work-life balance

Blurred lines: work-life balance and working remotely

By Melissa

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Work-life balance is often elusive and challenging to maintain. When work moves from an office to your home, the lines you had previously drawn between your personal and professional life can easily blur.

While working from home comes with the highly sought-after benefits of flexibility, more quality time with loved ones, increased productivity and no commuting, it can become difficult to switch off and unplug at the end of the work day. As Covid-19 continues to flood our daily lives, we are all searching for calm and stability as we navigate what has become our new normal. A good work-life balance, now more than ever before, is essential for personal happiness, professional growth and your motivation to do great work. 

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TikTok

Four ways to use TikTok for marketing

By Mulesa

Photo by Kon Karampelas

For the longest time I resisted jumping on the TikTok bandwagon. I really enjoyed the clips of viral challenges and soundbites of inspirational words that popped up on my Instagram and Facebook but dismissed it as a platform for Gen Z kids on which I had no place. However, I remained deeply fascinated by China’s social media sensation and after using it myself, I’ve developed an appreciation for its raw and real approach to social media. 

I was also inspired by my work in social media marketing to explore how TikTok could be used for business. Here’s a brief overview of four ways that brands, big and small, can make the most out of the platform to market themselves.

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black lives matter

Beyond #BlackOutTuesday: navigating social media during social unrest

By Mulesa

Photo by Clay Banks 

In the past two weeks, our social media news feeds have been filled with news on George Floyd – an African-American man who tragically died at the hands of a white police officer while he was being arrested – and the subsequent revival of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the United States and beyond. In addition to the powerful images of his face and gatherings of protestors in Australia, South Korea and the UK posted over every social media platform, there have been impassioned calls to end violence against black people, systemic racism and police brutality across the world. Closer to home, names like Collins Khosa, Petrus Miggels and Robyn Montsumi dominate news headlines.

Offline activism also moved to the online space with users showing their support for those at the frontlines of protest action using hashtags like #ICantBreathe, #SayTheirNames and #BlackOutTuesday, which was born out of a music industry initiative in the US. Although initially for entertainers, big brands and ordinary people alike joined the initiative, the aim of which was to go silent on social media and use the time to reflect on current events. Users also posted a single black square as their profile picture on Facebook and Twitter or to their grid on Instagram as a symbol of solidarity with the BLM movement. Aside from some of the controversy around the symbolic sea of black squares on social media, the hashtag prompted a much-needed online exchange of information about BLM. It also raised some valuable questions about online activism, especially for digital marketers.READ MORE

smartphones

Creating a healthy relationship with our smartphones while quarantining

By Melissa

My last blog post focussed on the amount of time we spend on our phones and ideas on how to go on a digital detox.

Coronavirus has many of us glued to our smartphones. Whether it is checking the news regularly, scrolling through social media or keeping up with endless WhatsApp chats, it can quickly feel quite overwhelming. I think it’s incredibly important to look after our wellbeing and practise social distancing from our mobile devices during this uncertain time, but there are ways that we can use the apps on our phones to our benefit and make our stay at home that little bit easier:READ MORE

Top 10 quarantine tips

Top 10 quarantine tips

By Tom

The world is a very different place right now. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has meant social distancing and quarantine has become the norm. As South Africa entered its own countrywide lockdown on March 26th, we gathered (virtually) as a team for our weekly skills share. It was my turn to contribute and I really couldn’t think of much else, and still can’t, other than the predicament we all find ourselves in currently.

While the idea of spending 21 days in one’s home might seem like the perfect holiday for some, for many others, especially in a country like ours with such a stark contrast in living standards, it can be truly daunting. That’s why I decided to share some practical tips for quarantine, with the help of the UN and WHO’s official guides. I’m not the biggest fan of a top 10 list, but I took a whirl and also got some valuable input from the team as well.

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Want to sell online? Here’s a brief history Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy blog post by Tomas

Want to sell online? Here’s a brief history

By Tom

So you’re thinking of setting up an online shop? We can’t blame you. The appeal of buying on the internet is huge, thanks to its price, range and, most importantly, ease. Selling on the information highway isn’t as simple though. Here’s a quick history lesson on retail to help you decide whether you should start selling your products and services online.

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image2234

Do you know how much time you’re spending on your phone?

By Melissa

Yes, there are many remarkable pros to our mobile phones, but I can’t help wondering about the cons and how much time we are actually spending on our phones. Time on your phone happens in short bursts all through the day, but these moments add up quickly. 

 

In my online hunt for clarity on how much time I spend on my phone, I completed this quick Buzzfeed quiz. I was a bit sceptical on the accuracy so I then downloaded StayFree – an app which monitors the time you spend on your phone. My results from the quiz and average daily phone usage from the app were aligned for the most part – give or take 10 minutes. Over the last week I averaged 2h 15 minutes per day – which is just under 16 hours a week, 67 hours a month and 810 hours a year – I.E. 34 DAYS PER YEAR. That’s a lot of valuable time! Especially because this total doesn’t include the hours I spend on my laptop, nor watching Netflix.

The negative effects span beyond just wasted time in that it can disrupt our real-life social interactions and affect our mental and physical well-being. I know that if I am away from my phone for a few hours, I immediately feel calmer and more grounded. Here are some ways to find a balance with technology:

  1. Understand your phone usage. Getting a better understanding of your phone use is the first step toward improving your digital well-being. Download Space to help you change your phone habits and consciously connect.
  2. Using an app (e.g. Freedom) to set boundaries using time limits for certain apps and sites can help you to not scroll the day away.
  3. Initiate space from your phone at night by limiting use before going to sleep or leaving it in another room. This can help you feel more relaxed and to sleep better. 
  4. Create device-free zones and times. Select times of the day or spaces in your home to be device-free. Keeping your phone in a central place can reduce the urge to check notifications.
  5. Try single-tasking. Improve your focus by reducing the screens around you, using just the one that helps you achieve a single task at a time.

I’m challenging myself to get my daily phone time down to an hour a day. Are you up to the challenge too?

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confidenceperformance

Build confidence in any activity: the wheel of performance

By Clem

Struggling to start a new venture or even nurturing one of your own creative outlets is a common issue in our digital age. The constant bombardment of highlight reels of everyone’s successes without the backdrop of the long, hard road it took to get there – is one thing that can contribute to performance inertia and a lack of confidence. But there are tools out there to help. Enter, The Wheel of Performance:

Confidence 1

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photo 1485796826113 174aa68fd81b 1

What happens to Digital You when you die?

By Nicole

Each and every day we log into an ever-changing digital world. The more time we spend on social networks, search engines and mobile apps, the more we scatter pieces of ourselves around the web that together form pictures of our real lives, identities, tastes, preferences, habits and opinions. When pieced together, these fragments of information form a digital version of who you are, a digital you

It’s a concept I’m sure many of you haven’t really thought about yet (well, those of you who haven’t seen Black Mirror), but what happens when you die in a world where the virtual parts of you go on existing? This can be quite morbid and daunting to think about but, with some forward planning, it is something you can control (mostly). Here’s a practical list of how you can prepare to remove unwanted digital assets.

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Search engine optimization (SEO): A need to know guide Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy blog post by Tomas

Search engine optimization (SEO): A need to know guide

By Tom

With the number of businesses on the internet, it can be very hard to make yours stand out. You could spend money advertising it? But these can prove real costly, and added to this, we humans have developed ad blockers and even ‘evolved’ our eyes with banner blindness. What’s your best option then? Well, when it comes to your business’ website, there’s one clear solution: search engine optimization, or SEO, to the kids in the know.READ MORE