On March 17th, the Cenera team joined the fight against COVID-19 by moving all operations remotely. As you can imagine, the abrupt transition did not come without its challenges. As an organization of 25+ people who worked predominately in-person at the office, our team came together in remarkably quick fashion to adapt to our new normal — learning new tools and software, adjusting communication norms, and redefining business as usual.

At Cenera, we know that our people are our greatest asset, and continuing to nurture our team culture is essential, even if it means doing so from afar.

To keep everyone connected and moving forward, we asked our team to reflect on this past month to share the silver linings, lessons learned, newfound gratitude, self-care habits, or anything else that has helped navigate this unique experience. The feedback was too great not to share.

Here’s what they had to say:

Technology is our friend.

  • We can do everything we need to from home!
  • In the absence of face-to-face communication, we spend all day on cell phones, e-mails, texts, Zoom or Microsoft Teams to stay connected.
  • Conversations we used to have by phone have moved to video conferencing platforms – so we actually see people way more often then we used to! It’s a great way to connect with adults (instead of just our kids), and it’s fun to see everyone’s artwork.

Finding more time in the day.

  • Working from home means zero commuting! This allows time for other things like working out, knocking off a weekend chore, listening to a podcast, etc.
  • I totally miss the interaction with everyone. However, I get way more done at home as there are fewer office distractions.
  • I like that the timing of little things at home can be done in the time a coffee break at work would take (i.e. putting a load of laundry in).
  • 0-minute commute = more sleep!

There is comfort in the new normal.

  • Love being able to wear thick comfy reading socks and slippers at all times. My feet are never cold!
  • Atmosphere matters. Create your own surroundings: music, fireplace, lighting, temperature. 

More quality time with loved ones.

  • Working remotely has given me the gift of more time with my kids. We’ve had fun playing Uno with our adult children at night!
  • Our silver lining is having our 23-year-old daughter at home with us. We are sad that her education, graduation and job situation have all been turned upside down, but super grateful to have her safe at home with us. These are hours and days we weren’t going to be sharing with her, and it has been so much fun! Bonus – she loves to bake!

Breakthroughs are happening.

  • I am amazed at how gracefully our team has transitioned from the office environment to the virtual one…well done!!!
  • The legislation is changing at breakneck speed, and this has been a great opportunity to dig into those changes and understand what they mean for the corporate clients we support. We’ve been able to research, dig in and stay sharp.
  • This new way of working has sparked people’s creativity, innovation and ingenuity. We’ve been pushed out of our comfort zones, learning new things quickly, and that’s been exciting.
  • People are resilient and can adapt more readily than imagined.

 Remembering, people need people.

  • I miss coffees and lunch with colleagues, clients and friends. I’ve been having virtual coffee with people as much as possible, but I can’t wait to stimulate the economy when we’re back and start meeting in local coffee shops and restaurants again.
  • I really appreciate and miss the vibrancy of the office and of walking downtown, both of which lead to chance, unplanned meetings.
  • We’ve had fantastic conversations with our clients as we’re all learning to navigate this new normal together.
  • I look forward to hellos and conversations, lunchtime get-togethers, and being able to just go to someone’s office rather than setting up a time to chat.

Thank you to our team for sharing their thoughts about this new way to work. We’d love to hear from you, too. What are you and your team thinking about and learning? Please join the conversation in the comments below. Together, we are building a new way of working that is fit for the future—whatever that may hold.

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