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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

May 19, 2020

Three "A’s” of Working Remotely

Submitted by Trudy Rice

As we near the end of May with the start of summer just around the corner it is time to think about what impact working remotely has had on each of us as an Extension professional and on K-State Research and Extension as an organization. Framing this around the three A’s has helped me reflect on my personal experience.

• Aha-I have been amazed at how adaptable I have been at learning new technology. I use to become very frustrated when the process was more difficult than the project. It has been great to have the time and support to really learn to use new technology that will continue to be of value in the future. I now find it a good challenge when someone introduces me to a new technology tool or platform and look forward to learning about it and how to apply it in our daily programming to enhance the educational experiences of our audiences.

• Apology-I apologize first to my family. It seems like work is never done or out of sight! This is an ongoing challenge to end the work day and start family time. I also apologize to my co-workers for the 5 a.m. texts and emails they receive from me and for when I do not answer theirs after 8 p.m.! I also apologize for sometimes turning off the video during a Zoom meeting because someone is interrupting me in my office.
• Appreciation-I have really appreciated the flexibility of when and where I work and that I am evaluated on productivity rather than time on the clock. I appreciate a self driven KSRE Community Vitality team that works to support each other and build upon our own unique strengths. I have also really appreciated the support from campus with technology and social media. Their support is what has allowed me to have the aha I mentioned first.

I challenge you to use this exercise individually and/or as a unit to talk about what each one of us have learned about ourselves and others during the last two months of working remotely in a disrupted environment that for many is starting to feel comfortable and others not so much!

Next week there will be no column on working remotely. We will pick up again in June with twice monthly columns. I would like to feature a success story from a state, regional, or local unit once a month (this piece depends on you sharing your successes and challenges with trice@ksu.edu) and also provide some best practices for “flexsite” working that includes how to continue to work as a team when employees are working from different places and in a variety of environments.