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Everything is up in the air because of COVID-19, but Avanade is making me feel more secure

  • Posted on March 23, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Everything is up in the air because of COVID-19, but Avanade is making me feel more secure

I am no stranger to working from home. Avanade’s remote capabilities have given me the flexibility to skip the commute three or four days a week, which I’ve always viewed as a lifesaver in terms of balancing my career and being a mom to two kids under 3.

But this feels different. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and restaurants are closed, and my husband and I only leave the house for grocery store runs or to bring the kids to their grandparents’ house for childcare. Suddenly, my at-home setup is feeling more prison than sanctuary.

These are anxious times, and it feels like we don’t know what bad news each day will bring – or how long the world will go on like this. I find myself clicking article after article, refreshing news sites and watching the numbers of reported cases climb. Are my children safe? Are my parents? What will happen if they get sick? Who will take care of them if I do?

These worries extend to work too, even as we are set up to work remotely. How will the economy affect my company? My job? If I or someone in my family gets the virus, will I have enough sick time to cover it? If parts of my childcare arrangement fall through, how will I manage working from home with little children to care for?

These questions have swirled in my head for the past week as I wait for a storm that has only just started to arrive. But little by little, my company has started to create a new normal. “Heads-up: We’re going on video for our call,” my boss emailed the team one morning last week. I scrambled to find a space with good lighting, dreading showing up on my webcam with wet hair fresh from the shower.

But then … it was just so good to see other people’s faces. Even better, it was wonderful to see their children wander in and out of the frame, climb into their laps and wave at their coworkers. We were all so charmed by these tiny visitors – flexible to their distractions – and I got such sudden clarity that it will be OK when my childcare falls through. My team will not dismiss or judge my challenge in juggling. We’re all supportive, and it’s an incredible feeling.

From the corporate level, like an email from our Chief Human Resources Officer, we’ve received messaging that working will be flexible and if we get sick and run out of time, they will support us. From my direct leadership, these sentiments have been reinforced and acted out in real time. From my coworkers, there has been a feeling of community and checking in to make sure everyone is being taken care of. Almost any company you work for will tout their values, and it is not strange to wonder: Do they mean it? Would they really take care of us if push came to shove?

In a global pandemic, I’ve gotten my answer.

Sarah Heilig

Thank you for sharing your perspective, Lauren! I couldn't agree more - even during these stressful and uncertain times, I've felt confident that Avanade is putting our people first. And of course, I love seeing everyone's kids on video!

March 24, 2020

Lauren Chval

Thank you for always encouraging me to bring my unique POV to what we do, Sarah! I'm grateful to be on our team.

March 25, 2020

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