Sanovaworks Sanova Works

NEW YORK, (June 16, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Diary of a Remote Worker

We all know someone who is suddenly working from home, and/or home-schooling and trying to make the best of their current situation and their “new normal.” SanovaWorks has been a remote work environment for many years, so when we asked our Team “what’s your remote work and pandemic survival tips?“, they did not disappoint. 

Meet SanovaWorks Team Member

Courtney Cruickshank, Digital Product Manager

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

All things tech. As the sole full-time Tech team, I work to provide tech support and knowledge wherever needed. I work with a talented team of developers and consultants that are experts in the field and help make my job easier. I love collaborating with the different SW teams and working on new projects. I love that as a small team, I get to wear a lot of different hats at any given time. I love researching new products and picking up new skills – I learn something new about the Tech field all the time because it’s constantly changing and advancing.

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

Our executive team of Shelley, Signe, Luciana, and Caroline. I am super proud of working in a company that is primarily women-led and driven. They are thoughtful, intelligent, supportive and compassionate leaders that our team rallies around.

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

While I’ve worked remotely for the last 7 years, now my husband and three children are also home. My husband (also in the Tech field) is working remotely. My oldest son is 8 years old and is distance learning the remainder of 3rd grade. He needs a lot of support and guidance to get through his school work, which is a significant amount of work each day. My middle daughter is 5 years old, and is distance learning Pre-K. She also requires support but luckily, her workload is lighter. My little one is 2 years old and requires all the attention you would expect a toddler would need. In addition, my husband is immunosuppressed and so our quarantine life requires us to be extra diligent. We live on Long Island where we have been on some form of lockdown since March 13th. The only place we go is the grocery store, and when I come home it requires a full change of clothes and a shower. While life has changed a lot for us, we’re still keeping spirits up with projects around the house and zoom calls with friends.

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

I miss the consistency of a schedule. My kids and I thrive on the structure of a routine, and while we have a routine at home but it feels looser because there are no “deadlines” and no places to be.

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

Our biggest challenge has been balancing work and distance learning, while trying to find all our usual grocery items.

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

Create a to-do list of things that you need to get done that day. Give priority to the things that have to get done that day, and if possible do them in the morning. I find that I work best at home right now in a block schedule. A few hours in the morning of solid work, in the afternoon when my toddler naps I can do more solid work, and then I come back on after the kids go to sleep. It helps me compartmentalize all the different things that need to get done during the day.

What are your top 3 remote worker survival tips?

1) Take breaks (don’t sit all day), 2) stay accountable (finish your to-do list), 3) block only certain times for meetings (so you can get your work done and feel productive).

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

Know how you work best – if you’re more productive in the morning, get up early and go through your inbox. If you like having nights to work quietly, spend time at night doing some of your work. Make your schedule work for you.


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

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – super fun, quick read so far.

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

Turkey bowls! Ground turkey, rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce.

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

A lot of online shopping 🙂 Here’s to helping the economy!

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

Survivor (Prime), Outer Banks (Netflix), Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

How do you stay positive?

I try to do one thing every day for me – whether it’s going for a run, doing yoga, going for a bike ride – to get out of the house and move a little bit!

Have you taken up any new hobbies? Learned a new skill?

Re-learning how to read music to help my son with his music homework!

What are you most grateful for right now?

Good health + a happy family

Any other shout outs or closing thoughts?

So thankful for the incredible team at SW, our essential workers, frontline healthcare professionals, and my family and friends for the best support team out there.