In perhaps the understatement of the century, 2020 was an interesting year. One of the biggest changes for us at MeriTalk was the shift from the office to 100 percent telework. With vaccine distribution underway, we are eagerly awaiting the next in-person Happy Hour. That said, we have come to love teleworking.

With 2020 nearly in the rearview mirror, we surveyed the office to find everyone’s silver linings of the pandemic. From ditching the morning commute to logging more quality time with loved ones, we’ve done our best to make lemonade out of lemons.

Glori Rubio: Working from home has given me a new appreciation for the little things – slow mornings, learning how to make the perfect pour-over coffee, and lunch-time walks with my husband on the trail near our house.

Christina Hoffman: Being able to play a game of PIG or HORSE with my boys during a lunch break; lunch dates with my hubby; and my husband I started Random Acts of Pizza as a way to give back and bring some joy through pizza for essential workers and those struggling with COVID fatigue.

Allison DeFelice: Before the world went fully virtual, I was planning to start a full-time telework journey since I was moving out of the D.C.-region. When we all went virtual, it really gave me a sense of community – we are all truly in this together and it was nice to have that during such a tumultuous time in all our lives. I’ve had the chance to figure out my best work styles, work toward goals I’d been putting off, and finally convinced my husband to get a puppy. This might have been a hard year, but there are so many positive points that I can’t call 2020 a total bust. Lots of growth, opportunity, and happy memories.

Caroline Boyd: I’ve been blessed to work remotely at home for 13 years – so there were no silver linings to this year’s “teleworkapalooza” – unless you count that I never had to transition or acclimate to a remote work environment and kept my productivity levels going strong from Day 1.

Cory Conway: My positive silver lining about teleworking this year has been the amount of time I’ve been able to spend with my cat and new puppy. Having them around can be crazy at times during work, but they keep me company all day long, and without them, I’d have gone a little crazy by now.

Brittany Johnston: My husband and I are both home to take turns helping with virtual school.

Kate Polit: The real winner of telework in our house is our dog – Natty Boh has gotten way more treats and belly rubs since we’re both home. For the humans in the house, I think this is the most time my husband and I have spent together since we were in college. It’s been really nice to get to eat lunch together and just see each other during the day.

John Curran: You always wonder what tech can do when pushed to the limit.  I’ve learned we can run an effective news team with basic collaboration tools, not just as a “nice to have on Fridays” thing, but as a must-have, mission-critical, every day foundation to our team’s business mission. It’s really the humans stepping up to the challenge, but the technology is providing that crucial bridge to allow it to happen. Also, the dog is so much happier to have humans in the house all day. The cat, maybe not so much, she runs things when we’re not around. And the local bagel store person knows my name now.

Logan Prescott: I got to trade my commute for more free time to cook new recipes, do yoga, and catch up with family and friends.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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