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Each month 3Qers participate in both work perk and 3Q3% events. Perk events allow 3Qers to unwind with happy hours, delicious lunches, and group outings, while 3Q3% events encourage 3Qers to give back to their communities in various ways including donating to local food shelves, beach clean-ups, and hiring presenters to give safe space trainings.

Of course, stay-at-home orders have required that 3Qers have work from home, which has changed the nature of those initiatives. This month we want to honor the individual efforts that have been made to foster a healthy work environment, as well as ways in which 3Qers have helped their local communities.

What is something you have learned about yourself during this time?

For better or worse, some 3Qers have realized they were not as extroverted or introverted as previously believed. One individual realized they may actually be introverted and told us they “love quarantine and could keep this up for a long time, no problem!”

Other self-learnings:

“I learned that I’m averse to confronting mental health obstacles and am more likely to pretend like everything is peachy until I can’t ignore it any longer. Now I try to take time every morning to check in with myself and ask how I’m really doing.”

“A LOT! Normally my excitement comes from life’s spontaneity and the chances for new human connection/interactions. Now that we have been inhibited, I am much more driven by routine-based work such as exercising, writing, and meditating to keep motivated.”

Some 3Qers have gotten better at cooking!

How have you made your home “office space” more conducive to working?

Making a work space that is separate from living space has been important for a couple of 3Qers:

“The biggest thing is separating my work space from my bedroom space. In my studio this means not sitting on my bed during work breaks, and opting for the table instead.”

“Set up a full-time office that is exclusively for work. When I’m not working, I’m not in there.”

The other big theme is that 3Q perks have allowed people to add niceties like candles, rugs, and lights to keep the space healthy. Most important for many 3Qers in a workspace: windows!

What is something you genuinely enjoy about working from home?

Despite missing human interactions, there can be good that comes from quarantine. Many have been grateful to spend more quality time with their families and pets, some are pleased they no longer have a commute, and flexibility of indoor/outdoor time has been beneficial to productivity. Working from home also means more time for random dance breaks!

One 3Qer even said their favorite part of working from home is “Everything. Like literally everything.”

Have you improved/gained any skills since having more time at home that you are proud to share?

No commute and more time in home has allowed 3Qers to develop their creative side. Some hidden talents 3Qers shared:

I’ve been spending even more of my free time weaving than I was before. I’m really proud of how many pieces I’ve made.”

I’ve been doing more creative writing, more cooking, more gardening, more exercise. And yes yes, I’m great at them all.”

“I’ve been learning ukulele with my 5-year-old niece over Zoom. We both have ukuleles, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn. The benefit is it gives my sister a much-needed break from the kids. It’s become one of my favorite things of the week!” 

“I’ve been writing/recording a lot more music. I’m hoping to have a new song up on my Spotify before June.”

Along with music and art, 3Qers have been cooking more, experimenting with different herbs and spices, and perfecting favorite cocktail recipes.

Describe or share something that has made you smile recently.

Just because we are no longer in the office doesn’t mean coworkers can’t make each other smile. Some examples of 3Qers lifting each other’s spirits:

“A co-worker (Carol) does a new costume every week (complete with new Slack profile name) to keep things light. One week, she was Richard Simmons, which made me genuinely laugh out loud.”

“I’m so appreciative of the continuing support within the team and how individuals are going above and beyond to help each other out.”

Moments that have sparked joy at home:

My boyfriend and I had our 1-year anniversary yesterday.”

I cut my partner’s hair for the first time, and it turned out all right!”

I had a picnic with friends where we sat in the trunks of our cars.”

Describe an initiative you have participated in to help sustain work-life balance.

3Q perk events have continued beyond the office with regular Friday happy hours via Zoom, group stretching sessions via Zoom, SD/3QA game breaks, trivia, games, polls, weekly lunches, and blogs focused on helping 3Qers keep their sanity and stay productive.

Others have created their own initiatives to sustain work-life balance:

I’ve focused on my mental health a lot since this has been a very challenging time and I have learned to take time for myself during the day to get a quick workout in, go for a walk, or even just take a shower to feel refreshed. It also helps me communicate with others about their feelings if I am able to keep my own feelings of distress under control.”

I have set time blocks to walk away and walk the dog or grab a snack.”

Many 3Qers are fostering dogs and cats. This handsome foster dog is named Benson!

Describe an initiative you’ve either heard about or participated in that’s being done in your community to help people get through these hard times.

During this time, people throughout the world are stepping up to aid their communities in various ways. We are lucky to have roots in cities across the United States with amazing people who have been giving back to their local communities:

“I donated blood at the Central Valley Blood Bank! I used to do this way more often, and given the circumstances so many people are scared to donate and there’s still a great need.”

“Although I was unable to foster a dog (super sad!), I have been able to support many local restaurants and they’re so very appreciative of the business! I’ve also been baking cookies and delivering to friends and healthcare workers. Also, every night between 8pm and 8:05pm the whole city goes bonkers with lights and sounds to support the healthcare workers.”

“I’ve been donating once a month to Feeding San Diego. Everyone’s spending more money on groceries, so the least I can do is contribute to someone else’s.”

“People have participated in the 8pm “Denver Howl” to get the entire city to howl in unison and thank the healthcare workers for all of their hard work from our houses. People have also been offering to donate to charities that support families that are struggling and need food and resources.”

“A local C-ville restaurant has been offering full time musicians who are suddenly out of work free meals. C-ville has a surprisingly robust music scene with many people relying on music as their primary income source.”

Describe something happening in your community – even if you’re not a part of it – that shows people helping people

Furthermore, individual action can make a profound impact on a community:

“Signs all up and down the major street that runs through my neighborhood thanking first responders and health care workers.”

“My mom has been sewing face masks every day! She’s been giving them to people on Nextdoor, friends and family.”

“People have been cleaning up trash in the neighborhood while they are out taking walks.”

“I’m on the board of a non-profit local theater group (Lyric Theatre). They obviously aren’t having any live productions, but lots of folks who usually work on costumes have made thousands of masks for the community!”

Front porch pictures in Richmond, VA

Our thoughts are sent out to those affected by COVID-19. If you live in one of our communities and have suggestions for organizations we can support, please leave a comment!