Welcome to the new world. A world where over 55% of the global workforce has some form of remote working option. A world that saw e-commerce sales hit all-time highs in the final quarter of 2020, and a world filled with communication yet void of real connection.
It is a world where boundaries are blurred between “work time” and “home time”, where ergonomic home office equipment is a must, and where “Can you hear me now?” has become a household phrase. It is also a world that constantly screams for our attention, pulling us away from the very thing we work so hard for — quality time with those we love most and personal well-being.
Whether we like it or not, remote work is the fuel that powers the economy and, despite the shifting landscapes we’ve experienced over the past couple of years, I believe remote work is here to stay.
So, where does this leave us going forward?
I believe that you, your business, and your clients can all flourish despite these shifting landscapes. But in order to do so, we must first position ourselves so that we can thrive. So, the question remains: How can we best set ourselves up for success in a rapidly changing world? As humans, these are indisputable truths that serve as a starting point to answering that question:
- We need structure to create freedom.
- We need hope to fight despair.
- We need confidence to destroy imposter syndrome.
- We need to remember that communication and connection are different.
- We need to be more adaptive than ever.
- We need systems, routines, and strategies to make our days (and our impact) powerful.
- We need to feed our sense of belonging and purpose to survive and
In my latest book, “How to Thrive in Remote Working Environments”, I unpack the strategies, systems, and routines needed to move from surviving to thriving in remote settings.
Like many, I was thrown into a fully remote working environment back in the spring of 2020. I was both excited and terrified as ever; I was ambitious yet cautious. My remote office had an old chair from the early 2000s, and a hand-me-down wooden table with a seat cushion from Ikea. My command center was weak but I thought to myself, don’t worry, this is temporary.
We both know I was wrong.
I became acutely aware that things were shifting and that this was becoming our new normal; that I needed to test new systems, tools, strategies, and routines to figure out how to function at an optimal level within my job in this new economic landscape.
Fast forward to two years later and, well, here we are. While I still use that hand-me-down table as a desk, I’ve upgraded other aspects of my remote office. I’ve not only incorporated botanical elements into my space but added a foam roller, a better lamp, and a second monitor, created a hygge reading space, and, of course, acquired a more ergonomic chair.
I’ve fine-tuned my pre-day and morning routines to keep me functioning in a thriving state throughout each work day. I’ve upgraded my sleep routine and psychological send-off routines to allow me to feel focused and ready for each coming day. I’ve learned to cook better meals and recognize when ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to screen time. I’ve created new systems and strategies to become even better at my job. In essence, I’ve figured out how to thrive.
This is my sincere hope for you and your clients as well. I hope that in your remote businesses and in remote interactions with your clients, you test out what is needed to thrive in this new economy.
We are not meant to simply live. We are meant to live well. Living and working remotely should not take away that opportunity for anyone. We all deserve to live well, but it’s up to us to rise to the challenge of becoming our best and to help others do the same.
When it comes to ensuring your clients rise to this challenge, it’s important to remember that you are an expert and that you should trust the systems, routines, and strategies you’ve established as a Leader in the Fitness industry. Remember that regardless of where your clients reside, or how their work may have shifted, the fundamental principles of movement and exercise have not changed. We still need to move daily and we still need quality sleep. We still need healthy boundaries and we still need to stretch and drink adequate water.
Over the past couple of years, I have studied, tested, and hypothesized what I personally need to thrive remotely. Through journaling, adapting, reflecting – and sourcing great coffee – I have come to understand some important pieces of the puzzle; to understand how to thrive in remote settings.
I believe with clear and consistent routines, skills, and actions, the ability to thrive is within reach for all of us.
With this opportunity to live and do business like never before, the responsibility lies with each of us to find ways to make thriving a reality. This is why I’ve put together 10 ways you can create thriving conditions in your own space so that you can bring your absolute best to your clients every day.
1. Be Still
Be still, for the way is not found but gifted.
While choppy water can make for a great tourist attraction, calm, still water serves as a resting place for birds to swim, people to gather, and creatures to live. There is something to be said for being still or having a moment of stillness each day. Being still allows the thoughts of the day to pour over us and for ideation and creativity to flow through us — all key elements to thriving remotely and flourishing in your work and life.
2. Choose Acceptance
Great freedom reaches into our hearts and minds only once we accept what is and what is not.
The pandemic has taught us about what we can and cannot control. As frustrating as it can be at times, acceptance can allow peace to flow into our hearts and minds, which spills over into how we execute our work. Choosing to accept some things while still challenging others is a choice we need to make daily. Recognizing which option is best is a skill that will need to be cultivated daily to thrive remotely. Simply put, own what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
3. Discover Your Yin and Yang
To truly rest, one must seek balance and peace between the many forces of the day.
Seeking and discovering the balance between the negative and positive forces that surround our days (even beyond a global pandemic) is critical to remaining stable, poised, and able to persevere despite the demands of the day. No day is easy, but recognizing the forces around us that are competing for our focus, attention, gratitude, and happiness is a key part of being able to thrive remotely. Drawing closer to the forces for good allows us to pull away from the forces for bad.
4. Cultivate Deep Gratitude
Deep gratitude comes to those who seek it.
We can all be grateful for something each day and that is a true miracle. However, if you truly want to thrive remotely, you must consistently devote time for deep gratitude each day. Just like deep thinking or deep writing, deep gratitude is a place where the heart and mind can escape to feel completely full. Even if just for a moment, experiencing deep gratitude can propel you forward as you approach the demands and responsibilities of the day, week, or month.
5. Invest in Difference
Truly being different is not about ordering pineapple on your pizza, it’s about changing what the pizza is made of.
I am a big believer in doing things differently for many reasons. Whether by changing how we invest our time, money, or energy, or simply going left when everyone else moves right, doing things differently opens up new possibilities. Taking stock of what we have and where we plan to invest while remaining open-minded to new possibilities is a key ingredient to thriving remotely. With so much disruption and vulnerability in today’s markets, we can choose new opportunities over fear of the unknown. The choice is up to each of us.
6. Seek New Content
Do something no one else is doing, and do it every day.
I live in Ottawa and right now I only seem to be getting one side of the conversation when it comes to buying a house. All the content I come across tells me to “Buy, buy, buy!” but there must be alternative views somewhere, right? Thriving remotely is about being mindful of our thoughts and personal biases because if we stay in our own remote echo chamber we tend to grow less than if we step outside of that chamber, even if just for a moment. Keep an open mind and stay flexible. Seeking out new and alternative content makes us more adaptable, well-rounded, and better informed.
7. Focus Inward
Your heart is your greatest asset. Protect it at all costs.
Thriving isn’t possible if your heart is guarded, jaded, closed, or broken. Focus on healing the heart and protecting it from personal attacks and negative comments, especially in remote environments. Having a short memory can also help your heart. We must deflect as many spears as possible and quickly remove the ones that do hit us where it hurts and patch ourselves up so we can forge ahead. Finding quiet time each week to heal, nurture, and strengthen the heart will only amplify our ability to thrive remotely.
8. Continue Creating Structure
“Structure creates freedom.” — Matthew McConaughey
It has never been more true that “structure creates freedom”. We all want freedom. However, we need structure now to create freedom later. On a remote working level, we must stay focused and structured in our work routines so that we can enjoy the freedom that comes from putting in a good day’s work. Structure and freedom are mutually reinforcing: having one strengthens and reinforces the other. However, while we must respect both, it is important to recognize that structure and freedom can look much different for each of us.
9. Think Macro, Act Micro
Days are molded or broken based on decisions made on the fringes of our lives.
As we think beyond COVID-19, I believe that what we do now will impact who we become and what we do after the pandemic is officially over. Though deciding to take action to be at your best each day is micro, as we know from Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect the micro influences the macro over time. Even the smallest actions taken daily can produce a lifetime of magnificent results.
10. Capture Magnificent Moments
A moment, however big or small, needs to be captured not just in the mind but also in the heart.
Thriving remotely requires both confidence and patience. In cultivating each of these skills for the long haul, we need to find unique ways to celebrate milestones and key moments in our remote environments. Doing this will grow our confidence and patience, allowing us to continue persevering in the days and weeks ahead. Track, celebrate, and revel in the weekly wins as this is an integral part of thriving remotely.
How to Thrive in Remote Working Environments is designed to support the growth and well-being of remote workers globally. It is a supportive tool for your remote working knapsack today and into the future. Come check out my upcoming session at the CPTN online summit to learn more concepts and strategies from this book to help you and your clients thrive remotely!
RYAN FAHEY, BA HKin, BEd, CPTN-CPT
Ryan is a 3-time author, speaker, and wellness educator passionate about wellness. He is the Owner of FaheyConsulting, which aims to help people and organizations move from good to great. His latest book, “How To Thrive In Remote Working Environments,” which supports the well-being of remote workers globally, recently hit #1 on Amazon in Canada and cracked the top 40 books on entrepreneurship in North America. Originally from Nova Scotia, Ryan has dedicated his life to pursuing wellness and is widely considered a thought leader in the wellness & education sectors.