Readers: How has your philosophy on work changed during the pandemic?

I am much more in tune with how my work affects my attitude, mind, and body. When my body wants rest, it tells me. I rest, then I wake up energized and ready to do more work. I want to take a more holistic approach to work in the future versus a metrics-driven assembly line. —Bryant Beeler, Engr '21 (MS)

Initially, I thought that the role and scope of teleconferencing was limited, but I have come to realize that it brings people together from different locations, often with very little lead time, in a way that would have been impossible if meetings could only take place in person. —Alistair Aaronson, A&S '05

Since we no longer have a clean delineation of eight-hour workdays, working from home has made me much more aware of, and sensitive to, work-life balance. I also manage my calendar much more proactively; it's so easy to schedule yourself into a full day of one meeting after another. —John Pang, Engr '83, '84 (MS)

As a hospital administrator, it's helped me shift more emphasis to organizing ourselves to achieve staff resilience. It's clarified that more yoga and mindfulness don't cut it—there needs to be equity in caseloads, supervisors need conflict resolution skills, and everyone needs to feel like they are part of effective teams. Good patient care is more a result of attending to fundamentals than a result of flashy organizational initiatives. —Jeffrey Fetter, A&S '97

The pandemic allotted me time to focus on my holistic health, including physical and mental health. I've learned to slow down and that hard work should never compromise my well-being. Bad days are allowed, and they are learning experiences. —Nkongho Beteck, A&S '19 (MA)

Does my employer share my core values? Does my employer care about me as an individual? These are questions I did not ask myself prior to the pandemic. Now I think about my day-to-day, my mental and physical health, and what it means to be a part of the company I work for. —Peter Schiavone, Engr '17

The lack of human contact has limited the next generation's ability to ask questions and learn, whether in the office or informally around the proverbial water cooler. —Nathan Wirtschafter, A&S '90, '90 (MA)

I realized that working from anywhere meant more than pajamas and Zoom. I got out of the Baltimore-D.C. corridor and accepted a senior management position with a U.S. nongovernmental organization in Tunisia. I still Zoom, but I'm also immersed in a new country and culture. So glad I made the move! —Maggie Mitchell Salem, A&S '89

Working remotely has given me more ownership of my time and my work. I will never work for an employer that doesn't allow remote work again. —Marni Blachowicz, Ed '09 (MS)

The pandemic helped me realize we all shoulder related sacrifices to make ends meet in this life, global catastrophe or not. That reality is why an open ear, heart, and mind are critical to a healthy workplace environment. —Nick St. Sauveur, A&S '21 (MA)

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