With the coronavirus rapidly spreading across the world, Ford employees everywhere have been forced to jump into a new routine in very short order. For some, that means not only working from home, but sharing work space with spouses and other family members whose routines have also been disrupted. Working while tending to young children who don’t fully understand what is happening can be especially challenging.
For Faith Bruno, a parts, service and logistics analyst for Ford in the Philippines, this new normal means keeping up with her workload in a familiar yet new setting while also juggling her two young daughters – Jeorgina and Jade, ages 4 and 6.
“One of my biggest challenges is that my girls see me, and they think, ‘Mom can play with me,’” said Bruno. “I have to explain to them in ways they can understand that I have to do my job. Still, someone is always asking me for a pen, paper or a snack.”
The quarantine period in the Philippines began March 15. Bruno’s office had been taking steps to prepare for this scenario, but when it did happen, it was still a big adjustment. Initially, she thought she might be able to continue reporting to the office, but then that changed too, and like so many others, she has found herself working to quickly adjust to new routines in a different environment.
“The first hurdle for me was finding a space at home to work,” she said. “I don’t have connectivity issues, but I’m lacking office space.”
Bruno is using her daughters’ study table as a desk and is fortunate to have her parents living with her to offer some extra hands. While doable, the new environment presents a lot of challenges for everyone involved.
“My oldest daughter can tell time, and she knows I usually finish my workday at five,” said Bruno. “Sometimes, I have a meeting that runs late, and she’ll ask me why I’m not done yet. It’s all about finding the right balance and helping them understand.”
With the situation changing rapidly in all parts of the world as the virus continues to spread, Bruno said she is working hard to keep her stress and worry at bay while keeping her girls, her parents and herself safe and healthy. “We heard a neighbor five doors down tested positive for COVID-19, and that was very nerve-racking,” she said. “I’ve really had to lean on my faith, and just do whatever I can to maintain a positive attitude.”
Parents everywhere can relate to Bruno’s predicament. She says it’s been helpful to find time for herself and look for ways to maintain a somewhat normal routine. Morning quiet time allows her to get ready for work as she normally would and to get her mind in the right place. Her office has been providing virtual Zumba classes, so that helps her keep her focus as well.