A majority of the National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) workforce of 350 employees have been working from home since mid-March. Like most people who have been working from home, it’s been a transition and we’ve been learning as we go along. We are all getting used to not being in the office, working with children or significant others in our space and dealing with social distancing when we leave our house.
We asked employees to share what working from home is like for them. Our always positive team had plenty of pictures to share of their office spaces and living situations.
Jared G. on our Claims/Underwriting team
I’ve found myself grabbing a house plant anytime I am having to venture out to the grocery store. I am slowly creating my own little greenhouse to help offset the feeling of being trapped indoors. Next time you’re at the store… grab a plant!
Alex B. on our Communications team
While I can’t wait to spend too much money on a sushi dinner, it has been nice having time to cook more complex and time consuming meals. I try to be responsible and only go to the grocery store when needed, which means my cart is overflowing with two weeks worth of fresh and pantry stable foods every time I go.
Some of the favorites so far, that I have luckily been able to share with my wonderful girlfriend, have been the tomato, bacon, mushroom, spinach and cheese quiche. The ribs that slow cooked all day and were served with jalapeno and cheddar corn bread. And the ham, andouille and shrimp jambalaya that is a place holder for the New Orleans trip we wanted to take.
Cooking is a passion of mine and keeps me happy. I encourage everyone to do what comforts them so they may remain mentally and physically strong during the quarantine.
Brynn R., a member of our national dental and visual business, BrightBenefits
As a member of the BrightBenefits team, I’ve been remote here in sunny San Antonio since the beginning in late December…but it was a new experience for me, having worked in the heart of downtown for 15+ years.
Regardless of the coronavirus, here are my top 10 favorite things about working remotely:
- I get to pick my kids up from school – When my 5-year-old son comes out the door and sees me, he lights up, and I feel like a superhero.
- I added THREE HOURS to my day (that’s 15/week!) by eliminating a commute and dress code routine.
- I bent the space-time continuum, as I’m now able to be in 2 places at once.
- I can do work when it’s convenient to my schedule (I knock out 2 hours of work before my family even wakes up!)
- I’m home for Amazon deliveries!
- I don’t have to leave work to let the plumber/electrician/cable guy in.
- I don’t have to miss work if my kids are home sick.
- I get to enjoy the way the sun hits my yard and garden through the day, through the seasons.
- Dinner-bath-bedtime at my home is much less hectic and rushed since we’re all already here.
- The food situation – I can make myself a fresh lunch, get dinner started early, and avoid packing snacks/lunch for the office.
The quarantine has brought out new levels of ingenuity in our home space and daily routine. Routine is the recipe for success with a 9-year-old and a 5-year-old. In the mornings, after I have my coffee and get through with a little work, my kids and I have breakfast together. Madeleine logs into her Google Classroom and completes activities and assignments in math, social studies, literacy, grammar and science. Barret and I do math and phonetics worksheets, check out the daily book, video and word puzzles from Scholastic, and knock out activities on the iPad from his teacher in their class app. BOTH of my kids’ teachers have mastered Zoom, so the highlight of the day is their class session with teachers and friends.
I will admit that the mild chaos makes me deeply happy – my husband at work on the phone and his computer in our bedroom, my work in our office, Madeleine on her laptop discussing leyendas with classmates and Barret on the iPad singing Los Meses del Año. Adapt, overcome, stay positive, see the good, remember to be patient, and produce work – productivity is what makes me feel normal in the bizarre world of today. Control what we can and feel accomplished in completing what we can.
Daniel M. on our Marketing team
Working from home is great. I have a little office in my room where I tend to hide out and work most of the time. I live with my 2 cat kids that sleep for the most part but every once in a while Dolce will come and sit on my desk or my computer when I am trying to work! He is my little helper. I appreciate all NGL did in moving so quickly to get everyone setup at home.
Christin B. on our Human Resources team
Working from home has been a change, but also it is amazing to be able to do so. Hats off to everyone for the care, concern, hard work and just all around effort. I proudly say I work for NGL!
My daily routine has changed from going to 5:30 a.m. work out classes to getting a few extra zzzz’s in the morning. I still get in my morning yoga and I run up and down the stairs in my apartment building for cardio. So far my neighbors haven’t complained. I’m loving stretchy athletic wear as my new dress code (some changes will be hard to go back to). Once I’m ready for work, meaning there is coffee made and three sips at least have been taken, it’s time to log in and get started. The kitchen table is multi-purpose, it works great as an office desk, and a place to eat dinner.
When I need a stretch or a break I visit the “office gym.” Hula hooping is a great way to move around in limited space. When it’s time for lunch I visit the “vending machine,” lots of great things in there!
The office isn’t too lonely, as my assistant Smokey is here with me. When she’s not sleeping on the job she makes for a great assistant and accepts payment of Friskies, turkey and cheese shreds is her preferred choice.
Keeping it fun and entertaining at home.
Mary R. on our Multi-Line Processing Team
It has been such a huge relief to be able to work from home, and one I take very seriously. The speed at which this has happened has been incredible. The NGL team members who made this all possible for us cannot be thanked enough!
My team has also been absolutely amazing. From testing new processes to ensuring we can still take care of our policyowners, being willing and able to change tasks, learn new tasks, learning how to do existing tasks a different way, and everyone is still laughing, joking, remaining upbeat even in the face of uncertainty and frustration. People continue to communicate even though we can’t see each other. I feel so blessed that we have the unity and trust we do.
For me, keeping a routine has been (and hopefully will continue to be) the key to my sanity. I wake up, feed the dogs, take them outside, feed the cats, clean the litter boxes, start coffee. Shower, get dressed and start my computer. The only thing missing is getting in the car and driving to work. Will I still remember how to drive??? That’s anyone’s guess!
I’m taking my lunches and trying not to eat all of my food…jury is out on that one. I’m either going to lose weight since I don’t have a vending machine, or I’m going to gain the Quarantine 15! Stay tuned!
There has been some concern here about workplace violence (see pictures of the cats – Sookie, black and white, and Marlow – all the colors), and a complaint has been put in to HR about the lazy chocolate lab (Eleanor). The Pugs (Caoimhe, black and Andre, apricot) seem indifferent and really are just concerned about why they are not receiving stuffed Kongs like they were still getting back in the office days. I’ve told them they’re fine, and were getting a little tubby anyway!
Stay healthy everyone!