People all over the world are suddenly dealing with an abundance of more free time. Our commutes to and from the office are gone. Gyms, shops and restaurants are closed, and we can’t go within 6 feet of our friends and families. So, besides the standard Netflix binges and FaceTime calls, how is the GattiHR team keeping busy? Here’s a list of what we’ve been up to!
1. Virtual Communication.
As you would assume, our team members are all communicating with friends and family virtually. One of our Search Associates in Philadelphia is using Zoom on the weekends to play games like Scattergories and Quiplash with friends. Another associate in Boston is hosting virtual bedtimes with her nieces and nephews where she reads them a story and says goodnight. The Houseparty app is also popular because it allows you to play games like Apples to Apples and Pictionary right on your devices. We as a firm have also been hosting virtual happy hours on Microsoft Teams, which gives us the opportunity to have the “water cooler” conversations we normally would have in the office.
2. Fresh Air and Exercise.
When the weather permits, our team is making an effort to get outside. In Chicago, our Search Coordinator is going on virtual I Spy walks. Her friends make each other lists of things to find throughout the city, and they send photos of their findings as they walk. Our Chief Barking Officer, Otis, and his owner are going on daily runs around their neighborhood. Our team members are also doing home workouts (sometimes with reluctant family members), practicing morning yoga, going on bike rides, and even fly fishing in Ohio. Exercise will increase your immune system – and we can all use that about now. You’ll be happier, even if you’re cooped up, and most likely, you’ll be a better employee. We call that a win-win-win.
3. Family Time.
For the past few weeks, we have all been adjusting to working from home. While some might feel “trapped” with others, it’s important to take advantage of this time with loved ones. Whether it’s spending more time with your partner (maybe cooking or learning new games) or playing outside with your kids, all will pay dividends to your relationships. Both our Regional Practice Leader in Detroit and Managing Director in Chicago have been working on maintaining schedules with their spouses and children. This helps them get their work done while also enjoying quality time as families.
4. Giving Back.
At a time like this, it’s important to our firm to give back when possible. The Mighty Meredith Project, a nonprofit created by one of our Vice President’s daughter, is writing thank you cards for front-line medical workers and sending them Dunkin Donuts gift cards. One of our Search Associates is volunteering at ALIVE Rescue in Chicago and has been processing adoption applications. In Boston, one of our Search Directors cooked a birthday dinner for her elderly neighbor. He told her it was the best birthday dinner in all his 89 years! We also have team members in various locations making cloth masks for hospital employees. No matter how big or small the gesture, we are all trying to make a positive impact and encourage everyone to do the same.
5. Odds and Ends.
Our Vice President in Denver shared that he’s been working on his “honey do” list (tasks his spouse has asked him to complete around the house.) While he might have been making a joke, this is a great time to work on those kinds of projects. Each weekend I’ve been trying to organize and declutter a different room of my apartment. This is something I usually put off but now I have the time to get it done. When you are spending this much time at home, working on these types of home improvement projects might help you feel more accomplished.
Whether it’s educational or personal, our team members are also using their free time to better themselves. Some are taking free online courses on Udemy and EdX to sharpen their professional skills. Others have registered for Yale’s most popular class, “The Science of Well Being.” One of our Managing Directors in Boston is taking this time to build his professional network by scheduling calls and virtual cocktail hours with peers. We are all also taking the time to read for pleasure. I always have a running list of books I want to read, but never feel like I have the time. This quarantine has given me the opportunity to finally start getting through them. Stay tuned for the GattiHR Good Reads list, coming soon! This is also a great time to update your resume. Whether you might be interested in a new position, volunteer opportunities or joining a board, you will likely need to send a resume. You don’t need to make it ready for prime time, but jot down some bullet points of achievements. It’ll be useful down the road, however long that road is.