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

Privilege Doesn't Go Away During a Crisis

We are all affected by this crisis, but it’s important to remember our privilege now more than ever. This effects us all differently, and we must acknowledge that and support those less privileged during this trying time. I am rather lucky. Though I am located in the epicenter, I am safely self-quarantined in my apartment. So far, my partner and I are in good health and have been able to successfully socially distance ourselves. I have a salaried position where I can work fro

Forgive Yourself

I’ve been trying to be more forgiving with myself this week. I have spouts of intense focus, where I get more work than I could ever imagine. And, then, moments where I struggle to focus and get anything accomplished. I require more mental breaks. I require more coffee. I require more rest. I thrive in an always-on, fast-paced environment, but my home does not foster that. Though I know I am still doing my job effectively, I beat myself up for not doing more. I am not one who

Reflecting: One Year at Knotch

A year ago today, I started working at Knotch, and what a year it has been! I have often joked that start up years are like dog years - one year feels like seven! That could not be more true for my experience at Knotch, but not so much because of how Knotch has changed, but how I have changed because of Knotch (and I am not just talking about my hair color!) I have grown so much over the past year, under the leadership of Anda Gansca, CEO, and Aron Tzimas, CCO. I have had th

Coping with COVID

We all cope differently in this crisis. At first, I’ll admit, I doubted the severity. Early on, most news seemed to point to just another flu-like virus. So, I did what I do best to cope — I talked myself off a ledge and said everything would be fine. I challenged myself to think rationally. Weeks went by, and we began discussing closing our office. Part of me still thought it was premature, but I also understood the growing need for employees to stay at home. I rationalized

Stigma Breaking During This Crisis

Now, more than ever, it’s important for People leaders to break stigmas. The stigma around this virus. The stigma around mental health. The stigma around working parents. The stigma around work-life balance. The future of work is no longer a concept. It came overnight, and it’s here to stay. Work and life are no longer separated, and for now and the foreseeable future, they are bonded. People are having to come to work from where they are — mentally, physically, emotionally.

Stir Crazy

If you are like me, you are going a little bit stir crazy. Little actual face time with others. Limited time outside. Lower energy from working from home. I have tried to keep to a morning routine to encourage myself to stay motivated and energized during this trying time. For me, making my bed, showering, getting dressed, making coffee, stretching, and beginning to work at a designated work station (NOT the couch or bed - they are TRAPS) have helped. What routines or ritua

Productivity for Extroverts During the COVID-19 Epidemic

I’m an extrovert. I didn’t realize the extent to which social interaction effects my day to day until this outbreak. Struggling with anxiety and depression, I’ve always known that I don’t do well in isolation, as I tend to spiral with extended lengths of alone time. Being in an encouraged self-isolation has been challenging on my mental state and my productivity. At the same time, as an HR professional, I know it’s important for me to be an example for my company — to boost m

Me Too: My Harassment Story

When I was 16, I applied to work at a local pizza place that my best friend worked. I didn’t get the job, despite her putting in a good word for me. She never would tell me why when I asked her. When I came out to her two years later, she revealed that it was because the manager thought I was gay, and he didn’t want to hire a gay guy. Fast forward to my first job after college, and I’m working in a “relaxed” corporate environment. Everyone jokes around and hangs out after wo

My Mental Health Journey

I see a therapist and psychiatrist. I have experienced suicide in my family, and I, too, have considered suicide at the lowest points of my life. I have experienced drug addiction and alcoholism in my family, and I, too, struggle from time to time with the side effects of my addictive personality. I have a family history of depression and anxiety, and I, too, suffer from depression and anxiety. I share all this because I believe more than anything that visibility is the only

Standing Up For Yourself In Interviews

I once was interviewing for a job, and they asked me what I make. I said, “In New York that question is technically illegal, but my desired range is X.” I didn’t get the job. I once was asked for my emergency contact in an early interview stage for a job. I said, “His name is Jay.” They asked me the relation with a puzzled look on their face. I said, “He is my boyfriend.” I didn’t get the job. I once was asked if I was comfortable covering my tattoos while at work. I said,

IWD 2020: Thank You, Mom

I was raised by a single mom. She put herself through college and law school with two young children. While in law school, she also received her MBA, being the first student ever to graduate with both at the same time from the University of Mississippi. She was one of only a handful women in law school and went on to be one of the few women in the Mississippi Bar Association. She worked for years at the EEOC and throughout her career represented women and children. Later in h

COVID-19: Hourly Employees

During college, I made $8.00/hour as an office assistant at my university. I made $7.50/hour at my first summer job, working full-time hours. When I graduated college, my first job was a job where I made $12/hour. I never will forget how it felt to have to worry about my hours getting cut. I will never forget how it felt to have my schedule changed. I will never forget how weather, seasonal work, and holidays affected my pay. I can’t imagine what hourly employees are going

The Ever Impossible "Work-Life-Balance"

Work-life balance? Who’s she? Never heard of her! In today’s technological age, work-life balance is nearly impossible. Everyone is just a email, Slack, or text away. We are always on, because we are always online and plugged in. So, how do you thrive in work and in your personal life? For me, I make a list of three things that I must do every day to stay sane: 1. Wake up with enough time to watch 20-30 minutes of the news and enjoy my coffee 2. Have dinner at home 3. Q

Employees Want to be Heard

More than anything, employees want to be heard. They want their feedback and suggestions to not fall on deaf ears. They want to be valued for their opinions and perspective. They want to be seen for who they truly are — their full selves. They want to be asked questions and have their answers be received and taken into consideration in return. They want to be able to explain their mistakes. They want to be able to acknowledge their wins. They want to be able to vent about iss

Corporate Transparency: Looking Beyond the Core Value

Transparency. It’s a core value at most companies today. But, what does corporate transparency actually mean, and why is it necessary? Can corporate transparency be counter-productive? Transparency is an approach where communication is shared openly and proactively to those that will be affected or have vested interest. It allows employees to ask questions and expect real answers. That said, transparent communication can easily become overly messaged and come across as inaut

Micro-goals: Revamping Performance Management for Startups

At Knotch, we launched “‘micro-goals” in an effort to build manageable goals that would allow our employees to embrace change and allow our managers to celebrate wins and provide more immediate feedback to their direct reports. I had the pleasure of sharing this concept, and my philosophy around performance management at startups, at a Stacklist event recently. If you are interested in hearing more, please reach out! #Startups #PerformanceManagement #People #HR #HumanResourc