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The #NewNormal Essentials: For Work, Home & The Community

Here’s to arming yourselves with the right tools to face the new normal

Transitions, transitions: if there is a term carrying us through this massive adjustment, it’s “the new normal.” A beacon for new ways of living and working, everyone from brand owners and company executives to regular individuals are trying to gain a sense of adjusted normalcy (plugging, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic into the equation).

Is there any way we can go back to the way things were? Unfortunately, signs point to no. And now we are left to contemplate what the new day-to-day could look like. How do we move forward? How do we begin to take action when we are uncertain about the direction we’re moving forward to? Constantly shifting current events tell us that nothing is set in stone. But the silver lining is, using what we know so far, there can be a ton of power in preparation. 

Think of the remainder of the lockdown as an opportunity to reassess your needs and wants, and think up a rehashed game plan for tackling 2020. Now that we’re fully accepting that nothing will ever be the same, where do we begin? Well, the new normal essentials in this list are just some of the sure-fire tools to help you get through this transition.

A List of Local and Independent Businesses to Support

Part of adapting to the new “business as usual,” is thinking twice about our habits as consumers. Once businesses open up again, where will you choose to spend your hard-earned money?

RELATED: From Produce, Frozen Meals to Medication: Delivery Services Available During Community Quarantine

If the last three months have taught us anything, it’s that there is merit to lending support to local and independent businesses. It’s a way to ensure that communities right here thrive during these trying times, where staying afloat alone is a feat for non-essential businesses. Think: “instead of this, why not that?” Revisit your regular grocery list, online shopping carts for products you have on hold or your frequently shopped stores list and see if you can swap some items out for alternatives by local brands.

RELATED: 7 Small Business Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Apps and Extensions That Help You Set Boundaries

With the professional and personal now sharing the same space, in a work-from-home setup, it becomes far too easy for boundaries to get blurred and for one aspect of your life to spill into the other. This can knock you off-center and begin to make you feel as though there’s no escaping your work. There’s also the second scenario where working from home leads to being online twice or even thrice as much as before. To replace the lost in-person communication and connection, attending to work tasks, aligning with colleagues and getting in touch with collaborators today require somewhat being glued to your device. This can take a toll on your mental health, cognitive functioning and your productivity if left unwatched.

A great way to stay on track is to tune in or tune out via work session timer apps and trackers. You can also opt for Google Chrome extensions like StayFocusd that temporarily block select websites and social media platforms during your peak working hours. Programs such as these become increasingly important as blocking off distractions proves to be a major WFH hurdle.

RELATED: 13 Super Handy Google Chrome Extensions to Help You Work Smarter

Home Office Desk Supplies & Accessories

The old unideal: bringing your work home with you. The new ideal: finding a nook in your home to dedicate to your office work. Here, you can begin moving in-home office essentials like a comfortable work chair that’s gentle on the back, a standing desk or laptop stand so your posture doesn’t suffer and ample lighting so your eyes remain in tip-top shape. By creating this space specially designed for your work, you have a better chance of side-stepping the boundary issues mentioned earlier.

It might be a good time to update your home Wi-Fi, too, considering you and likely some of your family members will need the bandwidth.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Stay Productive When Working From Home

Hand Soap for (What Else) the Acquired Habit of Handwashing

Though quarantining means little to no interaction with anyone from the outside, it is good to train yourself to wash your hands frequently even at home. As hand hygiene becomes part of the new normal, the hope is that everybody ups their handwashing and hand care game, too, and bring this new habit with them from the house to the public space.

Don’t be fooled: even the premise of handwashing isn’t all that simple. Follow this chart created by the World Health Organization (WHO) to give your hands a thorough, proper cleanse (and to make sure your hand soap doesn’t just go to waste).

A System for Wireless Payments

The new normal will be marked by contactless transactions, the scan-to-pay setup and going paperless. Essentially, the less that we come in contact with, the better. This means updating your personal finances and seeing to it that you have a wireless payment option in your lineup. Skip the lines at the bank, hold off on withdrawing at an ATM, and go cashless while keeping track of your spending history.

GCash is an excellent and safe bet for this. A single app that allows you to pay your bills, send money, take care of online purchases and buy load, GCash is as flexible as it gets. For a full rundown of how you can use the app to make your life easier, tap here.

RELATED: 7 New-To-GCash App Users on Why They’ll Never Go Without It Again

Want to do your part in extending a helping hand? Reach out our health workers braving the frontlines by donating your Globe Rewards points. Here’s how:

  1. Download the Globe Rewards app on Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple.

  2. Launch the app and tap “Donate” on the main dashboard.

  3. Select “PGH100” and tap “Redeem.”

Your donation will help provide much-needed test kits, alcohol and complete sets of personal protective equipment to Filipino frontliners.

RELATED: Things To Do That Don’t Involve A Screen

Words Nicole Blanco Ramos

Art Matthew Fetalver

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