I hope everyone’s healthy and you’ve had the chance to adjust to new schedules and habits. Years from now, entire books will be written about the next few weeks. So, if it all feels very strange, that’s because it is. Let’s keep our spirits up, be helpful to each other, stay in touch with friends (remotely) and preserve our optimism about the future.
We may have to adapt to life and work in these conditions for a few weeks. We should consider ourselves lucky. We had the prescience to move ahead of the crowd, and the luxury to be able to continue our work from home. Other people are experiencing a bigger disruption – and many of them will be putting themselves at risk, caring for the sick, restocking our grocery stores and picking up our garbage. They’re neighbors and friends and family. Let’s think about them for a moment.
Some of our customers are confused and overwhelmed. We tried to respond as quickly as possible and lend a hand. Our marketing team has put together some fantastic guides and resources that companies will need. We’re giving our video interviewing add-on for free, and dozens of companies are signing up and starting to use it. We stood out among competitors with a responsible and helpful reaction. I want to personally thank the team that worked day and night, including over the weekend, to build things that make us all proud.
Last week I asked you to be very deliberate about being your best self during this crisis. And you did. I hear from all members of the management team that people have put in the effort, adapted to work from home, stayed productive, stayed helpful and stayed focused. I know it wasn’t easy. It’s hard not to get distracted by all that’s happening, and we all need to make more time to look after family and friends. The way the Workable team has reacted is setting an example. Strong, pragmatic and positive. Let’s keep it up this way. Our resolve will be put to test.
I don’t have much in the way of advice, but here’s a few things that have helped me personally over the last few days. Maybe some of them will work for you.
- Establishing some new routines and habits for my day.
- Creating some boundaries, either physical (what part of the house is “office space”) or temporal (“now I stop working and have family time”) to create a sense of time and place for work and family.
- Respecting my family and being thankful for suffering my need for keeping quiet, taking calls with remote timezones, etc.
- Remembering to call friends and family who are alone, or more fearful, or in need of some emotional support.
- Staying away from twitter/news for a couple of hours a day, so that I don’t spend all day consuming Coronavirus “news”. Most of it is not news, just information junk and instant reactions that will ultimately not be important. Plus we all need some calm.
- Thinking about people who have harder challenges and cherishing the fact that I get to see my family more, even in strange circumstances.
- Reminding myself that this will also pass, the future is long, and I can do things today that will put us in a better place for the day after.
- Using work not merely to stay productive but also as an anchor to a “normal reality”, a time to focus on something that produces a result and isn’t about the damn virus.
I think that the scary thing about events like the one we’re all experiencing is a sense of helplessness. They feel bigger than we are and this leads us to believe there’s nothing we can do. But it’s not true. We can make a difference by good citizenship, by maintaining our daily work, maintaining our social relationships, finding a way to entertain ourselves, keeping some sense of humor.
In difficult times, the things that make life what it is are still there – they just need a little bit more effort. Our grandparents lived through wars. Worse, they didn’t even have Netflix and Amazon Prime. But they prospered. Let’s focus today on preparing for a better future – it is ours to make.
Thank you all – I’ll keep sending updates and thoughts as we figure out this strange situation.
March 18, 2020