How our team stays optimistic while working from home

I’m sitting at my kitchen table in the middle of the work day with my monitor in front of me, perched on a stack of GRE study books. If you’re a part of the fortunate group that’s able to continue your job from the quarantine of your own home, you can probably relate to this makeshift office set up.

Two weeks ago, our co-founders told our office that we would now be working from home indefinitely. Fortunately, we were already experts when it comes to telecommuting — thinkPARALLAX has practiced this two days a week for years. Nevertheless, the gravity of this global crisis affects more than just our work rhythms. On top of absorbing minute-by-minute COVID-19 updates, our kids’ schools are closed, beloved neighboring businesses are suffering, and at-risk family and friends need help.  As we grapple with the weight of this situation and settle into a temporary “new normal," our team members recently shared what they’re doing to stay sane while transitioning from two to five days a week working from home.

Guusje Bendeler, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

I’m grateful for extra time to care for my dog, Tula. It’s a nice break from long hours spent concentrating on more difficult tasks.

Jonathan Hanwit, Co-founder and Chief Engagement Officer

I've spent time getting my hands dirty in the garden with the kids, working out at home, and setting up the drum kit to make some music.

 

man playing drums

Pam Dickinson, Project Manager

I take a short break each afternoon to get some fresh air and walk the dogs while maintaining social distance from neighbors I would normally stop and chat with, even hug. I’m also watching the sunrise and sunsets to appreciate all we still have.

Etah Chen, Designer

I recently started a social media project about human connection and mental health. I’ve also  been spending time working on personal art projects, reading, researching volunteer opportunities, and listening to podcasts.

 

Shannon Valdes Leiderman, Communication Strategist

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the negativity of the news and social media right now. I’ve been limiting my exposure and trying to remain optimistic by savoring the quality time I have with my husband and fur child Nacho, putting together a puzzle, diving into my book, and playing Mario Kart, the ultimate distraction.

Edison Miclat, Design Director

I’m spending more quality time with my blind cat!

 

Janna Irons, Senior Communication Strategist

I have regularly scheduled Google Hangout happy hours with friends multiple evenings this week — and I’m connecting with friends I haven’t seen in ages. With everyone stuck inside, it’s a great time to catch up!

Katie Berriochoa, Social Media Coordinator

Trying to find a sense of normalcy during a very abnormal time, has been essential in preserving my optimism and productivity. As someone who enjoys being on the move and trying new activities, it’s been difficult to be confined indoors. To assuage my restlessness, I’ve found new ways to learn and explore within my household. This week, I’m learning how to play the ukulele!

 

Mike Hower, Managing Director, Sustainability and Social Impact

Today I went running by the bay. I am not good at running, but running is good for me!

Megan Fleming Hytjan, Communication Strategist

I just signed up for an online subscription for yoga, and will probably be investing in Disney+ for my daughter, Maeve. We’re also trying to get the whole family outside at least once a day.

Pat VandenHeuvel, Office Manager

I’m finally purging and organizing my closet. Also finding new healthy recipes to cook, taking Xtend Barre online, and calling one old friend a day I haven’t spoken to in some time.

 

Kyrstin Nihill, Art Director

I’m doing a few things: limiting the amount and type of news/information I take in, trying getting fresh air and exercise daily, and staying connected (virtually) with family, friends and coworkers. Some days I’m more successful than others—but I’m trying!

Nathan Sanfaçon, Communication Strategist

I try to have something to look forward to at the end of the day, like going for a walk to watch the sunset.

Brianna Ralston, Account Manager

I'm enjoying the simplicity of life with my husband and kids -- and no two- hour commute!We're slowing down and involving the kids in everyday housework, like cooking, feeding the chickens and gardening. I've gotten creative with my work hours so my husband and I can both balance work and follow the kids’ school schedule. I still wake up at 4:45 AM to work out,enjoy a cup of coffee, and read the news before I dive into work emails.

Izzy Ashley, Marketing Coordinator

As someone who usually lives with a constant, dreadful sense of hurry, I’m grateful I can take this time to pause. I live near Sunset Cliffs National Park, so I try to make my way down there once a day to read a book, go on a run, or watch the sunset.