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Creatively Working Through COVID Part 8

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Challenge accepted Zach — loved hearing about #AppianLife on the other coast!

Tell us about the quirks of your new co-workers.

I typically live on my own in New York City, but have hunkered down for the time being with my parents in the Boston area. It has been fun, but definitely an adjustment going back to being a child living under my parents roof — not something I really ever foresaw myself doing. However, choosing not to be alone (and going to a house with outdoor space) was definitely the right decision for me — though to cope, I have taken to constantly reorganizing their fridge!

Describe your new normal.

My new normal involves actively trying to organize my time in order to feel like I’m being productive and have some control over the circumstances. My parents have even described me as the “quarantine cruise director” due to my constant need to be doing or planning activities.

Moving my body and getting a good sweat in has also been extremely helpful in keeping me feeling comfortable during these times. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, I do a yoga class with my parents at 8 AM — I highly recommend Y7 for those looking! On yoga days, I will also typically try to get in a run. Before quarantine, I was training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon and I’m still trying to keep running a part of my routine even though the race was cancelled this year. On other days, my mom and I have been doing a boot-camp class on my favorite workout app, Aaptiv, which has lots of workouts for at-home. I find that staying active and making myself tired during the day has helped me sleep when the usual hustle and bustle of my life isn’t there.

New normal for me means running with a mask — also I still ordered the Brooklyn Half Marathon gear :)

As for work, my stand-up meeting is at 9 AM every morning, so before then I try to spend 10 minutes getting organized for the day. I have started heavily relying on writing out to-do lists, including even minor tasks to stay on top of everything. I actively check items off in order to show myself that I am making progress.

My team has added a team “playtime” to our schedule on Fridays to have some time to decompress together. We play a lot of online Codenames and have tried some of the Jackbox TV games! My squad and our neighboring squad also have a “Planks” group that used to do planks on the fifth floor together at 2:30 everyday in person. We have moved this to a virtual meeting, which is a fun way to see other coworkers and take a break during the day!

Urgent Planks Team meeting at 2:30 daily!


On the weekends, I really try to make sure I am separating myself from work. My family and our upstairs neighbors have been doing happy hours on Friday evenings trying a different signature cocktail each week — my favorite being mojitos with fresh mint from the garden! Also, in our house, the gloves have really come off when it comes to games — we play A LOT of backgammon and I am proud to say I am currently the reigning champ! This has been a much lower key spring/summer than expected so I am doing my best to stay positive and take advantage of the downtime.

What do you miss about the office?

I miss our AppianNY crew the most!

And even more specifically, I miss work chit chat! We are a fairly small group of people from across the organization that have loads of fun together. People were always coming into the NY office with stories of weird NYC subway sightings or starting arguments over what acceptable pizza toppings are (looking at you Will Robinson!). Like the city itself, there was never a dull moment!

Pre-COVID Appian New York Crew!

We are currently brainstorming ways that we can stay connected once the city opens up a bit more.

Watching or reading anything new?

My book club has now been getting together virtually and much more frequently due to all of the downtime. It’s been nice to do our meetings online because some of our members moved away from NYC and were unable to participate in person — one of our members even joins from Hong Kong!

We mainly read fiction thrillers, but after the murder of George Floyd, we have pivoted to educating ourselves about anti-racism. The books we have started with are as follows:

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
  • Between Me and the World by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Additionally, AppianHeritage (a group within Appian with the mission to celebrate and foster an environment of support and empowerment amongst employees of all races, cultures and ethnicities) is organizing a guided discussion on the book, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, which I plan to join. The group has even organized a way to provide this a free copy of the book for participating employees!

Next up — I am challenging my NYC bud, account executive extraordinaire, Mike Wandey, to see how he is coping through quarantine up in the heart of the east coast COVID outbreak!