While many workers at Prodege were accustomed to working regularly at one of our several offices prior to COVID-19, we do have some colleagues who have long been doing the daily grind from home. We spoke with in-house WFH expert, Kris Tarbet, VP, Client Development to get pointers on working remotely and see if he’s made any adjustments to his routine now that his kids are home during the workweek.

Kris feels it’s important to have a spot at home that is “comfortable, quiet, and allows you to focus,” and to make sure the others in his household know when he is in work mode. “To be most productive, you need to remove distractions. For me, the family knows not to interrupt Dad during the day with schoolwork questions, lunch requests, TikToks, news updates, etc. When the office door is closed the family knows it’s business hours for Dad.  Not everyone has a home office where you can close the door to the outside world, so even more important to let family know to save questions and requests for after work hours.”

He’s also a big believer in being attentive and present during video meetings, which have been scheduled more frequently over the past few weeks, not only for him but also for his wife and kids. “During a Zoom meeting with your colleagues, it’s especially important to turn off distractions like emails, Slack, YouTube and be present, engaged and make sure to ask questions, find your voice and participate.” Speaking of video meetings, Kris has been finding innovative ways to connect with clients & colleagues, such as “fun Zoom meetings with clients where they show off their pets,” virtual happy hours and coffee dates.

As for recent adjustments Kris has made while having the whole family at home, he’s got an interesting new role pertaining to his kids’ education. “I gave myself a promotion – I’m now my kids’ at home PE teacher.  Nearly every day, I hold PE class where we go for a jog or bike ride around the neighborhood, lift weights, or do some type of crazy sit up challenge. We all agreed that any weight we gain from being at home during this time will be muscle weight!”

Kris has also embraced the opportunity to switch up his appearance a bit. “To make the most of the shelter at home, I am, for the first time growing a beard.  I’m calling it my COVID beard and at nearly 4 weeks into this, it’s a real, full beard. The kids and my wife like it, but my mom is pushing me to shave it off (which makes me want to grow it longer!).” 

Kris’ new beard!

Despite having to put plans on pause such as a Spring Break trip for his son to visit colleges, Kris stays positive and looks forward to “grabbing sushi with the family at our favorite spot (we’ve only eaten at home this entire time!), seeing the kids back at school and water polo practices (they love both) and jumping in the RV and getting to the beach for a few days of fun in the sun!”

Curious to gauge how consumer perceptions in the age of COVID-19 are shifting week over week? Check out our recent COVID-19 trackers!

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Bess Devenow

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