At Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, we take pride in being more than just an insurance company, but a proud family. Families, schools, companies and the rest of the world are all going through this time of uncertainty together. One of the ways Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance has been continuing communication and keeping high morale is through photos, stories and tips that individuals, families and teams have experienced during their work from home situations. We asked our employees to send photos of their “work from home” workspace and to share any personal stories, experiences or tips that they may have to offer. We were pleased with the participation, and surprisingly a lot of the stories that were received were similar to one another.
We hope that these photos, short stories and tips give you some joy and happiness during this time. We want to remind everyone that you are not alone during these times and that Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is here for you always.
Story One: Erica Williams’ kids play hide-n-seek…under her desk!
One of our employees experienced right away that she and her husband were going to have to work as a team if they were going to handle their children, ages one and two. In this photo, the two girls believed that they were “hiding” from their mom under her work desk. Erica confessed that they have had to majorly lower her expectations with screen time, but she and her husband are both thankful to have jobs and their babies home safe with them.
Story Two: Jim Brooks’ dog just wants attention
As you can see in this photo, it isn’t just kids that need constant attention from their parents. This pooch seems to be giving off a “do you have to work” look to the owner, Jim. The good thing about this pup is the fact that Jim can still work with duel monitors while his dog gives him his best puppy dog eyes.
Story Three: Michele Woodrum and her unique lunch break!
Michele has a unique story and shows us that you can implement the weekly routines you made at work from the comfort of your own home. Michele and her wife both work downtown and often have lunch with each other throughout the week. They are both working from home right now. Michele said, “Today, I got the normal text saying, 'What’s for lunch at your work? I feel like getting away from my work, so I will come to you.' I told her we were having the Wednesday special—create your own pizza, instead of on Friday. She said she would be at the front reception area around noon. So, around noon she came to the bottom of the stairs, called me and pretended to be IFBI Security Officer Devon telling me I had a visitor in the lobby. I picked her up from the lobby and we went to the cafeteria and made our own pizzas." After lunch, they both returned to work and, as you see in the pic, Michele's boss cat made her get back to work. Michele also gives her own tip for working from home, “My tip: Keep work as normal as possible. Make your office space a place you can walk away from for lunch, and at the end of the day, shut things down and go home. We have found that is a tremendous help to us both.”
Story Four: Alex Griffith’s set-up you won’t want to miss
As you can see from the photo, Alex has a set-up that screams ultimate productivity. He explains, “Three monitors, three times the fun and some streaming gear works well for WebEx calls”. Although most of us don’t have the luxury of three monitors, keeping your workspace neat can help with keeping things organized while working from home.
Story Five: Our Spring intern getting trained by Brian Poole
Brian is showing his new intern the ropes in Outlook. Brian had some good thoughts on ways to break up your day, “While we want to keep focusing on getting the job done, we need to make sure we find a replacement for the “breaks” we get in the office—take a walk, play with pets and children or call a co-worker.”
Story Six: David Bratton’s Opal and her dual monitors
13-week-old Opal is special to the Bratton household. According to David, she was a “canceled spring break and buy a dog” purchase and his family could not be happier. During these uncertain times, give all your furry friends some extra attention, they may not know why you are staying home, but I am sure they will love the extra attention!
Story Seven: David Meuchel and his Christmas spirit
David’s love for Christmas has overpowered his basement. He loves decorating for Christmas and has collected vintage décor since he was a child. During his time at home, he is able to admire his Christmas collection and revisit his inner child.
Story Eight: Jenny Behnke’s screen of art
Jenny’s new home office has had new décor each day thanks to her five-year-old. Although the new artwork’s positioning on her computer screen does prevent her from doing work for the moment, it sure does brighten her day!
Story Nine: Julie Klarich’s at-home Speedway
Calling all Indy 500 fans! Julie has a beautiful mural to look at in her home office space, which was gifted to her from her neighbor’s son. According to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 has been pushed back to Sunday, August 23, for all you racecar enthusiasts!
Story Ten: Server Support Team meeting featuring some familiar shirts
Stephanie Hayes sent in a photo from her team’s first video conference meeting. Her team has a tradition to wear team shirts for their Tuesday meetings, and without being prompted, some still participated! This shows how even though we may be working from home, team traditions can still take place weekly.
After reading these quick stories and tips and viewing the photos, you may be in the same work from home boat as some of our employees. But no matter what, continue to keep spirits high within your team, among your colleagues, your family and the rest of the community. These are crazy times we are all going through, and it is important to stick together as one team and one family! As our CEO Joe Martin recently shared, "If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."