The Not So Bored Board
I’ve struggled writing this intro more than any other that we’ve done because everything I start to type feels holistically inadequate. We’re all obviously going through something life-altering and habit changing, but these unique circumstances have led to some amazing new ideas that can benefit all of us going forward. I reached out to members of the Spartanburg Young Professionals Board to see what they’ve been up to and how their experiences might help shine some light on things to help you.
“For me, this time has been about balance. As some of you know, I am a real estate attorney, and in my practice, face-to-face meetings are necessary for closings to occur. My law firm is taking many precautions, but work for me has for the most part been in the office. I have done some work from home and have a genuine appreciation for those that can successfully work from home, especially with children. With after-work obligations being on hold, I have tried to take the opportunity to have a better work-life balance.
One thing that Melissa (my wife), Adelyn (my 4 year old daughter), and I have done during this time is start eating dinner at the table. I know it seems minor, but undistracted family time (no TV or phones) has been special to me with all that is going on. It has been great to talk with Adelyn and “see” the world through the eyes of a 4 year old. Again, I hope everyone is staying safe and I cannot wait to be with everyone again at a SYP event soon!”
“I can say that I’ve been able to look on the bright side of things and reflect on how I use my time. For instance, the time that I would have used for my commute, I’ve used to revisit my forgotten new year’s resolutions. Most of us make a new year’s resolution and we stick with it until the end of January. By Valentine’s Day, the resolution is long gone. One of my resolutions was to challenge myself to build something with my own hands. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a do-it-yourselfer and my former projects have failed –miserably. The failed projects were often a product of my own impatience and a combination of juggling too many “more important” obligations at the same time. If small children and a husband who are home all day at the same time is not considered an ideal workspace, then I don’t know what is! Needless to say, my main challenge with working from home was not having a set aside workspace. For the past year, we’ve been working to finish our basement and the only room that was actually move-in ready was the space I designated for our home office. The missing piece to the office: a desk. Why not build my own? I can do that. At least YouTube makes me feel that I can. So, that’s exactly what we did. My husband and I gathered our materials and chunked out the time to build a desk from scratch. I’m talking wood, a sander, drills, screws, polyurethane, and a miter saw here people! Ultimately, we finished the desk in a week’s time and I’m pleased to say I wrote this piece from my custom made desk that I built with my own hands. It just goes to show that (1) yes, people still keep their new year’s resolutions and (2) the amount of time we have never changes; it only matters how we use that time."
"I guess the adage holds true: you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé. But I bet Beyoncé never built her own desk!"
“If you have a job that requires you to meet with others and travel from place-to-place often, working from home can be a real change of pace. I feel that communication is key; and that reaching out/staying in touch with co-workers, clients, colleagues, etc. is important during this time. I have found that keeping a regular work schedule and using electronic methods of communication to stay connected are good ways to stay engaged and focused when working from home. Although different, virtual meeting services like Zoom, WebEx, & Skype are great ways of conducting meetings and sharing information. I have also found this to be a great time to watch some online courses, webinars, etc. on various topics (both professionally and just because they seem interesting).”
“Luckily, I am able spend my first few weeks as a married man working at home and getting to spend some nice quality time with my new bride. This time has allowed us to organize our home and get into an exercise routine. As this is a stressful time for everyone, I am also trying to stay in close contact with all of our family, friends and clients to ensure everyone is staying healthy. Positivity is contagious even in a time of social distancing, so focus on keeping a smile and being thankful for the blessings we have!”
“While adjusting to this “new normal”, I am focused on improving myself, setting a good foundation for my marriage and staying in touch with friends and family. Yes it can be nice to sleep in, but why not use that time (or the time it would take to get all fixed up for work) to do a home work out or yoga session? I have also never taken as many walks in my life! Walking around the neighborhood and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather makes me happy and makes my dog even happier. I am also motivated to be a better cook. All the extra time I previously spent in the car running to and from work is now being used to prepare delicious and healthy dinners. Most importantly, I am trying to maintain a positive outlook on life and ensure I keep in touch with loved ones.”
Angela and John's favorite co-worker
“Arrowhead Design Co. has turned into a digital office now-a-days! We all work from home, use text messaging and voice calling to communicate, and have been using this time to get ahead! Everyone always says how there isn't enough time in the day...well, now there is. We will be focusing on perfecting current projects, and brainstorming ways we can get ahead of the game for when we actually get to go back in the office. As a web design & social media agency, our tip to local business owners is to really use this time to beef up their online presence! The world is communicating through devices right now, so if your digital real estate isn't updated, you will look disconnected and unprepared. You got this!”
“While this crisis has changed personal routines, it hasn’t really affected me professionally. The majority of my customers are businesses that are essential for agriculture, horticulture, animal feed, and hazardous waste disposal. We’ve definitely had to implement new practices in our manufacturing and logistics processes to follow the recommended health safety guidelines, so communication has been key.
It’s honestly been nice to take a break from the extra-curriculars and have time to try new things. I have two recommendations, learn a new skill and get moving. I recently subscribed to Masterclass, an online education platform. I originally got it for the lectures by prominent business leaders, but discovered the series of lectures by the magicians Penn and Teller. Since I was a kid, it’s been no secret in my family that I’ve always wanted to be a magician, so I finally took the time to actually start learning tricks. Also, my wife and kids introduced me to Cosmic Kids Yoga (https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga). It absolutely will entertain your kids with themed visuals and yoga poses, but it’s a legitimate workout. Parents, check it out!”
From all of us at SYP, we would like to thank all of the people who are dedicating themselves to helping us through this and paving a path forward.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay Home.