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The GSG QuaranTEAM: Andy Ho & Sophie Wright

Andy Ho

Senior Vice President, Technology
Isolating in Tenafly, NJ

What has been the biggest challenge, surprise, or learning since changing to a remote work environment?

Like every working parent with young children, my biggest challenge has been simultaneously taking care of the kids and work. Working remotely is one thing, but working remotely while trying to homeschool/entertain/monitor two kids is quite another. On top of that, (as a few of you know) I’m also struggling to take care of my aging parents. I know that’s not directly related to being in a remote work environment, but it plays a huge factor in my ability to work remotely and manage the kids with any semblance of sanity. Fortunately and not surprisingly, GSGers have been very understanding (shout out to the #parents_oasis Slack channel!), and for that I’m ever grateful. 

Have any of your strongest professional skills been tested or broken?

I really miss the comradery of the office and the ability to get the pulse of what’s going on in Research and CPA just by having lunch in the kitchen or having a beer on a Friday evening at the picnic table. I now have to work that much harder to get the same sense of what’s-going-on, though the occasional #digitalcloseness virtual happy hour has helped.

How do you differentiate your “work” vs “personal” time?

I think the biggest way I differentiate “work” vs “personal” time is on how I dress. From the moment I started working at home, I made a commitment that if I’m working, I would still dress like I’m coming into the office. As such, if I’m working, I will still wear button-down dress shirts, khakis, and dress socks. (But no dress shoes…or any shoes in the house. That would hurt my Asian sensibilities.) And when I’m not working, it’s generally all t-shirts and shorts (or sweats). Believe it or not, the clothes really help me keep things distinct in my mind.

What is the first thing you plan to do post-isolation?

Visit my niece in LA! She was born on May 28th (my wedding anniversary!) and I’ve only been able to see her on video. I cannot wait to meet her in person.

What is the last show you binge watched or guilty pleasure movie of choice?

I recently watched Be Water, ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary on Bruce Lee, which was absolutely fantastic! In fact, I watched it twice – once by myself and then a second time with the whole family. My wife and I also watched The Claudia Kiishi Club, a very short Netflix documentary on the only Asian main character in all of Western YA literature The Baby-Sitters Club.

Finally, I’m working my way through the last season of Into the Badlands on Netflix. That one I’m watching by myself – it’s too violent for everyone else.

Have you discovered any hidden talents or taken up any new hobbies?

Besides continuing to wear work clothes while working from home, I made one more commitment. Since I’m no longer commuting, I committed to waking up at the same time each morning and using my regular 75-minute commute time to work out. I have not worked out regularly in years and so this was NOT easy for me. Within a week of just working out in my basement, my brain kind of snapped and I needed to get outside. So one morning, I put on my sneakers, stepped out the front door, and just started running. Keep in mind that I have historically hated running (there’s a reason why my only competitive sport as a kid was swimming), so this was a completely new thing for me and both my brain and body knew it. Within 1000 feet of my house, my brain started screaming “WTF ARE YOU DOING?!?!” and not long after that, my legs slowed to a walk and I was gasping for breath. But, I’ve kept it up every weekday morning trying to run just a little bit further each time. And now, after 4 months, I can finally do 3.1 miles (i.e., a 5K) at a go. So, there’s that!

Also, in between my runs, I’ve discovered DAREBEE. It’s a free workout site (though they take donations) with over a thousand exercise routines and a lot of fitness resources. It’s also right up my alley because it’s super, super nerdy. I mean, they have workouts named The Cake is a Lie, Run You Clever Boy and Remember, and Lannister. Bonus points if you know what the first two refer to (without peeking). You lose points if you don’t know where that last workout name comes from.

Sophie Wright

Associate, Marketing and New Business
Isolating in Denver, CO

What has been the biggest challenge, surprise, or learning since changing to a remote work environment?

In early March, I went back to Denver to quarantine. This meant I was moving back into my parents’ home. As you can imagine, this has its challenges and surprises, but overall I love it (and I think my parents do too). We’ve found a routine that works for all of us, which includes cooking elaborate meals, going on long bike rides, and drinking homemade lattes together every morning as we read the newspaper.

How do you differentiate your “work” vs “personal” time?

This is tough. The newest trick I’m trying is to light my favorite candle to signify the end of the “work day.”

What is the first thing you plan to do post-isolation?

A New York City rooftop bar crawl – anyone’s welcome to join me!

What meal have you made the most often?

Living in New York City, I rarely cooked because cooking for one can seem like a chore. But now back in my parents always fully stocked kitchen, I’ve found cooking to be quite fun! We sit down at the beginning of each week and plan a menu. Some highlights have been homemade ramen, sushi, and vegetable green curry.

I’ve also been baking sourdough bread, per my HERstory.

Have you discovered any hidden talents or taken up any new hobbies?

I’ve been sharpening my roller blading skills.

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