enjoy being out there and it's exercise. And so I mean obviously if you're taking a break and doing something personal as part of taking a break, then that can be a real win-win. But let's remember again to be coordinating all of our activities within whatever our organization's remote work policy is.

The other thing I wanted to mention folks is and I alluded to this a moment ago is we have to have adequate technology working from home. Most of us don't have a help desk at home with us. I do call my adult daughter my help desk, but we have to have a backup plan. So I do I have a backup plan. So I use Wi-Fi for my internet during the day, but I also have an organizational cell phone. So if my Wi-Fi goes out and it happens every once in a while. It happens to all of us, I can still stay connected and be productive through my cell phone.

And so but make sure you've got a backup plan. And so you can stay productive if you ever have disruptions like that. All right. And last thing about stress management I want to mention folks is again, even though there's less stress potentially after you've adjusted to working from home, there still is some stress. And so it is important to take regular breaks to not eat at your desk every day. We all need to stand up and walk a little bit, get outside, recharge our batteries, practice good health habits, get enough sleep everyday, exercise regularly.

Folks again, and sometimes people working from home actually do that a little bit less because they're less intentional about it. And so it is really important that we manage our stress. And some of the best stress management strategies are keeping your life in balance. So take your lunch breaks, plan leisure time every night, every weekend. Make sure you're always keeping your life in balance. Make sure that you're practicing self care, you're sleeping enough, you're exercising regularly so you can stay as healthy as possible. All right, folks. And I know we covered a lot in a very short period of time.

I do want to remind you that Deer Oaks is the employee assistance program provider for all of the individuals that are on the call today. The reason you were invited to this webinar is because we provide EAP services, employee assistance program services for your organization which include free counseling sessions, financial consultations with our accredited financial counselors, our work/life consultants who do searches for anything on your to do list, finding you home contractors, or helping you plan travel, or finding daycare options for you.

And so if you need to know how to reach us, just reach out to your human resources team and ask for the toll free number for Deer Oaks. We're available 24 hours a day and they would be happy to give it to you. And remember folks Deer Oaks EAP services are confidential. And so even when you reach out to HR, they won't why you're going to call us, they're only that you're asking for information about accessing your EAP benefit. So please feel free to do that. And our services cover every employee, their direct dependents, and anyone else living in your household including roommates that are not related to you.

All right folks. Now if you have questions. I want you to go ahead and please feel free to type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software. Again, I do want to remind you that we do have hundreds of people on the call today, but I do commit that I'll get to as many questions as time allows this afternoon. I've got a few folks asking if we can get copies of the presentation after the webinar. Yes you can. All you need to do is request by hitting Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation or reminder for today and just request a copy of the PowerPoint slide, our staff would be happy to send them to you, thank you.

Again folks, if you have any questions, please type your questions into the question box in the GoToWebinar software which you'll find in the upper right hand corner of your screen. One of our colleagues is asking how do we get proof of attendance? If you need proof of attendance, again, hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today. We don't automatically send and those out. But if you do need proof of attendance, just send us an email and request proof of attendance, we'd be happy to send it to you.

I was starting to get a lot of questions, I appreciate that folks. Here's a good one, what are the benefits of part time telework versus 100% at home? That's a good question. When I did the best practices study last year, I didn't look into the differences between part time and full time telework. But I can tell you anecdotally because there are people that do telework part time, and that is probably going to even be a bigger trend after the pandemic because a lot of organizations of course have found that folks can still be productive working from home.

So my guess is at least that's what some of the best practice literature is saying now is a lot of organizations will be reconsidering their telework policies long term, which could include the option to work from home on a part time basis for some people. Some people might say that they're working part time versus full time from home could be the best of both worlds. It would depend on your circumstances, the length of your commute. But I could just say anecdotally with and I've literally talked to dozens and dozens of people about this and what they like and what they don't like. And I know there's a lot of people out there that would probably prefer to do this part time where they can still get out of the house and go to a physical office and be with their colleagues part time and then also have a break from the commute and some downtime away from the office at other times.

And so I mean, that could be something that could be really helpful for people, it depends on someone's individual circumstance. Thank you for that, good question. All right. Someone is asking if this is recorded. Yes, we've recorded this webinar. So in order to get a copy or a link to the recording, all you need to do, again, is hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today and just request the link to the recording, we'd be happy to send it to you. Thank you.

Here's another great question, what do we do when we notice our spouse struggling with this, especially if their job seems to be promoting a lack of Work/Life balance? I appreciate you asking that. We can be supportive more than anything else. I mean, and as and not every organization is as proactive about Work/Life balance as others are. But I mean, at the end of the day Work/Life balance really comes down to us as individuals disciplining ourselves to keep our lives in balance. Certainly it's easier when we get the support of our organization, for sure no question about that. But we all have the ability to take our lunch breaks, we all have the ability to make sure that we're not working 10 hours a day if we're only supposed to be working eight. I recognize we may have to work extra when we're on a deadline or put in a few extra hours once in a while, but that shouldn't become a lifestyle.

And so I just would encourage my spouse to take care of themselves to make sure they're keeping their life in balance, make sure that they're not burning the candle at both ends. And a lot of times it's hard for people. Lot of times it's hard for folks because a lot of times when people get to work mode they're in work mode. And so this really is a commitment to a lifestyle. It's what we've talked about today really is trying to like some of you said in your comments here that you appreciate the common sense reminders. A lot of this we're talking about today really is common sense.

It's sort of a best practice in managing our lives day to day, managing our flow of work, managing our relationships, managing our interactions with others, managing our to do list, our daily plan, our time. And so you're right. And so a lot of times the best thing we can do to help others that are struggling is to just encourage them, encourage them to take care of themselves, encourage them to not overwork, encourage them to keep their lives in balance. And a lot of times we can help others just by encouraging and sharing some thought. All right. Next question.

Here's a good one. This is-- and folks I keep saying good one, all of these are good. I just get excited about these questions are so well thought out. What are some fun ways to stay connected with others working from home? That's my paraphrase that aren't silly, and I got a smile with that which I appreciate. Yeah because some things can seem a little hokey to folks. But you honestly I've seen so many creative things this last year virtually. I've seen virtual after hours get togethers, I've seen virtual lunches, I've seen virtual coffee breaks, I've seen organizations doing popcorn Fridays. There's this one organization that did popcorn Friday in their culture. It was kind of a tradition.

The organization would buy boxes of popcorn and people would go into the break room on Friday at 3:00, it was kind of a tradition and that and that organization for years. And then when people went home, they were frustrated saying I miss popcorn Friday. And all of a sudden one department decided let's keep popcorn Fridays alive virtually. And so they started doing virtual popcorn Fridays. People had to pop their own popcorn and buy their own popcorn, but they were at least on a Zoom call together from 3 to 3:30 on Fridays hanging out together like they were when they're in the office together. And it brought them back to a sense of normal normalcy and helped them stay connected.

So I would be creative with that. And with your teams, just as a team ask you what would be fun for you. And right now folks Google stuff. There's so much out there because millions of people have transitioned working from home in the last year. So right now when you Google icebreakers for meetings, creative ways to stay connected virtually, you'll get tons of ideas. And so we've done some fun things. We did a virtual meeting. And our team at Deer Oaks we did-- remember that game clue where it's kind of a who done it. We literally did a virtual.

We took a couple hours and did a team building thing last November with our whole team, and we did it we played a game of clue online, it was incredible. And there was an organization that facilitated that, and it wasn't very expensive, and that was a lot of fun. And so there's just lots of things. We do virtual secret Santas at the holidays. There's programs where you can do gift exchanges together. So just be creative in how you stay connected with people, and be intentional about it because it's important to stay connected to the people we work with. All right. Next question.

I've got one person asking me to send a copy of the PowerPoint. I wouldn't personally send it, but if you hit Reply to the GoToWebinar invitation for today just request a copy of a PowerPoint, our team would be happy to send it to you. So thank you again for asking for that. I got time for a couple more questions here. I'm trying to find a couple more that would be, and we have gotten a lot of questions, folks. And so what I always try to do when we have this many folks on the call is to choose questions would have the widest audience appeal.

So here's another great example from one of your colleagues talking about how you can do virtual meetings that enhance diversity and inclusion. Like they can do a potluck and I'm paraphrasing, but your colleague is saying you can do for example, family recipes with history or a family, or you can do a potluck lunch where everyone brings a dish from their cultural background and they all explain what that dish means to their family or in their culture. And so there's lots of creative things that you can do which are really great.

I like this one. Here's another great suggestion from a colleague is our team touches base every Monday morning to see how everyone is doing? We did not always cover business on those Monday check ins. I love that. I love that idea. I love that, that's fantastic, thank you. Yeah, little touch bases are so great to keep the team connected together, it's important. But we have to be intentional about it. So for example, if you're not having virtual team meetings right now and you're a supervisor or you can even suggest this to your supervisor, you might suggest can we have a weekly or biweekly meeting where we can get all together on a Zoom call or on a teams call or whatever and we can stay connected with each other more? It makes a difference to people keeping them connected.

Another question about is this session recorded? Yes it is recorded. And so all you need to do is hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today and ask the staff for a link to the recording and we'd be happy to send it to you. All right, folks. All right. That's all the time we have for today. I want to thank you all for being with us. We had a great turnout today, and I want to remind you again this was the second topic in the 2021 Deer Oaks pandemic support GoToWebinar series. The next one coming up is how to deal with anxiety in the midst of stressful circumstances. That'll be on July 12th. And then in October on the 11th we'll be talking about preventing and overcoming burnout.

If you'd like to attend any of those, please send an email or I'm sorry, not an email, but please hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today and ask our team or ask our staff to send you a link to register for the following or the future sessions in the series, they'll be happy to send it to you. All right, folks. Again, I want to thank you for being with us. It is a privilege for us here at Deer Oaks to support your respective organizations and provide EAP services to employees and their family members. And so again, I want to remind you again if you need our services, reach out to our human resources team and ask for the 24 hour toll free number that Deer Oaks, they'll be happy to provide it for you.

And in closing, I want to remind you all of you to as we continue on during this difficult time, please stay safe and healthy and I'm looking forward to being with you again in the very near future. Thank you everybody, have a wonderful rest of the day. Take care.