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Quarantine Year in Review

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By: Taylor Maleski Lifestyle, Writer & Blogger at Tone of Taylor 

Can you believe it’s been over a year since the pandemic first hit? 2020 was full of many highs and what felt like even more lows. As the world has slowly begun to get back to “normal," optimism in the air - and the temperatures rising certainly helps!

The pandemic/quarantine experience taught us a lot about ourselves. It forced us to prioritize what truly matters to us and forced us to grow in ways we may not necessarily have been ready for. Now that we’ve been able to take a moment to breathe, a Quarantine Year in Review is in order! John, Hannah, Callie, and Ariel - all part of our team at Happy Box - have all experienced 2020-2021 differently. Read on to get their perspectives and learn a little bit about what it's like to work at Happy Box!

What is your role at Happy Box?
John: Inventory Operations Manager 
Hannah: Co-Founder
Callie: Strategic Projects & Operations Manager
Ariel: Co-Founder

How long have you been working at Happy Box/what made you join? 
John: I have been here for about 6 months now. I was looking for a fun, growing company with good energy and growth potential. 
Hannah: From the start, when it was back in my apartment!
Callie: I joined the Happy Box team in May of 2020. I was in the middle of a job hunt and I was looking to work for a company that valued happiness in the workplace. There was no better fit than Happy Box; it was meant to be!
Ariel: Since the dawn of Happy Box time! Hannah brought the idea to me in college and we started to execute it (for real) years later.

What has the pandemic taught you to appreciate and/or never take for granted again? 

John: Sitting at a bar.
Hannah: Time with family and our health. I feel like we will all live healthier for the better and we will appreciate time with loved ones more than we ever had before. 
Callie: The pandemic has taught me to appreciate my family and friends. I didn't get to see many of them over the past year or so, which has been very hard. We're excited to all start seeing each other again and give big hugs! I also appreciate going out to eat and to wineries much more now.
Ariel: Time with friends. I missed just going to dinner with someone and spending time with people who are slightly outside my bubble, but still super important to me.

How has quarantine benefitted you? 
John: I found a job at Happy Box 
Hannah: I think it forced me to get more organized personally and professionally. I think owning your own business you never really achieve true "work life balance" because making sure the business and your team are ok is always on your mind - but being in quarantine forced me to figure out when and how to make hard lines and blurred lines when it comes to work life and personal life. It was also the time when Ariel and I realized we had to shift the business from a side-hustle to a full time job for both of us, which we couldn't be happier about!
Callie: Quarantine has benefitted me by reminding me how important it is to take care of yourself first. You really do need some extra "me" time every week. It's important to rest and recharge. I often get caught up in my work and tend to thrive when I'm moving a million miles per minute. However, it's important to have those self reflective moments where you can check in on yourself and ask your mind and body what they need.
Ariel: I think it helped me realize the difference between who I want in my life and who I thought I wanted in my life. I have a much firmer grasp on real friendships now than I ever have. 

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic? 
John: Quarantine gave me a lot of time to really reflect on what I want in life. Which is mostly just to drink coffee and sit around with my dog. 
Hannah: This is something random I learned, but I learned I am a mid-morning workout person! I never knew because working a corporate job I never had the opportunity to work out mid morning....it was always before work or after work. 
Callie: During the pandemic, I learned that I actually DO like to stay in a lot! I'm quite the homebody and quarantine was the perfect excuse to channel that side of myself. I also moved during the pandemic, and discovered that I really like decorating a new space and making it feel homey!
Ariel: I learned I like being alone! I'm a SERIOUS extrovert, but quarantine gave me time to recharge alone and honestly, it was long overdue.

What are you most excited about for the "new normal"? 
John: Shorter lines at Trader Joes
Hannah: I think that the blended work environment (some in person and some remote) is here to stay and I'm here for it. We spend so much time in our lives at the office and just having the ability to make lunch in your own kitchen or the ability to sleep right until your first meeting I think adds a lot of value to the day. Sleep and self care are important. Comfort is important. My commute was not historically bad, and still just not worrying about what to wear, doing makeup and getting on the subway is just a relief I never knew I needed. I think if employees are happier and are more comfortable, they will appreciate "in person" time more, and they will be more productive remotely as a result.
Callie: I'm excited that the "new normal" will make it less taboo to have more WFH time. I think that's a great aspect that has come out of the pandemic. Often I find that I can be more productive at home when I'm less distracted, so it has really benefited my work productivity. 
Ariel: I am looking forward to seeing our employees' beautiful faces! We built such a strong team while in quarantine, and I can't wait to build a strong in-person presence to compliment our kick-ass remote presence!

Did this make you pause and think about your year in review? Feel free to DM us at @happyboxstore on Instagram with your answers - we love to hear from you!

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