Thank you, Covid!
As most of you I’ve been working from home since last March. I can’t remember my last meeting in person, I can’t remember my last chit-chat with colleagues over a coffee, not to mention business trip or even a team building! Last March – just like that – life changed dramatically for all of us!
I must be honest, I entered this new realty a bit more equipped than majority: working for a big tech company I was used to work from home, to travel and do my presentations on airplanes, to work from hotels all around the world … But none of those experiences helped when schools closed, and my 3 kids were added in the equation. Suddenly I was working, teaching, cleaning, cooking, attending calls … all at the same time and all day long. Tasks were never done, there was always something to do, always someone who needed my help …
So, I soon realized I have to take some steps to stay in control and to make new reality work for me, for my family and my career.
Those of you who know me know that I used to dance competitively and I’m still very passionate about dancing. In fact, I like to use a dance as a metaphor for solving problems. I had to work hard, I had to train, to prioritize, to organize … to be in my best shape, so my performance could look relaxed, with a smile, almost as I was dancing just for fun. Don’t get me wrong – it was fun, but the fun was well deserved!
And I like to enjoy other aspects of my life, too. I love being mum, love time with my family and therefore I also choose a career I’m enjoying. I think it’s privilege to work for Microsoft, to be on top of all new technologies, to work with top professionals, with top leaders and with top customers – all that keeps me in a constant learning and growth mode.
So, why am I thanking Covid?
I entered the covid stage with a dance step, with a smile on my face and I danced easily … gloriously … until I didn’t anymore. I spoke with my colleagues, and they told me it’s difficult for them too. We knew we can adjust our schedules to other family activities, but on the other hand we didn’t know how to turn off our computers. The general feeling was that due the pandemic, businesses are in decline, but we worked harder than ever before. Did I mention home schooling? 😊
It soon became clear that leaders need to talk with their employees not only on what are they doing, but also on how they are doing. “How are doing?” Simple question with so many different aspects: we can talk about feelings, relationships, health, mental health … We talk about wellbeing!
But now, when Covid made you think about wellbeing let me tell you what wellbeing means to me. I strongly believe wellbeing starts with being FIT. FIT for family, FIT for work, FIT for friends and party, FIT for life, FIT for dance, if you will!
So, my first decision in taking control on covid stage was to prioritize my working out time and to keep my meal regime. Yes, I had to adjust in timings, compromise on food, but my firm decision was to put my oxygen mask on me first to be able to help others.