Our Impact

Surviving the Quarantine and Staying Motivated

Posted by Amanda Albert on May 06, 2020

A peak into how City Awake Advisory Board Members have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you even know what day of quarantine it is anymore and how long we’ve been social distancing? It sure feels like day 213 to me! The days have started to blend together, and I no longer have any sense of time. Was that team conference call this morning or two days ago?  

In a time when everyone’s continuing to adjust to new normal, employers and employees have had to quickly adapt to working from home and a new sense of balance to avoid sitting behind the computer for 12 hours straightWhile social distancing, we still need to stay connected, and luckily, there are many tools and resources we can utilize to make the distance feel a little shorter and the days go by a little faster.   

City Awake Advisory Board members work in all different industries for companies large and small. I connected with some of my fellow board members to discuss what our companies are doing to address this new WFH norm, as well as what we are all personally doing for our day-to-day routines. 

How is your company keeping employees motivated when working remotely? 

Our HR team has organized a weekly virtual Town Hall to have open communication with the company about the ongoing situation. Our creative services team also shares a weekly Work from Home Newsletter that summarizes what’s happening at the Red Sox and provides fun activities to consider at home, including the baseball movie of the week.” – Anne Marie Rowe, Boston Red Sox 

“All of us are so used to popping into each other’s offices to talk through projects we are working on, but as this is no longer is an option, we try to pick up the phone as much as possible to recreate that. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of simply emailing everything when working remote, but more often, things can get solved quicker and more efficiently over the phone.” – Meghan KellyNutter McClennen & Fish LLP 

“Communication is key during this time. We have to try to stay positive and have fun as we would while in the office. We operate in a close team dynamic, so we make sure to connect at least twice a day via virtual meetings – a phone meeting in the morning and video in the afternoon. We have also incorporated Friday Happy Hours!” – Yaosca Chimurenga, Robert Half International 

For me, in addition to our virtual team meetings, my workplace, has found new ways to incorporate some of our daily office routines at the office to home. We’re used to eating lunch together – something we look forward to as a break from sitting at our desks – so we’ve begun incorporating virtual lunches or “water cooler” breaks into the week. We also transitioned our “Meditation Mondays” online for whoever can join. This provides a mental break and helps bring us back to a version of normal. 

How have you been keeping yourself motivated to work productively from home?  

“I get outside each morning to do something active, take a break at lunch, and then try to end the day with a virtual call or happy hour with friends. This routine enables me to prioritize my work and get some much-needed fresh air throughout the day. As an extrovert, I try to make sure that I’m staying connected with friends virtually. I’ve even created Google Docs with recipes and workouts for my friends and I to share our favorite ideas.” – Anne Marie 

“I’ve recreated the set up I have in my office, so I feel more like I’m at work versus at home. I also try to clean my office every day to keep organized and motivated. Around lunchtime, my husband and I take our dog for a walk. Getting outside is a great way to feel refreshed for the second half of the day.” – Meghan  

“Every day, I write out a list of action items to make sure I am holding myself accountable for both work and personal daily goals. Also, I try to plan a virtual workout every morning to do in the afternoon.” – Yaosca  

Like others, I’ve created a separate area at home specifically for work, so when I sit there, I feel more productive. Short breaks are also critical for me to stay motivated and not get overwhelmed. Besides meditating, I’ll read a chapter or two of a book, touch base with friends, go for a walk or fit in a virtual workout.

We are all looking forward to getting back to normalreturning to our offices and physically being with our colleagues. For now, though, we must make do with what we have and continue to find ways to work together to get through each day.  

If you or your workplace have a fun, creative way you’re staying motivated, please share with us!