I wanted to take a moment to take note of some of the positive lessons learned from the COVID-19 that may be worth continuing when the virus is under control. I have experienced many of these personally, please add to the list in the comments section at the end of this blog post:
- Time with Family: I lead with this item as it is perhaps the most important lesson. My new coworkers are my family members, we’re learning to work with and around each other. For those who don’t know, I have two daughters (at the time that I write this, one is a teenager, the other is less than two days away… gulp) and a seven year-old son. As my wife so eloquently put it, we should look at this as an opportunity to build stronger relationships at home. Everyone has been running at one hundred miles per hour on high octane fuel. This can and should be looked at as a time to slow down. Next week, I’ll be teaching a P.E. Class at home, which I am excited for… I even have a whistle! I believe that the lesson is in scheduling time for those that we actually work for – our families.
- Phone calls to Loved Ones: I have spoken to both of my parents more in the last three weeks than I did for the rest of the year. I’ve even had conversations with my brother, which honestly has not happened a whole lot as we’re both always on the run. Similar to the item before, this is important and we take it for granted with all of the technology and decrease in time.
- Family Dinners: We have had many more “family dinners” – that is dinners with my immediate family of five. Sometimes we’re cooking, sometimes it’s take out, but the point is that we’re enjoying our food together. My daughter made us cookies one day even… that was an awesome day where I probably gained ten pounds (pssst, Erika, it was me that ate all the cookies).
- Efficiency of Time: Unless your company or workplace have been requiring more time to “babysit” you or micromanage from afar, you have probably found yourself to be more efficient these past couple weeks. Sure, your time may have been otherwise occupied with homeschooling your children or taking a dog on a walk, but I hope that you agree with me that those are better uses of everyone’s time. Even meetings have been more productive due to the 40-minute cap on Zoom and the time saved from travel.
- Paper and Time Saving: This one is not as relatable to other disciplines, but for the design and development world, submittals have been 100% digital saving paper and time. If you’re like me, you miss the in-person discussions with colleagues and friends working for jurisdictions, but it certainly results in time saving.
- Walk More, Drive Less: You could have predicted that this would be on my list, for those who know me. Not only is this beneficial to our mental health, but also for our physical health. Driving has been in our Country’s top causes of death for several years now, unnecessarily killing far too many people directly and many others indirectly related to heart disease and obesity.
I’m sure that I am missing others, so please jump in and comment below. While I do greatly miss my fast-paced life, there are aspects of the changed world that I want to keep.
I’d love to hear from you, be well and take care of yourselves!