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Utah Business

How the CEO of ForgeDX manages her remote work schedule

Like everyone, the last few months have created change and new rituals for work and home and life balance. Here are the things that I am doing to help manage my 2020.  

I am the CEO of ForgeDX, the Founder and President of the Women Tech Council non-profit organization, and a mother of three. Since moving to work from home full-time in March,  I created a designated work space in my house. It has become my command center. I found that I needed to have multiple computers in a space with good lighting and acoustics. Multiple computers and devices allow me to stay current with various streams of information and connected to my team and customers.

 My go-to collaboration tools are Slack for communication with my team and Zoom for video meetings. Zoom video calls comprise over 50 percent of my workday. This means that I definitely had to maintain my ritual of getting ready every day. Am I wearing sweatpants under the desk? You’ll never know!

Agility and adaptability during COVID-19 has been vital for me and my company. One way I increase the agility of my business is the ritual of keeping up with the information that is coming from all sources:  government, health officials, other companies and my mentors. I have been participating as part of the Governor’s Economic Response Task Force for COVID-19 to find solutions to increase Utah’s economic agility. 

We were one of the first states to develop a plan based on data for economic reactivation and quickly activated joint partnerships between government and business leaders to address new needs and information that come about every day. The real-time integration with this team has enabled me to help create better business strategies, share that with others, and has allowed me to more easily and quickly adapt to changing restrictions.

My family and I have learned that our new normal looks slightly different from our previous schedule. While we used to all be up, dressed, and out the door by 7:30am, we have become much more flexible with our time management. 

For example, to accommodate our new school requirements, work obligations, and family activities, homework that needs my help is now completed typically late in the day between the hours of 10pm and 1am. This has undoubtedly altered our sleep schedule, but it has also allowed us to accomplish our tasks and have some fun too! I need to give a shout out to Diet Coke ― which continues to be a critical component of my ability to manage each day. 

 At ForgeDX, we want our team members to know they are all appreciated because we are all in this together. To show our gratitude, we instituted the ritual of “Fun Friday.” Each Friday, every ForgeDX employee receives a surprise at their home. These gifts have been carefully chosen to support local businesses. We have done things like: 

  • Cookies from Crumbl Cookie
  • #OneUtah T-Shirts from Cotopaxi
  • Easter Lilies from Harmon’s
  • Dinner Relief Packs from Four Foods Group
  • Artisan Churros from San Diablo

This ritual not only keeps us connected to our employees, it connects us to our community. The more we support each other and stay connected, the faster we will recover as a community. 

As a family, we all feel a new drive to be in nature and have prioritized the ritual of doing something together outside every day. I truly believe this one ritual is keeping us all sane. I have taken more bike rides, jumped more on the trampoline, and hopped into our hot tub more in the last few weeks than I have in the last few years! We eagerly jump in the car at a moment’s notice to socially-distance hike with uncles and cousins, and my kids barely flinch at 38 degree water if it means wake surfing on a sparsely populated Deer Creek Reservoir. I will treasure these family memories.

COVID-19 is affecting all of us. Finding a life balance is a continually changing process and what we are learning now may become rituals we keep forever. So find ways to stay in command, stay informed, stay flexible, stay connected, stay sane, and above all, stay safe!

This article is part of a month-long work from home series where executives and entrepreneurs discuss how they’ve adjusted to remote work. Read more here.

Cydni Tetro is recognized as an innovator of experience, a growth leader, technologist, STEM advocate, author, and speaker. A former tech founder, she is also a co-founder of the Women Tech Council.