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Ask a Titan - COVID-19, Work from Home, and More

How has working from home shaped your year?

  • It has made connecting with new titans a little more difficult. It has also given me time to do my new hobbies - Anonymous

  • Even though I worked with remote teams in the past, this year definitely helped refocus my anxiety about how people use communications technology. It was hard at first, but using video conferencing in professional and social contexts with people who had never used it before gave me a new perspective on which things I can and cannot control. Other than that, I'm going to be WAAAAAY under miles in my car lease. - Anonymous

  • It's been tough, I miss the community of the Irish Titan office! But I've shifted to sleeping in a little later because I've shaved off that 20-minute commute. It's also nice to run laundry and hang out with my cats while I'm working (it's the little things, right?) - Madeline

  • It’s been great! An emphasis on self has really helped me this year. Working from home has facilitated this, but I think I could have done this by working from the office a couple of days a week as well. - Manbear

  • Time is a construct made by humans, and I don't think I align with that anymore. - Tim

  • I've spent a significant amount of time with the same group of people in my circle, which has been really amazing sometimes and really challenging other times. I love how much I can work from home but it takes me a lot of work to turn that off. I can't wait to get back to the office but it's been great to work from home in the meantime. - Jack

  • Triangles a shape right, wait, no... Rhombus. It’s been a more Rhombus-cular year. - PR

  • I find very little enjoyment staring out of my window. - JE

  • I have faired through this year better than many. I have a solid job and a great group of friends who transitioned easily to online hangouts. - Mike

  • Made my wife and I realize we need a bigger house, so we bought one. - Josh

  • The shift to working from home 12 months ago was a quick turn of events. It was crazy, challenging, different and all sorts of things at first. It got better when a new routine was put in place, but it never really felt right or normal because there was so much happening in the outside world. To summarize, it shaped the year to be one to remember, as well as to show how adaptable Titans can be. We all came together and looked out for one another. - Anna

What has been your biggest challenge in COIVD-19?

  • Not getting fat - Anonymous

  • Navigating the various opinions and tolerances of precautionary measures among my family and friends. But in the end that helped to formulate my own stances. At the same time, the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest that ensued also challenged me to think about who I've been, who I want to be, and the need to listen. - Anonymous

  • Social isolation. I live alone and totally miss having dinner parties, going into the office, and going out to restaurants! I've tried to offset this with way more outdoor activities and sports than I used to be involved in. - Madeline

  • Not being driven insane by the 24-hour news media. I’ve grown to despise the politicization of healthcare and wellness, and the untruths told on both sides of the aisle. It’s been very difficult on my general outlook on humanity. - Manbear

  • Not being able to see the people in my life who were vulnerable to Covid. Dealing with being stuck in the house a lot was tough as well. Also, getting haircuts. - Tim

  • I'm a really social person so I think the biggest challenge I've faced is that the pandemic has infected our relationships. It's made me uneasy or stressed to be around people that I love. There's been a lot of challenges being with my friends and family so I'm really looking forward to getting back to seeing them safely and regularly. - Jack

  • Keeping my brain active/busy/positive. It’s been far too easy to give in to boredom/negativity. - PR

  • Keeping track of the day of the week. - JE

  • Missing the type of comradery and friendship that you get from quick asides and non-purposeful interactions. With most communications being over video conference, you always have to have a reason to connect, which can be taxing. - Mike

  • Working from home. - Josh

  • The biggest challenge has been not being able to look someone in the eyes (their physical eyes) and not through a screen. Not being able to analyze body language. Not being able to shake a hand or give a hug -- all things I never thought we would take for granted. But, now going forward, those type of things will forever give us pause, but also give us something to be grateful for. - Anna

Did you get into any new hobbies or activities during COVID-19?

  • I'm a baker, so picking up supplies was a challenge when baking became a phenomenon - I had to find the bread aisle! As for new hobbies, I definitely became better at keeping my houseplants alive, and even grew my collection! - Anonymous

  • I joined a paddleboard racing team at Square Lake last summer. I built a fire pit and had a lot of one-on-one outdoor hangouts with friends in my backyard. I joined a cross country ski club and took downhill ski lessons this past winter. I joined the Irish Titan D&D group. - Madeline

  • Yes! Dig deeper into cooking, meditation, audiobooks, new podcasts, running, more focus on my physical rehabilitation and health - Manbear

  • Being stuck in the house led me back to old hobbies, and new ones. I am not great at it, but I did get back into painting. Which left me with a few mostly unfinished paintings. When I was growing up, we always had fish tanks, so I decided to get one for my home. That has become a small hobby by itself. - Tim

  • Not a new hobby but I started a more structured training plan on my bike and I've ridden about 6000 miles in the last year! - Jack

  • Motorcycle engine rebuilding - and I got into it by necessity, not by choice. - PR

  • Sleight of Hand/Cardistry, Baking - Anonymous

  • Putting golf balls on my carpet / playing darts. - JE

  • Mini painting, increasingly bougie cooking - Mike

What have you learned about yourself this year?

  • I don’t need the interaction like I thought I did, but I prefer it. - Anonymous

  • I learned that I need to give myself way more "me" time and that it's ok to say no. Being alone by mandate made me realize how much better I operate at work and interact with others when I come from a stronger foundational self. Also, my physical posture became noticeable almost right away working from home so I learned what an impact working on it can make on energy and mood. - Anonymous

  • I'm more extroverted and more resilient than I thought. - Madeline

  • I’ve learned how strong my inner voice can be, for better and worse. I’ve learned how important loved ones are. I’ve learned about my shortcomings as a husband, son, brother, and caretaker. I’ve learned I’m stronger mentally than my body is physically. I’ve learned to be more patient. I’ve learned to see people as flawed versions of the “self” we all strive to be. I’ve learned to forgive more willingly. - Manbear

  • When the pandemic started, I thought I would be able to take in new hobbies, and learn so much about myself. I really learned that I was not prepared to go through this, and it was hard. - Tim

  • I've learned that I don't need to do anything to enjoy the company of my friends. I've learned how much I need to be around people to feel stabilized. I've learned so much about how diseases are transmitted, and even more about getting through some awful stuff. I'm really happy to be working and having a good time with other Titans. - Jack

  • I need a project. Not all the time, but definitely 90% of the time. - PR

  • I need human interaction / I hate video calls. - JE

  • I am more comfortable than I thought not being people as much, and instead surrounding myself with animals. This is so true that this year we are moving out of the city and buying a hobby farm. - Mike

  • I don't like working from home. - Josh

  • I have learned that we all can successfully work remotely, but it sure isn't as much fun. I've learned that although I'm a more of an introvert than an extrovert, I sure love being around people, especially Titans. - Anna

What have you learned about others this year?

  • We can always do a great job with a good team, despite all the complications thrown at us - Anonymous

  • That I want to move to a shack in Montana. - Anonymous

  • That they can be as selfish as they can be kind. I’ve learned that humanity has just as much of a positive reach as it does a negative one. I’ve learned we are all doing what we think is best for ourselves and our families. I’ve learned that people are impressionable and fragile. - Manbear

  • The amount of people who willfully choose not to wear a mask has taught me how selfish people really are. That hurt. - Tim

  • My friends and family will go to insane measures to be there for each other. We've sat outside in freezing conditions, we've played terrible games over Zoom, there's really no limit to how far we'll go to support each other. - Jack

  • Everyone deals with things in their own way, some are quiet/introspective, some open up and want to talk about it. - PR

  • We can come together and help others when they need it. - JE

  • Some people will believe just about anything they are told. - Josh

What are you hopeful for?

  • Vaccine - Anonymous

  • I'm hopeful that the challenging times we experienced as a result of COVID-19 generate new works of art and innovation that otherwise would have taken longer to evolve. - Anonymous

  • Can't wait for my vaccine!!! insert prayer hands emoji here - Madeline editors note: sorry, our blog has limited emojis :(

  • A more sensible and logical future, where political swings don’t trample on our liberties. - Manbear

  • Getting vaccinated asap. - Tim

  • Vaccines are coming! At least in Minnesota, they're coming faster than expected. It's awesome. - Jack

  • Time with fellow Titans soon! - PR

  • A return to normal. Also for people to stop politicizing health care like its a (JE said a bad word here, we'll spare you) optional activity. - JE

  • Live music to make a quick recovery. Of all the social things that have been closed for a year, I miss live concerts the most. - Mike

  • I'm hopeful to be back to normal as soon as everyone is vaccinated. The end is in sight and I am so thankful. - Anna

Any thoughts you want readers to know?

  • Everyone was going through something this year. It's important to reach out and stay connected as a community, even when physically distant! - Madeline

  • I’m anxious about how others view my strong independent political stance. I fear for the future of humanity in regards to how we’ve so easily interfaced with social media. I worry it’s literally removing our most human traits. I fear for our ability to speak freely as a human population - silencing opposition has never served humanity well. - Manbear

  • Be kind. - Tim

  • Given the toilet paper shortage, investing in a Tushy was WELL worth it. - Anonymous

  • Working for a week at a cabin is a wonderful thing. - JE

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