Monthly Archives

June 2020

DIARY OF A REMOTE WORKER: SIGNE

By | Diary of a Remote Company

NEW YORK, (June 29, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Diary of a Remote Worker

Continuing with our Diary of a Remote Worker series, my longtime colleague and friend, Signe Philstrand gives her best survival tips on being a remote worker, and some extra insight and inspiration for our mental health during this pandemic.

Meet SanovaWorks Team Member

Signe Philstrand, Vice President

READ THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF COMMUNICATION WHILE WORKING REMOTELY

What is your speciality at work? Do you have a super power? Brag on yourself.

My job is to support the employees of our company in any way that will benefit them, and move us toward product and company goals. This comes in many forms, be it creating or refining processes, removing obstacles, coaching, training, mentoring, motivating, strategizing approach of projects, making decisions, developing strengths, creating plans to achieve goals, organizing initiatives, upholding morale and company culture, steering toward company strategy–and anything else that arises. My base goal is that people on our staff actually like their jobs, and truly enjoy working for our company, and can be proud of our company. When you have that everything else can fall into line.

Who is your work hero or shero? What is their superpower?

It would have to be Shelley. She really is the epitome of a fearless leader. I know that term is thrown around, but it is the perfect description of her. She is the reason that all of us are here, and that this company is so successful. Period. She’s a pillar.

How has life during the pandemic changed for you? Stayed the same?

As we have been remote for many years, work has not changed a bit in that aspect. We were fortunate to have time to plan and then to hone our remote processes over the years, and we have it down to a science. I can’t imagine all of these companies having to adopt it overnight. I truly believe it is how many companies should be operating, even when this pandemic is over, but it does take planning and effort to make it work right. Outside of the workweek, even though everything is pretty much open, we rarely go out to anywhere public that is inside. We go to the beach minimum several times a week, and ride our bikes, and fish–we always have spent a lot of time outside but now more so, as there is nowhere else to go!

What do you miss the most about life pre-pandemic?

Not wearing a mask! I feel like I am one of the few people in FL that is not opposed to wearing one though. I don’t like wearing one, but I do it because we should. Simple as that. And, I miss live music! A summer without summer concerts and festivals is strange, but they will be back at some point, and we will enjoy them even more. I’ll never take them for granted again.

What challenges have you and/or your family faced during the pandemic?

Again, super fortunate that my job hasn’t been affected, and my husband has a home watch company, keeping an eye on empty houses for snowbirds and second homeowners, so his job is not affected either. The challenges I have faced are what everyone faces: confusion, frustration, irritation, bewilderment, the feeling of it being like a movie, which has worn off now though, and I’m just left with the wondering of what’s the best thing to do, when will this all be over, and what will life look like in the future?

What’s your best advice for those people who are brand new to remote work?

Keep in contact with your team, meet regularly ON VIDEO. Also–train the people you live with that when you are working, you are working. Just as if you were not there and in an office across town. Yes, on the couch or at the kitchen table or on the lanai–you are at work.

What are your top 3 remote worker survival tips?

1) Set crystal clear expectations   2) Organize your online drives so everyone knows where everything is and where everything should be 3) Establish regular status updates and check-ins. And did I mention keep in contact and meet ON VIDEO? Phone calls won’t do it. You have to have the regular facetime in order for it to really work. If you’re not used to it, make yourself get used to it. It’s a key factor in successful remote working.

What have you mastered about working remote – that you had challenges with at the start – or saw a better way to do?

As I talked about in my best advice above–I’ve learned to train the people in my life that just because I am working at home, I am “at work.” I learned to have a strong resolve about it as it’s natural to keep chatting to someone who is in the house with you, and it’s hard to concentrate when someone is doing that. I’ve also learned to sit in places where no one will be walking around behind me, as that can be distracting to others when you are in video meetings. And I move around a lot. I have a number of “work areas” and I like to get a change of scenery. It’s sooo nice to be able to work outside. Take advantage of that perk. Also, regularly get up and stretch, get the blood moving, go outside for a short walk–don’t sit all day.

What are you reading for enrichment or just for fun? Work or non-work?

I just started Gathering of Waters, by Berenice McFadden, from a recommendation. I read a chapter of Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron almost every day because it helps to keep me sane and I like the short readings. And when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, to distract myself I will read You Think It, I’ll Say It, short stories by Curtis Sittenfeld. Then up next is White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo. It was on back order at Amazon, but it just shipped.

What’s on the menu? What are your favorite foods that you are indulging in or purely enjoying during this virus spring?

Mangoes are in season and we’ve been eating a lot of them…so good. Our usual fare is fish, which we’re eating even more now as fishing is a good pastime when you’re not going anywhere inside or in crowds. And we live on peel and eat shrimp, another staple.

Speaking of self care, what do you do to reward yourself after a long week or a personal or professional success?

I love a glass or two of Pinot Noir on Friday evenings, right after work. Since the pandemic started and restaurants became a no-no, my neighbors have been meeting in driveways in beach chairs spread apart for cocktail hour, so nowadays I can usually pour a glass and wander outside and find some company to share it with. It puts a period to the end of the week. Or starts the weekend, however you want to look at it. Weekends = beach, and that’s where we unwind and relax. You can always keep driving and find some empty area away from others to put your umbrella.

What is in your Netflix, [Hulu, Amazon, AppleTV, etc.] queue? What are your recommendations? Why?

Netflix: Dead to Me (I love both of those girls); Never Have I Ever (If you love Mindy, that show is so Mindy); Tom Papa – You’re Doing Great (He is so hilarious, probably one of my favorites); I Am Not Okay With This (It’s so great, just try it); Dark (Season 3 just started–if you watch you have to watch it in its original German and read the subtitles, don’t do the dubbing!)

How do you stay positive?

See my answer to self-care above. Kidding! Being outside; Being some-sort-of-active; Meditation.

What are you most grateful for right now?

I am grateful now and always, that Kurt and I like to spend so much time together. I hear of people saying that the divorce rate is going to go up because of Covid. We are the opposite, we are glad for the excuse to just hang out together, the two of us. I’m also grateful for our amazing company and the people in it. I am impressed daily. I am grateful I am one of the people that still has a job, as so many had the bottom fall out beneath them unexpectedly. And I am grateful my colleagues, family, and friends are healthy.

Any other shout outs or closing thoughts?

A shout out to our whole SanovaWorks team–staff members and contractors–each are top pros in their area, and it shows. Our team is incredibly strong and tight. This group has worked together for many years and we know how to work together well. With the changes to our industry that the pandemic has brought, everyone has had to step up to the plate to help fill in gaps. We are so thankful and fortunate to work with the sort of people that can and will do that!

VISIT OUR DIARY OF A REMOTE COMPANY SERIES

Shelley and Signe

JUNETEENTH

By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (June 15, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

In the wake of the recent murder of George Floyd, and the swell of the social justice movement Black Lives Matter, we are witnessing a watershed moment in time. Things are changing. People are, finally, paying attention. Statues are coming down and confederate flags are banned in the very environment they once flew proudly. Symbols of racism, oppression and hundreds of years of suffering; they are no longer welcome in the “land of the free.”

Many people agree that these actions are welcome — and long overdue. Other steps are being taken to properly acknowledge the history of Black Americans in this country. It’s the right direction, but still a long way to go. Reform and change are necessary, when progress is to be achieved. 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO

Juneteenth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19, which is commemorated as African Americans’ Independence Day. This pivotal year marks the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.

“June 19th is the anniversary of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas, the last Confederate State to have the proclamation announced. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier, and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.” Wikipedia

Currently, forty-seven of fifty US states recognize 6/19 as Juneteenth, either in the form of a state holiday, ceremonial holiday, or a day of observance. As we have seen these past weeks, change is happening, so we can expect the other states to fall in line with this recognition that is long overdue.

This year and every year going forward, SanovaWorks and its affiliates will acknowledge Juneteenth as a company wide holiday. SanovaWorks isn’t the first company or organization to commemorate Juneteenth, but we hope to inspire other businesses in Dermatology and other professional communities to follow suit.

Juneteenth Celebrations

Johnson House is holding a Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

Johnson House is of historical significance because it was a stop on the Underground Railroad that functioned to transport runaway slaves from the South to the North where they could be free. Harriett Tubman, an Abolitionist, is reported to have visited the Johnson House.

Food for the Body, Food for the Soul

Black Heritage Trail New Hampshire

Live Streamed Cooking Demonstration, African Drumming Live Streamed from the Portsmouth African Burying Ground, A Virtual Concert, & A Virtual Community Dialogue Featuring Special Guest Adrian Miller

I encourage you to do a search to find a Juneteenth Day celebration that inspires you to take part.

As I personally take a very long pause and acknowledge my own privilege and lack of awareness, in this age of radical and needed change, I encourage my Team, and anyone reading this, and anyone I encounter, to celebrate and acknowledge Juneteenth, a profound day, inspiring hope, and reflection.

Shelley Tanner
President/CEO

Resources

Juneteenth.com

Wikipedia

Emancipation Proclamation 

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE AGE OF COVID-19, PART 2

By | COVID -19 Resources

NEW YORK, (May 26, 2020) –  – Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Getting back to our new normal

While essential workers are still battling a pandemic on the front lines, businesses, and some practices, are engaged in the slow roll-out of the reopening of society. Mental health in the age of COVID-19 remains an increasingly real concern. Some workers are coming off furlough, some dealing with job-loss completely, some experiencing fear of job-loss, and most everyone experiencing some form of depression and anxiety.

READ MENTAL HEALTH IN THE AGE OF COVID-19

This webinar was previously recorded on May 13th, 2020

Colleagues and thought leaders examine the emotional and logistical impact of COVID-19 on employees. Panelists discuss job loss, mental wellbeing, employee’s top concerns and communication surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic. Experts discuss ways to offset anxiety and depression, steps to take care of your emotional well-being and logistical challenges such as homeschooling and balancing the ever-changing priorities during this crisis. There will also be discussion surrounding manager communication strategies, what works, what does not work and ways employers can calm employee’s fears during the pandemic.

MODERATOR

Brandon Thompson (Co-Founder, Careers in Aesthetics & Co-Founder & CEO, BNB Aesthetic Innovations)

PANELISTS

Richard G. Fried, MD, PhD (Board Certified Dermatologist & Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director, Yardley Dermatology Associates)

 John Connors (CEO & President, Jan Marini Skin Research)

 Mark Wilkins (Executive Vice President and U.S. General Manager, Prollenium Medical Technologies)

 Aaron Burton (CEO, Sciton)

 Jenna Mons Anderson (CEO, AccessElite)

Excerpts from the webinar

BRANDON: I lost my job and [Shelley] was just checking on me and we really just said that the most underserved topic in society today, especially in competitive environments like sports as well as in sales and in business, is mental health, and having an optimal mental health. So, that’s why we are on this call today. The people I have on this call –put people first and they have not only been able to pivot and keep their entire teams, and the point of this entire call is to give optimism and hope, but also be empathetic to those that have lost their jobs that have been furloughed, that have fear of job loss, and we’re going to tie all of that in together with Dr. Fried, who is not only a successful dermatology practice owner in Pennsylvania, but also a psychologist which is very rare.

POLL QUESTION

Do you know someone who is clearly having anxiety or depressive symptoms due to COVID-19? 

Nearly 3/4’s of the people said they knew someone who has been impacted by anxiety or depression –“high or extremely high”.

High Impact 61%

Extremely High Impact 13%

BRANDON: [based] on those answers Dr. Fried, you are a Psychologist as well as a Dermatologist and there are so many people that are struggling wiPOth depression, one thing that I know, in business and in sports, a lot of people don’t like to verbalize that they have anxiety or depression. I’ve had a lot of anxiety of the past eight weeks and I’m healthy, I exercise. Due to the fallout of COVID-19, job loss, fear of job loss, being furloughed, and homeschooling, can you give us some insight, from a psychological perspective and your expertise on how to deal with this?

DR. FRIED: [anybody] that says they don’t struggle with anxiety, don’t struggle with depression, with feelings of inadequacy…. [T]hat’s Human Condition. COVID-19 is a freight train out of the blue, of uncertainty, we have no clue, short-term and long-term, where it’s going– everything gets amplified times 100….[The] advice is to realize that every one of these emotions and feelings of inadequacy are ubiquitous; and we have to join the crowd and say, okay where do we go from here?, from the imperfect ‘me’?. Where do we go from here, to try to get back control. And the feeling that they can’t, and that’s the battle we all had before COVID-19, and it’s just become so markedly amplified now.

BRANDON: Jenna, you’re the only female CEO on our call. Juggling is not easy. A lot of companies are empathetic. You have two toddlers and a newborn, and you’re a CEO of a company. Tell us how you’re juggling and how you’re dealing with stress.

POLL QUESTION

Do you have children that are being homeschooled right now?

YES 55.56% 

JENNA MONS ANDERSON: I’ll start off by saying there’s no perfect way to do it and it’s a balancing act. You do the best you can, you get up everyday put a smile on your face and do it again. Some of the things that work for me, they won’t work for everyone. I need structure. My family needs structure. We have a schedule and we do our best to follow that plan. We get active. I’m a big believer in activity.  I told my team from the beginning to take 30 minutes everyday to do something, walk, run, yoga, meditate. Also have compassion for yourself. I fail everyday at something. Or at least we feel like we fail. Having compassion during this time. Nobody is an expert at a pandemic. Communicate. I talk a lot about how key communication is. We probably haven’t spent this much dedicated time with our spouses – ever. When you are trying to raise a family and work from home during a pandemic. Don’t try to “keep up with the Jones'”, I see a lot of posts about people taking up a new hobby or learning to cook. I mastered sanity. 

BRANDON: This question goes to Mark Wilkins. Is the role of the rep going to change? Are we going to continue letting sales reps into the office? Team members who know we are still dealing with COVID-19.

MARK WILKINS: We’re obviously in a time of change and will be dealing with COVID for quite a while. I think everyone can agree to that fact. As a company and personally, is know that there’s going to be a significant amount of change and with that comes uncomfortable times. We need to pivot toward that change and look at it as an opportunity to improve. Office calls are going to change for many practices. The role of the sales representative is not going away. The sales reps on this call can take solace that it’s not going away. Our company thinks we have the best product in our space, but it doesn’t sell itself. Having people know that, looking at the adjustments that a clinic has to make themselves, is very important. They’re all going to manage their business very differently. Some may have staggered appointments, some may have meetings in the parking lot. We worked over the past eight weeks training our people how to have remote meetings. How can we bring value to the clinic in a very very different environment? One of the things we’ve done to help prepare our team is to let them know change is here and could be for years. There’s a lot of uncertainty around that. Each situation is going to be different. They need to learn how to pivot. Understand the unique situations per each clinic. When we do that and are transparent with our team we remove a lot of anxiety. Their safety is the most important.

Silver linings

Each of the panelists agreed that despite the great tragedy, stress, anxiety and difficulties, there had been obvious silver linings. Whether a renewed optimism for their own practice and work, or spending valuable time with family, each person has a bright side they have chosen to acknowledge and focus on. This unanimous recognition that in the face of great suffering there is always a silver lining, was the perfect way to end the session.

WATCH BOTH MENTAL HEALTH & COVID-19 WEBINARS

COVID-19: The Invisible Impact on Dermatologists and Dermatology Practices

COVID-19: The Invisible Impact on Team Members

BLACK LIVES MATTER | A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO

By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (June 3, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

The below was sent to the employees of SanovaWorks.

This is an issue we should all be aware of, we should all be engaged in, and we should all be actively fighting together against for a solution. Each company, as a collective of humans, has a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our fellow humans and ensure that we all have access to the things we hold dear. We cannot stand by knowing that our fellow Americans are being targeted unjustly from all angles.

On the heels of the global and national devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, we are witness to the glaring evidence of an epidemic that has existed for hundreds of years in the USA, and that is the systematic racism and injustice against black Americans. The devastation that results from this affects lives in literally every facet: education, careers, health, families, finances, safety, etc.

The pandemic unveiled in clear numbers the disparity between black and white communities in this country, where only 13% of the population are African American, yet represent 23% of the deaths. In some states, like Georgia, African Americans make up little more than 30% of the population, yet almost 50% of deaths are from within this group.

On May 25th this year George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who is also a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a friend, a boyfriend, a son, and a fellow human, was murdered in a horrific incident that has reinvigorated people to stand up and say that this is not acceptable, spurring the nationwide protests that are not only just, but also necessary to demand change for a reality that has been accepted through complacency and inaction.

What can we do?

I, for one, have not done nearly enough and in this I am and have been the problem.

For our employees who are impacted by this, we need to support you. As a team and your friends we are here to back you up.

If you don’t already know how you can personally help, I hope you will take the time to learn what we can all be doing at this time to be a part of the solution. You might feel helpless or overwhelmed by this matter, and feel like there is nothing you can do, but this is part of the problem. Doing nothing is a choice and an action. The support we show for one another matters. One of my friends sent me this article on the weekend, for which I was extremely grateful, as it outlines many things we can all be doing for racial justice.

READ What White People Can do for Racial Justice

President Barack Obama

On June 1, President Obama published an article on how he believes we can use what is happening now as a turning point for real change that is definitely worth the read. In this article there is a link to a very detailed report and toolkit developed while he was in office by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with a dedicated site of resources and organizations to learn about and get involved with.

READ How to Make this Moment The Turning Point for Real Change

Grassroots Organizations

Below is a list of grassroots organizations supporting this cause. I have personally donated, and I encourage you all to consider doing the same. There are many more that I have read about and perhaps that speak to you more personally. I encourage you to look up some of these groups and read about what they are doing.

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/

https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/

https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home

https://www.northstarhealthcollective.org/

On Wednesday June 3rd

We as a company will take a moment of silence at 1:30pm ET to reflect on these injustices, and how we personally might help. I would like us all to pause together and show solidarity. For those who choose to sit on their own, know we are with you.

Going forward

I am committed to ensuring that this is not the end of the conversation for SanovaWorks. We are committed to increasing our network and recruiting to include a bigger pool of qualified candidates of color and expanding leadership roles to Black candidates. Stay tuned for more information and please get in touch with me directly if you have thoughts on this. I welcome all ideas and feedback.

And finally. To ALL of our friends of color: know that we see you, we appreciate you, and we will do everything we can to support you.

Shelley N. Tanner
President/CEO

@NAACP on Instagram

Letter to State & Local Representatives – Share by SanovaWorks Team Member, Lindsay O’Connor.