Working From Home: AKA, How to Keep Your Cat out of your Zoom Meeting

Ahhh, working from home.  It sounds so dreamy, and it’s portrayed on TV as the most easily executable task there ever was.  Picture it:  the kids are off to school.  The kitchen is sparkling clean from the previous night’s family dinner, where afterwards you enjoyed a nice card game as a family. Your house is clean, smells like freshly baked cookies while you sit in your favorite comfortable chair, sipping coffee out of a nice mug that has a sentiment on it like “Mom of the Year” or “Best Dad Ever”.  What a dream, right?

Except… that is not how it worked out for ANY of us in real life.  Suddenly, we were in the middle of a pandemic.  We began prepping at Partners, just “in case” we were suddenly working from home.  Technology was checked for all employees to determine what tasks each staff member would still be able to perform with their current remote setups at home.   Lists were made of things we would need to have with us, in order to keep a smooth flow going for all Partners’ clients.

Fast forward to the second week of March 2020 – the schools in our county go on Spring Break, never to have another day of school for the 2020 school year.  We are suddenly in quarantine, and all of our “just in case” plans are now “make it happen” plans, and we are all working from home.   We all agreed: working from home is just not as glamorous as it looks on TV.

Staff meetings and client team meetings are now happening via Zoom.  Half of us have sound, no video.  The other half of us have video and no sound.  We are all looking like something the cat drug in with un-brushed hair, trying to help each other with our tech struggles over the phone.  The good news?  We all worked through it together.  In addition, we are all now Zoom experts serving the company well, as we are still not traveling currently for company or client events.

I feel comfortable sharing some of the most important takeaways I gained from our journey:

  • Stay on your routine. Set your alarms, and “go to work” like it is any other day.  Not doing this will ensure complete chaos.  Trust me on this one.
  • Schedule breaks to execute your tasks that are NOT work related. If you jump up 30 times a day to do “just that one thing”, you will lose your train of thought every single time.
  • Stay connected to your coworkers – even a simple text or phone call will remind you that you are all a team.
  • Remember the physical background of your home office and execute Zoom meetings without your cat in the room!

We have been so fortunate here at Partners to have amazing management who have guided us through this pandemic with astounding patience.  We may still be in a strange spot, but we are certainly all prepared for the future.

Ricki Romig

 

The Edge of 17 – Celebrating a Strong Partnership

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By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

As Partners in Association Management celebrates our 20th anniversary in 2018, we are looking back over the last 20 years as a way to help us learn from the past and navigate the future.  For anniversaries, a 20th is often celebrated as it marks a major milestone. When it comes to age, 18 is usually a big celebration as it means the transition from child to adult.   But oftentimes, celebrating a 17th anniversary is overlooked – that ends today!  Continue reading “The Edge of 17 – Celebrating a Strong Partnership”

To Boldly Go Where Others Have Gone Before

By: William Ferguson

Which is more frightening to you? Being the first one to do something or following in someone else’s footsteps? Stepping into an established role brings more challenges than you might think at first. Earlier this year we partnered with a new association that was changing management right in the middle of on-going programs. This has been a very challenging, but highly rewarding, year for me. Keep reading for ideas on how to tackle taking on a position that had previously been filled. Continue reading “To Boldly Go Where Others Have Gone Before”

Building Effective Teams

By: Ricki Sexton

Here at Partners in Association Management, we take team building very seriously!  Not only do we usually start our monthly staff meetings with some type of icebreaker that connects us all as a team, we also have various events throughout the year, usually hosted by our social committee that are also great team building exercises.   For example, this past year, we did some really enjoyable activities as a group that really tested our teamwork skills.  Some of these activities included: Continue reading “Building Effective Teams”

A Day in the Life of Member Services

By: Alonda Hill

I first began working at Partners In Association Management in the Member Services Department in late July.  I’ve always enjoyed working with people and my role as a member services coordinator allows me to connect with our members while providing great customer service.

When I tell people where I work and my title, they always ask “what is member services?” Our member services department is comprised of five full time staff members and we are involved in almost everything that defines association management in some way each day.

Let me share what a typical day in our member services department might look like as well as tips that we use to succeed in this role. Continue reading “A Day in the Life of Member Services”