What We Learned About Our Work and Ourselves During Quarantine
08.18.2020  |  by Milton Cornwell

One thing that has really struck us here at Copper Peak Logistics over the last few months is how well our team came together and made it happen when the pandemic hit. For me, preparing for a new way of working reinforced just how important good relationships were—with your workforce, your leadership team, your vendors, and your clients.

That made me curious about what other team members had learned, too… so I asked them. Their answers contained some real nuggets that could be helpful for any business looking to grow in these strange times.

What We Learned About Ourselves

Many of our employees shared things they learned about themselves and the way they achieve work-life balance:

“I can juggle! Although it may not be with balls or bowling pins, I’ve done a pretty good job juggling working remotely 60% of the time, homeschooling a 5th grader, all while taking care of a 1-year-old.” —Stacey Heuer, VP of Operations

“What I learned about myself during this pandemic is that I put a lot on myself for others, and not enough for just myself. So I have learned to say No, I can’t sometimes. Then I do what I have been wanting to do for myself. Still a work in progress!” —Kay Rodriguez, Outbound Logistics Manager

“[I discovered] my ability to adapt, and not let it turn my life upside down.” —Amanda Castorena, Account Executive

“There is always room to learn new things.” —Charena Glasper-Norris, Operations Admin Assistant

What We Learned About Our Work

Of course, everything we do here at Copper Peak Logistics is a team effort. The pandemic, oddly enough, gave many team members a chance to reflect on what really makes our teams and our business work so well:

“Detail is key. Accept that you may need to take a step back or two to polish up.” —Joseph Miranda, Accounts Manager

“Always be planning for six months, a year, five years down the road. A clear short-term and long-term business plan, as well as personal growth plans for employees, can help to keep everyone feeling focused and on the same path as a team, even when we are not physically together.

“[Also] communication is everything; it is what connects us and gets our needs met. With the pandemic causing so many of us to work from home, we are using email, text, and Zoom so much more, where in the past we would have in-person meetings, or phone conversations. It is so important to pay attention to how we come across when using these forms of communication, as the nuance of conversation is gone. It has been interesting to find new ways to continue to develop relationships with people under these circumstances.” —Stacey Heuer, VP of Operations

“You have to be sensitive to others and their situations in these times. The work will get done…don’t stress.” —Kay Rodriguez, Outbound Logistics Manager

“Continue work related education; it can be essential.” —Charena Glasper-Norris, Operations Admin Assistant

“Be prepared for any situation.” Michael Galvin, Client Service Account Manager

Final Thoughts

A few final thoughts from Stacey Heuer, our VP of Operations:

“[Now,] we are an even closer team, CPL and wineries included. It was amazing to witness that, even with most of us working from home, we didn’t miss a beat. CPL staff understood what needed to be done, and how important we were/are to our clients… The outpouring of love and support we have received from our winery partners, as their front-line essential workers, has been amazing and felt throughout the entire CPL team.”

I couldn’t agree more. So, my parting piece of advice here is: Do likewise. Take any patience and support you’ve received and pay it forward. This is how we not only survive, but thrive—in any given year.

A Worksheet, Based on What We’ve Learned

  • How are you helping your employees juggle work tasks with home life?
  • Are you supporting employees when they need it? Are they able to take time for themselves and their families?
  • Have you discussed stress with your teams? Have you looked into ways to help them reduce their stress levels?
  • Does your organization have clear business plans for the short-term and the long-term?
  • Are you communicating those plans so everyone feels “on the same path”?
  • How are you going to help your employees grow both personally and professionally this year? (How will you make that happen if you can’t get everyone together in one building?)
  • How are you helping employees master new methods of communication? Are you paying attention to how you come across? How they come across?
  • Are you showing patience and understanding wherever possible?