I think the feeling for me was just, is this really happening?
Hey, I'm Jeff Strommen and this is my well-being story.
My well-being journey began really after a week of PTO. Coming back to the office Monday morning, by midday I learned that I was going to be working from home with the virus and everything else going on. And so in March, I think there was just the initial denial like, okay, I guess we'll go work at home and we'll adjust and I'll set up a temporary office space and we'll just make it work.
I feel like a positive attitude really does determine the outcome as far as how you respond to the adversity or to changes in life. And so that's always been just my own mantra in life is to go with the changes, go with the flow of it, make the best of the situation. And we know that sometimes change is uncomfortable for people. I, myself struggle with it. We dealt with a lot of changes in 2020, but embracing it with an open mind was a big part of that.
I can tell you the first couple of weeks working at home are really a blur. Honestly, it was one of the things where I came to work at home, but then my kindergarten and second grader we're also going to be doing school at home with me and not in the same place, but under the same roof. So there was the challenge of adjusting, not just to a work-life balance because when you go to work at home, you have to figure out how to navigate and adjust that. This is really my first type of a job where I'm strictly working from home. So this is a new environment for me too, but my kids had never done remote learning. This was all new for all of us.
Early on I realized that I was feeling the weight of the change, the transition to working from home. Missing the good mornings and the connection with my colleagues, other advocates and associates across the floor, my supervisor, and our manager. And so it was the thought of, okay, I'm dealing with this, I'm feeling the weight of this and the change and the transition, but I bet a lot of my colleagues are feeling the same way.
And so it was a focus of mine to just reach out to specific individuals within my team, people that I worked with on projects or across the floor, and on an individual basis check in with them on Skype or join our Buzz Yammer group. Being active, being consistent, being someone that they can lean on, whether it's just for positive vibes, or just maybe a funny email or a funny little joke or a clip or something in our chat or in an email.
I just wanted to be available to my colleagues, not because my position said it, but because that's who I am as a person, as a colleague, as a member of our great Humana family. What grounded me was that perspective that no matter what changes happen in life, I can control my attitude, and my attitude if it's set in a way that's positive then I can embrace the change, I'm going to be successful to change. It's not going to be easy, but we're going to do it together. It's a mindset that's gotten me through in the last year.
I think it's great with Humana that we have such great support, whether the EAP programs that are available to us, or just to know that we can go to our leadership, our team lead or our supervisor and express if there's something that's going on. And I’m thankful in a lot of ways for 2020, for what it showed me about myself, what it showed me about my colleagues and also what we could be as long as we know that we are truly better together.