As more workplaces implement "back to work" protocols and procedures, many Hoosiers who moved to remote work due to the pandemic
may be faced with the opportunity to return to the office or continue their remote work.
Some businesses may even start offering the remote work option as a job perk.
WRTV is examining remote work from all angles as we continue to look at the opportunities and challenges with remote work for Hoosiers.
INDIANAPOLIS — When Sarah Gardner left Indy after a semester of college, she had no intentions of returning.
"California was an option," she said. "I could go anywhere, and I even did contemplate like van life for a moment, as well."
Her college experience and remote work in the hemp industry led her to states like Alabama, Tennessee and even Colorado. But a trip up I-65 from Nashville led her back to her familiar home in Indianapolis and then the pandemic hit the states.
"It just made me reconsider the whole thing," said Gardner, who has immune system considerations that led her to stay home and staying in for much of this past year.
When she weighed going out to Boulder, Colorado, or staying put with her support system and lower cost of living, she signed a lease on a place here in Indy and has been in her Hoosier state ever since.
During that time, she continued her remote work, but like many of us in this pandemic, isolation takes a toll on our mental health.
"The word I would use was languishing," says Gardner. "I was languishing at home. I was doing my remote job from my home every day."
So in November 2020, for her mental well-being, Gardner stepped outside of her comfort zone and joined The Speakeasy, a communal workspace and nonprofit in Indianapolis.
"It quite literally changed my life," says Gardner.
The Speakeasy not only gave her a change of scenery for her remote work but a change in careers.
Gardner has used what is called sound baths for her mental well-being and past battle with addiction. The meditation helps her cope. And she found another person at The Speakeasy who works in this field. Together they joined forces for a business venture.
"I met my business partner here, so now I am the owner of an Indy-based company," says Gardner.
Here Minds Collective is a meditation and mindfulness consultancy in Indianapolis. Gardner works as a sound bath facilitator and the company provides meditative opportunities and pop up events across the city at places like The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"Sound baths helped me and I just know the change that I saw, that created within me and wanting to share that with others," says Gardner.
As for her fellow remote workers who may feel stuck or confused as to where to go next, Gardner has this advice.
"If there's somewhere you want to go, if there's something you want to do, if there's a lifestyle you want to experience -- go do it," says Gardner. "You don't need to like go to a city and get an apartment and get a bunch of furniture, because you can AirBNB, you can sublet or you can, there's just so much available to us as remote workers."
To learn more about Here Minds Collective and find an event near you, visit their website.