Finding Gratitude in the Time of COVID
Ah… 2020. Where to begin? Oh sure, we’ve had wildfires, murder hornets, racial injustice, and this small thing called a global pandemic. But if I’m being really honest, the reason I’ve personally been able to ride this wave is because of my family – both at home and at work (which, coincidentally, is mostly at home now too!). The Silk Squad has been a rock for me as we have navigated this year together.
When the pandemic started back in March, Silk shut down its offices without hesitation. We knew that the only way we could ensure that our team members stayed safe and healthy was for everyone to switch to working remotely. We weren’t sure how long it was going to go on for, but our employees embraced the Zoom get-together movement. With coffee talks and a happy hour every week, I think we all began to feel like we were (virtually) seeing a lot more of each other now than we had before the pandemic!
Enthusiasm for joining Zoom hangouts has faded for most people as quarantine fatigue sets in. But rather than dropping out of extracurricular virtual events, the Silk team just got creative to keep everyone engaged. Over the past few months, we have invited musicians to give virtual concerts. We’ve had trivia nights. We even had a virtual Halloween costume contest – and frankly, I don’t know how we ever had in-person costume contests without the benefit of virtual Zoom backgrounds completing our looks! Right now, we’re all participating in an exercise contest. It’s been a lot of fun, really competitive, and has also ensured that each of us is taking time to take care of ourselves.
In fact, self-care and the mental health of our employees is really important to us – particularly during such a difficult year. I’m so proud to be working with a team that supports people as whole individuals by encouraging people to find outlets for their anxiety, take time to decompress, and maintain work/life balance in a time where the lines are blurred more than ever before. I love the fact that if my son toddles into the room when I’m on a Zoom meeting, I can sit him on my lap, and everyone just waves at him before continuing the conversation. Knowing that my company recognizes that parenting over the past several months has been added stress for employees – and then takes steps to make it less stressful – has been a huge weight off my shoulders.
We’ve done a lot to make sure that our employees feel connected to each other and that their doing okay during these stressful times. I’m happy to report that it seems to be paying off! In fact, our employees are reporting that they feel more productive working from home and more connected to each other than ever before – especially employees who were already working remotely and weren’t getting the same face-to-face interaction with in-office workers.
2020 has been a really stressful year. But I’m grateful that I work with a great team of people who are accepting, driven, optimistic, and have a strong sense of fun. I honestly don’t know how I’d have been able to get through this year without them. Here’s to a better 2021 when we will all be able to see each other again!