MAKING IT THROUGH
By Simon Woodruff For The NewMexican Apr 27, 2020
Photo Credit: Luis SánchezSaturno/The New Mexican
Things have been evolving forSciVista, our data company, for some time now.
In 2019, we won an award from theU.S. Department of Energy to build collaborative data platforms for scientists,using data from simulations performed on supercomputers.
So, when the pandemic started, ourfocus already was on helping people connect and communicate data insights overlarge distances.
But COVID-19 caused us to pivot: Wehad built the infrastructure to read, analyze and visualize data, but now thesource of the data was from cellphones (aggregated and anonymized).
Suddenly, we were in the businessof predictive analytics, responding to requests for proposals to help predictthe spread of the disease from the Air Force and National Science Foundation,and seeking collaborators through the New Mexico Small Business Assistanceprogram at the national labs.
Newly established networks helpedus find the collaborators we needed.
At home, where I work these days,things have settled into a routine. Our third grader is enjoying the newfreedom to choose how and when he gets his work done — he controls hisschedule, with input from his parents, and connects with teachers andclassmates over video.
There is still some anxiety, but Idon’t think I have heard him once complain. He gets his work done, then jumpsonto Minecraft with friends afar.
Our kindergartner is also happy athome — video games seem to be his thing — he is on the autism spectrum, so hehas a therapist come daily for a few hours. But he is doing great.
The two of them go for bike ridestogether and have even been seen to make their own breakfasts and lunches.
By Week 3, I no longer need to lockmy door for privacy — if they see me on the phone or in a video call, I am leftto it. Kids are looking forward to “distance camps” for the summer.
We continue to call family dailyover video calls. My mother-in-law is in New York City, and we are worried mostabout her alone in her apartment. Social isolation comes with realmental-health consequences — it is hard and can be exhausting. We aremaintaining open channels of communication on text, email and video calls.
It’s interesting to see howemployees are faring under these conditions. It used to be that everyone had tobe in the office at a certain time of day, but who cares?
As long as there is demonstrableprogress toward the goals we know are important, employees can be anywhere andworking in a way that suits them. This is the new world — it’s based on trust,communication and the proven ability to work collaboratively using onlinetools.
Also, if a kid appears in thebackground of a video call, who cares? There’s a breakdown of the stuffyformality of ties, business wear and controlled environments, but this is howwe live. Our work lives are becoming integrated with our non-work lives in away that is wholly positive.
We are not going back to the waythings were.