Embracing Change

March 30, 2020

As we settle into an indefinite period of working remotely, we’re sharing the new strategies we’ve adopted to foster connection and provide support for our teams. Plus, some of the resources we love to stay balanced and positive as we embrace this new normal: remote work, homeschooling, staying well and, especially, maintaining sanity!

We've created a dedicated workspace in our homes

Whether it’s making space in a closet, finding a quiet corner, or piecing together plywood to create a standing desk for the kitchen counter, we’ve had to get creative at times to make space to do our best work. 

We’ve traded office mates for office cats 

And dogs, chickens, horses, and kids… so many kids. And for those of us who live alone, a daily Google Hangout keeps us connected to each other.

We take time for breaks

Whether it’s the daily 7-minute Zoom workout, organized by Clare Brown, or just a simple walk (now known as a Social Distancing Walk), we’ve found it’s so important to make time for breaks throughout the day. 

We sketch our feelings

Every day we look forward to Jenny Lilligren Parker’s morning prompt—a word of inspiration for all our sketch artists (and non-artists alike) to share their feelings and personal perspectives through art.

We make face-time a priority

With the camera on, we look for opportunities to get some much-needed face-time with our teams. Both for project work as well as time to socialize. New daily check-ins support our working needs, while a daily social hangout gives people an opportunity just to see each other (and compare hats!). Weekly happy hours have transformed into weekly virtual hours with our homemade cocktails, families, pets, and partners included.

We prioritize wellbeing

Free virtual support from our insurance provider allows for health & wellness checks as well as mental health support. And new Slack channels act as support groups for our team members struggling to balance babies at home, homeschooling, being alone, and more. 

We share with each other...

We’re spreading kindness by sharing our free meal vouchers from our favorite mail-order meal services, like Dinnerly and Blue Apron. Our Visual Design Director’s daughter gives virtual french lessons to our Exhibit Design Director’s children. Our Creative Director’s teenagers give virtual slime-making lessons to several little ones. We’re all pulling together to share our—and our family’s—talents, favorite resources, and cool finds.

 

Here’s a list of our favorite things so far:

For our own health & wellbeing

For the little kids:

  • Rockness Music is streaming a live “house party” Monday through Friday at 10 AM and 3 PM
  • Penguin Kids is doing a read-aloud of some of their favorite children’s’ books Monday through Friday at 11 AM on Instagram Live
  • The Cincinnati Zoo is offering a “home safari” on Facebook Live at 3 PM Monday through Friday.
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga – super fun, free yoga videos for little ones with themes like Pokemon and Trolls #healthyscreentime
  • @busytoddler – Run by a former kindergarten teacher turned SAHM, a great go-to for super easy activities for toddlers. There’s so much you can do with pom poms, kraft paper and dot stickers.
  • @kidmademodern – Arts and crafts supplier Kid Made Modern is posting a daily “crafts prompt” where kids can make their own art projects using recycled objects and your craft stash (think toilet paper rolls and googly eyes).
  • @barrowstreetnursery – This progressive West Village nursery school has a wonderful Instagram where it curates online streaming classes and creative activities for little ones.
  • Stay at Home Storytime with Oliver Jeffers

For the bigger kids:

  • Tate Kids offers an amazing repository of inspiration to explore the arts, learn about artists and do really fun games & quizzes
  • We Are Teachers – a Principle’s list of things to do during Covid-19 that went viral
  • Kennedy Center – Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams
  • Play Osmo – turns the iPad/iPhone into endless opportunities for physical play

And, something just for teenagers: