As we all know, we are living in what can best be described as a time of uncertainty. Hopefully, those of us who can are working from home, in addition to social distancing or choosing to stay home and self-quarantine. Bars have closed, restaurants are take-out and drive-thru only, and some counties have enacted shelter-in-place.
As New York City Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “Somebody picked up our country and just shook it and turned it upside down.” I loved that he touched upon the importance of how we will get through this time together. We need to be more loving and more compassionate.
I am a wife and a mother of two beautiful little girls, one is nine and in 3rd grade and the other is five and in pre-K. I am also a professional woman who owns a digital PR agency with amazing clients and fabulous work colleagues.
From both a mom perspective as well as a marketing/PR perspective, the past few weeks have been a lesson in remaining calm and going on with life as usual (or at least as usual we can make it) in both the home and business. I am responsible for ensuring my children feel safe and clients supported.
Like so many others, I am (we are) balancing these two worlds that are truly colliding as so many of us are now living our work and home life in the same place. I know I’m not the only parent in this situation, which has made me curious about how everyone is handling it. I reached out to my friends, family and work colleagues and here are some of our thoughts about best practices during this difficult time.
Best Practices for Working From Home
- Refine your remote workflow with clients and co-worker: Many companies allow some flexibility to work from home on occasion, but that doesn’t prepare teams for a sudden shift into 100% remote work. Don’t ignore the learning curve it takes to successfully manage highly-dispersed teams – lean into it and work together to find a flow that works for everyone. Also, embrace technology – some examples of great remote collaboration tools are Slack, Zoom and Zoho.
- Pivot and adapt: This isn’t the first nor the last pandemic to disrupt the global economy. Companies are being forced to reimagine how to gather large groups of people together when terms like “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” make the news every day. Invest in brainstorming and innovating novel ways to get results in a world where “getting everyone in the same room” isn’t always an option.
- Stay in your lane: You know the world has gone mad when Twitter has to create a guide to persuade brands and businesses to stop co-opting a public health crisis for clicks. The advice they give is sound and should be followed on all social media, not just Twitter.
- Communicate transparently and proactively: Although most gatherings will (and should be) canceled or postponed, there might be a few events that go on – though definitely not as planned. Make sure your attendees don’t have to speculate about risks or ask what kind of on-site mitigation strategies you have in place – be proactive and consistent with your messaging through every available channel (e-mail, social, event page, etc.)
- Have Fun: Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I was beyond impressed how BOCAteers rallied for a virtual Happy Hour. We all got on video and just chatted, shared stories, showed our animals and it was a blast. Thank you so much BOCAteers – it was a success. Here is a fun photo of our animals.
Best Practices for Homeschooling While Working
- Stay calm and carry on: Our children feed off of our energy. We need to illustrate that life continues to move on regardless of canceled classes and sports, plus a massive amount of news being sent our (the parents) way. Stay positive.
- Keep a schedule: Kids are used to waking up, getting ready and heading to school where there is a clear routine.Try your best to create your own schedule that works for your family – even if you don’t follow it perfectly, having the conversation with your kids and writing the routine together can help establish boundaries where they are desperately needed. Here is a picture of our schedule.
- Get outside: No matter if you live in the city, country, beach town or mountains, we all need some fresh air to keep sane. My kids and I have been taking morning walks and it’s nice to wave to our neighbors and their dogs from a distance, just to get a little bit of human interaction.
- Move your body: Who needs a gym to exercise. Body weight exercises, jump rope, and tons of free workouts on YouTube all get the job done. That being said, unless you are truly quarantined or living in a shelter-in-place area, try to get outside. Here is a photo of our nature walk. How cute is the lizard sunning?
- Be gentle with yourself: We’re all doing the best we can for our families, ourselves and our clients.
Family is a core value at BOCA. And, families stick together through the good times and the tough times. We are all a single family on this planet and we will get through this together.
With love and from the heart,
Kathleen, BOCA’s Founder and the BOCA Family