This week’s feature was co-written by Meghan Harris and Sherry Conlan.

Working remotely… for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Who could have seen this coming?!

On March 17, 2020, all non-essential staff were instructed by our county administration to work from home. This made sense as we are all doing our part in not spreading COVID-19 and keeping ourselves, our families, and co-workers safe.

No one could have imagined how long this PAUSE would be or the overall devastation that has hit Erie County. CCNY has embraced this “new normal” and are doing everything possible to keep our team connected.

Executive director, Heidi Milch, started “Coronadiaries”; a daily “diary entry” which started off with encouraging words, and updates related to all staff. This quickly turned into the “Brian and Sophie Show” where viewers never know what the topic of the day is going to be!

The CCNY staff are meeting up to five times a week with their individual teams to check-in with one another to address any challenges, concerns, or questions that might have arisen while working from home.

All of the staff at CCNY, including Help Me Grow, has been meeting weekly for CCNY-wide check-ins to stay connected and to ensure that we are all staying healthy and to give any updates that may impact our organization.

CCNY has included staff activities that give provide a short break during the weekly meetings to think about something positive and maybe even have a laugh or two. These activities are not mandatory but are highly encouraged.

Some of the activities include:

  • Mindfulness and Stretching over ZOOM with Leslie, which was very relaxing
  • Show and Tell: showing the rest of the team something from within their home and tell us about it. This was a great way to see random stuff and to hear the stories behind the object.
  • “Once Upon A Time…”: The first player in line begins the story by saying “Once upon a time…” and completes the sentence. The next person in line must continue the story and have it make sense. This process continues until it reaches the last person in the team’s line. The last person in line must conclude the story in one sentence as well.
  • PowerPoint Karaoke: a person is shown a picture that they have never seen before and has to connect the image to the theme “Tips on Surviving Quarantine”.
  • “Guess the Object…”: looking at a zoomed-in portion of an object related to our work and making an educated guess.

Staying connected while working from home can be a challenge. Promoting healthy productivity by encouraging such connectedness through communication and even a bit fun, have proven to work well for us here at CCNY so that our staff can best help our clients by remaining safe at home. Feel free to use and adapt these activities for your own organizations and contact us to find out how we can also help your organization perform better with our evaluation, analytics, and quality improvement services.