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A 40-foot-long Snake and Other Adventures in Remote Working​

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​Like many of the rest of you, I am adjusting to a "new normal" in my professional and personal life. With my state under a "stay at home" order due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), my husband and I are both working from home while also trying to home school our first grader (our dog is also getting used to us being at home all of the time). 

While it would be great if this were a "how to" post to share best practice tips for working remotely, it's not. That's because I'm still trying to figure out working from home. That said, I can tell you that while I don't have the answers, I certainly can relate to the rollercoaster of emotions that we all are facing. 

I've heard advice from others that one of the keys for success in working remotely is developing and sticking to a routine. As someone who thrives on routines and order, that sounds great. However, in reality, some of my calls and meetings don't always lend themselves to falling into a set window of time. 

Further, my husband and I also are trying to be there for our son, who also is trying to figure things out and needs both interaction and comforting from us throughout the day. As such, each day of working remotely has looked a little different for my family.

However, we are learning some things that are effective as well as some things that are not quite as effective. For example, this morning I got up very early and knocked out a few hours of work before my son awakened; that two hours of uninterrupted work this morning was very rewarding.

I also am trying to navigate the best way to stay connected and engaged with my work team. Again, this is an area where we are trying out different things, figuring out what works, and where we need to adjust.

I'm also hoping that I get to learn from some of the other more technologically-savvy members of our team regarding different technologies and ways to connect. Hopefully in some future posts, I can share some of the different things that we've tried and what is working for us. 

Those who read my blog regularly also know that I enjoy running. I've found that now, more than ever, my daily runs are really important for me and also serve as a great stress reliever.

In addition, it has been important for me to find opportunities to laugh — and needless to say, with the whole family together 24x7, there have been plenty of opportunities to laugh. For example, I was on a conference call this morning, and my son, who knew I was busy on a call, wrote me a note to let me know that some snakes can grow up to 40 feet (in full disclosure, I haven't fact-checked this information). All I could do with this information was laugh. Later in the conference call, I found myself multitasking, building a fort with my son. Again, I could only laugh as I thought about it.

I realize that working and schooling remotely is a small challenge in the midst of a global pandemic. I am fortunate that my work lends itself to being performed beyond the walls of an office.

As I think about my personal situation, I also think about the sacrifices that are being made by health-care workers, the individuals working in essential industries, leadership at all levels, the businesses that have had to temporarily close their doors, and so many others. And, of course, I think about all of the individuals who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. 

I'll close this post the same way I'm closing many of my emails these days: stay well and stay healthy. As we face this new normal together, I'd love to hear from you. What are the biggest challenges you've faced? How are you dealing with the range of emotions that we are all faced with? What tips do you have for adjusting to the new normal?

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