HR Leaders: Your Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility. ▪️ Does your company have to return to the office right now? ▫️ Is your work essential? ▪️ Do your employees have what they need to return to work (i.e. childcare, safe commuting, etc.)? ▫️ Is your office safe and clean? ▪️ Do you have enough space to remain socially distant in your office? ▫️ Is it the right time for you to consider these moves? HR folks: You have to hold your company to accountable and responsible to the situation at hand. You

I feel trapped

I feel trapped. There was a moment, when cases and deaths were going down, and New York City was slowly beginning to reopen that I naively thought this was coming to an end sooner rather than later. Now, as cases are rising across the country, this “new normal” seems increasingly permanent. My workplace will continue to be my once large, now tiny one-bedroom apartment. My partner and I will continue to be stuck with each other 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. My mental health

Afforded Time during COVID-19

This week: 👉 Take a mindless walk outside just to take in fresh air 👉 Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while just to catch up 👉 Cook something from scratch just to see if you can 👉 Start watching a popular tv show that everyone loves just because you never got the chance to watch it before 👉 Write a letter to someone and send it in the mail this week just because We have been afforded time to slow down. We have been afforded time to reconn

Adapting to the "New Normal"

Today marks 66 days that I’ve been social distancing. Science says it takes 66 days for something to become a habit, which is strange as I was just telling my therapist on Monday how much this now feels like my idea of normal. Emotionally, this experience hasn’t gotten any easier. I still feel a roller coaster of emotions throughout a given week. But, the experience itself feels very normal. Connecting with others virtually instead of in-person, getting groceries delivered in

Taking Money Out of Savings

I took money out of my savings yesterday. It wasn’t money I wanted to move yet, but as the sole breadwinner during this crisis, I felt like I had no choice. Honestly, I was a bit ashamed to have to take it out. It’s money I have been saving for a down payment on a house or the adoption of a child in a few years. Sometimes, that rainy day comes, and you have to make tough calls. Don’t beat yourself up over the tough decisions you have to make. Be gentle with yourself as you a

I Don't Have All The Answers

I certainly don’t have all the right answers - hell, I dyed my hair pink for Pete’s sake! I’m human. I make mistakes, try to learn from them, and move on. I’m humble enough to ask for help and encourage input from everyone around me. I believe ideas become stronger when other voices are brought to the table. Right now, it’s critical that we acknowledge what we don’t know, so that we can inspire others to share their ideas. We must be humble enough to stand in front of our fe

In-Person Connection

I never realized how much I relied on in-person connection to gauge employee sentiment. Or, how much I relied on spontaneous interaction as a means of keeping my thumb on the pulse on the culture. In the office, when employees didn’t come to me, I could more easily go to them. When situations occurred, I had more visibility. When tensions were high, I could feel it viscerally. I’ve created more frequent office hours, so employees can ask me anything during this crisis and che

Proud Partner Moment

My partner of eight years, Jay Jurden, is a comedian. He had an incredible year last year — Just For Laughs, The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, and a college tour to name a few accolades. Then, this happened and his career came to a halt. Bookings cancelled, press tour stalled, and auditions delayed. He, like many creatives, has struggled these past few weeks without an outlet. With all that’s going on in the world, it seems like the worst and best time for his debut comedy al

Connectivity in Crisis

Connectivity is more than just hopping on a Zoom or reaching out via Slack. Connectivity is about sharing experiences, leaning on one another, and leading with empathy. Some ways I am doing this remotely is by holding more frequent Ask Me Anything office hours, hosting company-wide, off-the-record mental health lunches to discuss anxieties and emotions around COVID-19, and allowing empathy to influence policy, process, and communication. How are you staying truly connected at

What Should Recruiters Do During COVID-19?

Recruiters: Your goals changed overnight. Your interview process was forced to go virtual. Your hiring priorities shifted or froze. Your function may be less crucial to the business for the time being. My advice to you: Lean into talent acquisition during this time. Remain flexible in your work. Prioritize strategy and long-term talent goals. Audit your employer branding, culture, and employee engagement / sentiment. While you can’t be seen as an efficient closer right now, y

Leaders: Be Human. Be Humble. Be Helpful.

Leaders must be human, humble, and helpful during this crisis. Human. Be overly approachable. Lean into your staff more than ever. Let them lean on you harder than before. Humble. Speak often about what you don’t know. Encourage new ideas and fresh perspectives. Ask for constructive feedback on what you could be doing better. Helpful. Oversaturate your intranets and internal comms with resources. Offer additional reimbursements and benefits to your teams. Create and encourage

Emotions At Work

It’s okay to get emotional at work. We have been taught that showing emotion is a weakness, but this is not true. Showing emotion is strength. Showing emotion demonstrates passion. Showing emotion makes you human. I’ve cried at work. In fact, I took 2 minutes after a call last week to cry. I’ve gotten angry at work, when I felt passionate about something and didn’t feel heard / valued. Bringing our authentic self to work is hard. Emotion will come into the picture the more au

Sleepless in Harlem

I can’t sleep. I stay up until 3 AM every night staring at the ceiling. Though I could easily blame it on anxiety, I don’t think that’s the culprit. After all, I’m not lying awake thinking about anything. I’m just awake. I’ve never had trouble sleeping in my life. I was that person who always falls asleep during movies. I was the first kid to fall asleep at the sleepover. I fell asleep before midnight every night and was an early riser the next day. This crisis has broken me

I miss...

I miss subway delays. I miss the lines at Whole Foods. I miss Sheep’s Meadow on a sunny day. I miss walking through Time Square to get to Hells Kitchen. I miss the baristas who know my order at La Colombe. I miss conversations with my hair dresser. This makes me miss everyday annoyances. This makes me miss crowds of people. This makes me miss small interactions. What random things do you miss? #People #HR #COVID19 #Coronavirus

That Awkward Moment When... We Turn To Socialization

I read this tweet yesterday that joked about how socially awkward we are all going to be when all of this is over. At first, I laughed. But, then I thought about all the work I have put into managing my own social anxiety over the past two years. This year, I vowed to put myself out there more. I set goals to go to more networking events and speak on more panels. I aimed to go out more with friends. I strived to push through moments where I felt socially awkward or uncomfort

Let Productivity Take A Backseat During This Epidemic

There is this immense pressure we put on ourselves to be productive during this time. Work on that side project you’ve been wanting to work on. Work harder at your job to prove your worth. Work on your relationships with family and friends. I know I have done this to myself. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism? Perhaps it’s a need to pass this time with things that seem meaningful? Perhaps it’s feeling like you’ve been given more time to do these things in the first place? But, y

Social Distancing Requires Certain Privileges

Washing your hands is easy, if you have access to clean water. Killing germs is easy, if you have access to and can afford hand sanitizer. Getting a paycheck is easy, if you have a salaried position. Working from home is easy, if you don't have dependents who also demand your attention. Going on a walk outside is easy, if you have access to masks or other PPEs. Taking care of your basic needs is easy, if you have access to groceries and toiletries. Social distancing is easy,

Our Internal Response to COVID-19

At Knotch, we have not only had a corporate response to COVID-19, but we have had an internal response as well. From a benefit perspective, we offer: Our employees $15 a day for lunch (or $75 a week for groceries) Reimbursement for remote supplies (i.e. monitors, keyboards, etc.) Mental health stipend of $50/month (i.e. gym equipment, wellness apps, etc.) Teledoc support through OneMedical From a cultural perspective we offer: A mandatory break for one hour a day Additional l

"Future Of Work" is Now.

"Future of Work" is no longer some distant concept. It's here. COVID-19 has forced our hand. It has challenged the way businesses operate. It has challenged the way we view work and life (and attempt to balance the two.) It has challenged our very way of life. I believe this is ultimately a good thing. Countless studies have shown that remote work increases employee productivity. The problem was our comfortability with the status quo. While I don't believe every business shou

The Art of Distraction

Last night, my therapist asked me how I have been coping these last few weeks. I struggled to find an answer. The truth is, I have been coping by distraction. Binging Netflix shows. Reading that book I have been meaning to read. Online shopping. Drinking wine. Bickering with my partner. Working on projects I know I'll never finish. Typically, I am a person that loves information. I'll watch the news every morning and every night. I'll read articles on my commute to and from w