Not flair as in special or fabulous (though we love that too), but flare as in a bright light you shoot into the sky when you’re lost deep in the forest. Like in the Goblet of Fire when Harry shoots sparks into the sky from the maze when he finds Fleur in trouble.
When we’re physically around people we know, we improve at sensing a mood or seeing signs they’re having a hard time. That’s not immediately apparent when we’re isolated at home. Especially when we’re programmed to respond “I’m good!” when asked how we’re doing.
So how do you shoot your flare into the sky when you’re lost in the work from home woods? Nervous, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, having a hard time getting rolling, stuck on a work problem, unsure about a looming meeting or presentation – someone needs to know.
Your flare can be:
- Call or text someone in your support circle
- Skype / facetime / video chat someone
- Email a teammate (or friend! Or family!)
- Tell someone (from at least 6 feet away)
- Pick a code word of some kind and then tell the people you want
- Set your status on skype or social to a code word you tell friends to watch for
But one of the key habits to working remotely – you have to shoot the flare for it to be seen.
This kind of isolation is hard, and might be tougher on your mental health than you realize. We’re just beginning this type of distancing according to many reports, and not liking it is ok. Let someone know to be watching for your social flare. It doesn’t have to be everyone, just a select few people who you’d want to respond to your SOS.
Support your friends and coworkers. Check in on each other and proactively ask how your teammates are doing. And, when you’re lost in the woods, shoot your social flare.