First published on Muse by Clio.
With no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're continuing to check in with marketing professionals to see how they're faring. Below, we chat with Carolyn Morgan, president of PRECISIONeffect, an agency working with healthcare companies to change the standards of care (SoC). Morgan also oversees the HCP, patient and consumer service offerings for Precision Value & Health.
Give us a one-line bio of yourself.
Optimistic mom of two sets of twins who oversees two growing businesses in four geographies.
Where are you living right now, and who's with you?
I'm living in Boxford, Massachusetts, a very small town just north of Boston. I live with my husband, my two sets of twins—two girls who are 10, and a boy and a girl who just turned 8—my chocolate Lab, and four neon fish.
What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?
I love my job and I am a people person. So, while I really miss face-to-face interaction, I've been impressed with how well we've done adjusting to this "new normal." I spend my days on Zooms and email now, and instead of a 90-minute commute home, I can walk 10 feet into my kitchen to see my kids and sit down to eat dinner with them. It has been a scary and yet special year—one that we will never forget, for sure. When the next phase of "new normal" starts, I'll be sure to allow back into my life only the things I want. I think this is a great opportunity for us to discover and actively choose what our lives return to and what is most important.
When you do you expect to return to the office?
Three of our four locations will not open until January 2021. The one office that is opening is only slated as "tentative" for now, as we are constantly monitoring the local situations.
Describe your socializing strategy.
Lots of group texts with my friends and the occasional outdoor activity at the appropriate distance.
How are you dealing with childcare?
My husband is a stay-at-home dad, which was a gift before and is now nothing short of a game-changer. That said, balancing virtual learning for four was a big hurdle for us, as is filling our children's summer days. I try not to start my day until after breakfast and have a firm 6 p.m. shutdown time to get in a few hours with them before bed. I also factor in breaks throughout the days, so I can spend time with my kids during normal business hours.
What are you reading?
Junk! And I love it. I'm taking the summer off from my typical reading approach, which is one business book and one book for pleasure at almost all times. This summer, I decided I wanted to get my fill of beach reads instead, and it has been very fun!
What are you watching?
We watched Shameless at the beginning of the pandemic, which was fun. Now we're getting into Billions and Yellowstone.
What are you listening to?
Podcasts! One of my favorites is How I Built This with Guy Raz. He interviews entrepreneurs from top brands on how they got their start, built their vision and became leaders of significant and influential brands. I learn something in every episode, whether it is an interesting fact, analogue or a new concept to apply to the business.
How are you staying fit?
I have owned my Peloton for three years, and I love it. I ride three or four times a week and I do strength training or yoga every day for 30 minutes. If I miss working out, I find that I'm less productive and less happy, so I really try to squeeze it in each day.
Have you taken up a hobby?
No, I haven't. And I am OK with that answer!
An awkward moment since all this started.
I reached out to shake someone's hand and they just stared at it. Then at me. Then at my hand again. I had totally forgotten for a few moments!
An aha! moment since all this started.
This has been the great pause of our lives. I think it has changed so much—more than we can quantify at the moment. As a society, we had become too fast paced, too screen based, too focused on what's next. I think this gave everyone the opportunity to step back and say, What do I want to allow back into my life when things return to "normal"? How do I want to spend my time? What works for me? For a lot of business employees, these questions may lead to working from home to avoid the commute times, less time on airplanes, and more time with family and friends. Our work life had creeped so far into our personal lives before the pandemic that may we might see a rebalancing of what matters.
What's your theory on how this is going to play out?
I think it's going to be harder before it is easier. The fall will likely bring more cases and the country will continue to go back and forth, state by state. We'll see people rolling openings back, rolling them forward, and continuing like this on repeat for quite some time. I think we likely won't see a vaccine until late 2021 at the earliest, and even then, things will still be in a state of "new normal," as access will be limited. I don't see the country back at full strength until 2022.
See the full #WFH Diaries series here.