How has work in Information Technology changed since remote operations began at UW Bothell? Adri MacArthur, IT customer relationship manager, answers questions from N.L. Sweeney.
Q. What would you normally be doing and where? Where are you now?
A. I am working remotely. My new office came with two furry interns, Murphy (black cat) and Stevie (white cat). While my environment has changed, I’m still doing what I would be normally doing this time of year, but I’m focusing on work I would never have anticipated.
We are currently preparing for autumn quarter, like normal, but instead of working through the projects on our project plan, we are now focusing on helping the campus acclimate to teaching, learning and working remotely. Now that we can be more proactive — unlike spring quarter — we are more intentional about the resources we are providing to campus and improving upon the practices put in place to support everyone.
Q. What are you working on today?
A. Today I am working to improve the overall structure and content of our IT website so that it can be a reliable digital resource for students, faculty and staff. I’ve really improved my skills in Kentico (our content management system for the website) and have enjoyed engaging with people to understand what information they are looking for from IT.
Q. What adjustments have you made to fulfill your responsibilities?
A. Since moving to a remote environment, every morning I meet with my leadership team via Zoom, and we discuss what we are all working on that day. It has been really great to start my day with these video calls because they really help my mindset get into “working mode” while still in my bedroom. I also get a lot of positive energy from the conversations we have, and I use that energy to get my day started (that and a cup of coffee).
Q. What are you doing to care for yourself or for others?
A. When we first started planning for COVID-19 impacts at the beginning of March, we were running a million miles an hour to get as much done before moving remote. Christy Long, our CIO, started to remind us that “this is a marathon, not a sprint.” We have to take care of ourselves, and it’s more important now than ever.
We also need to remember to maintain a higher level of compassion for one another because none of us has ever been through a pandemic before. Personally, I have enjoyed stepping outside onto my deck with my two cats every day to breathe in the fresh air. We couldn’t open the windows in the library, so this has been a welcome change!
Q. Do you have a change of perspective to share?
A. I have really learned to slow down and be present. It’s easy to get caught up in work because there is always more you could be doing. It’s easy to feel like you are never doing enough. Help remind others that they are doing enough because they are doing their best. Remember to practice kindness and have patience. We’re all learning right now.
Q. What other thoughts or feelings do you want to share?
A. No matter where we are in the 2020-21 school year, we are still one UW Bothell. I am so happy, now more than ever, to be part of a community of people so dedicated to delivering an amazing experience to our students.