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Our “new norm”: We’re in this together

How our Thomson Reuters teammates are supporting each other as we adapt to our new normal.

Our “new norm”: we’re in this together

It’s Friday evening, and I’ve had a moment to pause and reflect. In the span of a week, maybe two, Thomson Reuters and countless other organizations around the world have instructed employees to work from home. It all happened so quickly.

While I am accustomed to working remotely, working from home full time - and with a full house - is quite the adjustment for me. Particularly, as it’s becoming clear this is the ‘new norm’ for the next while.

It took me a few days to realize I had to make some changes to my usual work from home practices to adjust to the ‘new norm’.  Here are some of the changes I made:

  • Those who know me, know that I am an early riser and liked to get into the office early. I continue to start my day early; however, when my family is up, I take a break to have breakfast with them (yes, not the best chef…but I try!). And then I let them know I am ‘going’ to work!
  • I get dressed for ‘work’ every morning, also encouraging the kids to get out of their PJs…otherwise, they’ll likely stay in them all day (and we’ve definitely done that on lazy weekends!)
  • I have blocked a 1/2 hour in the morning [10:30 – 11am] and another 1/2 hour in the afternoon [2:00-2:30pm] to re-connect with them, have a snack, play a game or go outside for a quick walk/bike around the block.
  • My kids and I have come of up with hand signals if they must interrupt my call/meeting [today one of my colleagues heard my son singing out loud…we haven’t established signs for singing yet!)
  • Each day, I have committed to calling a colleague to see how they are doing, how I can support (I miss walking around the office and connecting with colleagues)

In addition to adjusting my own work from home practices, I’ve also connected with each of my team members to ensure they feel empowered to make adjustments to accommodate their respective household needs. Here are some ways they are navigating this ‘new norm’

  • One of my colleagues who has very young kids who require more regular supervision has split her day sharing ‘childcare’ duties with her spouse
  • Another colleagues shared the idea of ‘Pomodoro technique’ (and no its not a food recipe!) for maintaining focus in 25-minute chunks
  • Yet another sends us notes ‘going for a run/biking/hike with family, be back shortly’ – which I love to see
  • A few colleagues are making it a point to start each day with a meditation and/or workout instead of going straight to their ‘home office’ which is very tempting
  • And across the team, we’ve collectively given permission to block those early mornings or lunch hours where you want time to check on/connect with the family (if urgent, we can be reached via text)

While we are all adjusting to the ‘new norm’ as individuals and teams, the one thing that hasn’t changed is our focus on our customers – both internal and external – and continuing to deliver for them every day.

I am so impressed with the great work I see happening around the organization, and incredibly proud to work at Thomson Reuters during this time. We are in this together.

About

Pragashini Fox is the Head of Talent Management at Thomson Reuters.

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