After reading – no, devouring – my weekly Quartzy newsletter, I felt compelled to write this post: needed to strike these keys on my MacBook, watch the pixilated words fill my screen, and press SEND out into my digital network. Why? Because…this whole global pandemic shit is HARD. We’ve got to embrace admitting that: it is not ‘okay’.
Maybe you’ll join me in this sentiment: at first, I felt like I could see this pandemic through more confidently. Not just professionally but personally. Peers seemed to echo my sentiments: I’m fine, we’re fine, we’ll be fine, we’re settling in, adjusting over here, things will get better, etc. All of that may very well be true. But read above: this shit is hard! They don’t call it an insidious global pandemic for nothing.
Things really aren’t okay. There. I said it. Phew. You should try it. The relief of even uttering those words, let alone typing them for anyone to see, is oddly overwhelming. That too, is okay. I want to share what I’m doing with my team, to make things feel…well…closer to ‘okay’.
I’m fortunate that by design, LaBine Media has primarily always operated virtually, so when the work from home mandate hit – I didn’t brace for impact. I thought: “Well, that’s okay! My team will be fine.” Well, I wasn’t entirely right.
Sure, my team excels professionally under normal and even challenging circumstances…but there’s nothing average about today’s WFH environment. Enter the complexities of juggling daycare, homeschool schedules, limited in-home office space, spouses struggling with their own at-home work flow. My team – like thousands of others fortunate enough to remain employed through this pandemic – suddenly needed to navigate our new normal, while carrying a tremendous workload. Back-to-back Zoom meetings scheduled precariously in between infant feedings and toddler nap time…I watched in awe as they portrayed the perception that “we’re fine, this is okay!”
I don’t have to have toddlers again to tell you: it’s not okay.
With this observation, LaBine Media has decided to adopt a 4 day work week for the time being. Fridays will now be paid time off: Family Fridays. No Zoom meetings, no deliverables due, simply a day for my team to do…whatever it is they need to do for themselves and their families. No dial in number or facade needed.
I’m proud to report that Family Fridays will run through June 2020 – or until we get some semblance of normality back into our lives.
As a small business owner, I’m happy to share such updates and insights…and normalize the idea that as we all experience the unimaginable, we can use this time to pivot our people and our business in ways for greater good.
I’d love to hear how you are navigating this new normal. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.