On the Bright Side: Things We’ve Learned While Working Remotely

| By Boni Russell

In April, we wrote hopefully about how disruption from the COVID pandemic could force us to be creative, problem solve, and innovate. As we approach the five-month mark of social distancing—and in our case, working from home—we’re reflecting on our ‘new normal’ and sharing the things we’ve learned and experienced. What we found has included new perspective, deeper appreciation for things we once took for granted, and more willingness to try our hand at something new. Here’s what our team has been up to:

Gratitude and mindfulness

Many of our team gained greater appreciation for the familiar, seeing our homes, families, and even ourselves in a new light with far less distraction. Michelle, our resident outdoorswoman, didn’t think her appreciation for nature could get much greater—but it did. While spending more time at home, she’s added to her knowledge of plants, wildlife, stars and satellites.

After a 10-year hiatus, Boni decided to pick her guitar back up and teach herself part of a song. Although her skills were a little rusty, practicing an old hobby has brought newfound joy and relaxation. Cassidy has learned valuable lessons about slowing down and being patient, spending her time at home cultivating new houseplants and a ‘porch garden’. Taking the time to nurture finnicky plants makes it all the more rewarding when you see new growth.

Home improvement and DIY-ing

Some decided to get their hands dirty and spend their extra time redecorating, renovating, and DIY-ing. Grace and her husband Josh not only bought a new house, but they’ve been working tirelessly on home improvement and furniture refinishing projects to personalize their new space. Check out one of her completed pieces:

Keith has also built several raised garden beds to keep his green thumb busy and my, have they bloomed! His whiskey barrel herb planter is a fan favorite among the team:

Communication and connection

While working remotely, our team is using a number of tools to maintain a high level of collaboration and open communication to stay productive. We also make sure to socialize and have some fun together as we normally would in the office.

Social distancing has certainly changed the ways our team operates, but working from home has its perks, too. Eric’s teens have kept him active playing soccer in the back yard and officiating races around the neighborhood—on top of his recreational baseball games! And no commute means extra time for family dinners, (streaming) movie nights, and quality time together for JG. He and Eric can agree that entertaining two young boys out of school is more work than they expected, but the run-around is well worth it. Here are JG’s boys with their cousin during ‘Switzerland night’, enjoying fondue as they travel around the world and are rewarded with special meals for completing mini-research projects on various countries.

Family time, no matter how it comes about, is something to truly cherish. Clint is grateful for three months spent with his wife and three boys and will never forget the dinner conversations, sibling jokes, TV debates, meal planning and so much more that would not have been possible without everyone home.

We hope that you can incorporate gratitude, growth, and togetherness into your routine to help get through these tough times. As Michelle’s neighbor says, “Just keep swimming!”

We’d love to hear what you’ve learned while distancing. Drop us a comment below and let us know!


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