#WFH Diaries: Sarah Snyder Lyons and Tom Lyons of SocialCode

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Sarah Snyder Lyons and Tom Lyons of SocialCode.

Give us a one-line bio of yourselves.

Sarah = the brains. Tom = Wait, sorry ... what?

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

We moved from our apartment in Brooklyn to Rhode Island with our 19-month-old twin daughters. Next door to us are the girls' 80-year-old grandparents, and a few towns over are the girls' cousins. 

What's your work situation like at the moment?

We are both very grateful to have full-time employment. Tom runs a creative practice and Sarah runs a media practice under the same company, SocialCode. We already have teams who are cross-office and region, so video hangouts are a big part of our work life. 

Today our days are filled with hopping in and out of the available space in the house, on the deck or on the move, tuning into calls on or off video with varying degrees of success. Getting to the end of each day feels like a way bigger win than before because you've been through the kid gauntlet at least seven times day-start to day-end. We get better every day and have only totally screwed up two or three calls over a few weeks on double duty. So, winning!

Describe your socializing strategy.

The girls fill up our social calendar. Our friends, family, nannies are all lined up to FaceTime with us just to see them and see how big they've grown and how many words they can say. Beyond that, we've attempted a few video hangouts with friends. 

How are you dealing with childcare?

Sarah: At first, it was about managing the quarantine—14 days never mattered so much. For the first one to two weeks in R.I., we worked full time and were full-time parents (yikes!). Between family and neighbors who have quarantined for over 14 days, we have finally hit a groove of consistent daily childcare that has provided a huge amount of relief. 

Tom: I do it all.

What are you reading?

Both: I Love You Through and Through, Goodnight Moon.

Tom: The 5th Risk, IHME, Goodnight Moon.

Sarah: Brooklyn mom blog, ad trades, and on a constant quest for more time.

What are you watching?

Both: Ozark, Tiger King.

Sarah: Bravo (when Tom allows).

Tom: American Pickers, Antiques Roadshow (when Sarah allows).

What are you listening to?

Tom: John Prine, Playing for Change.

Sarah: Drake, RITMO on repeat, Beyoncé (always), Spotify Mood Booster.

How are you staying fit?

Sarah: I swing in and out of being really serious about working out, pre and during Covid. At home I was meeting with a trainer two or three times a week and going to SoulCycle on weekends. I've mostly moved to a rotation of app workouts on BeachBody and Peloton and kind of love it. 

Tom: I watch Sarah work out. It looks exhausting. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

Our hobby is googling hobbies so we don't feel like losers with no hobbies. Sigh. But while we haven't been exploring new hobbies, we've been the best parents we've ever been with so much time at home with the girls.

Any tips for getting necessities?

With kids it just comes down to how we get more healthy food options on the table, while spending less time actually cooking. Pro tips: Simplify with pre-marinated pork loins, Perdue chicken breasts and chicken nuggets, pre-baked hams and frozen veggies and frozen lasagnas. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

There is nothing more awkward than waking up to the realization that your biggest worry is what channel to host your video chat when people are sick and dying and you're limited in your ability to help.

Best work email you got since all this started.

A few clients have written and said, "Thanks for helping out." (Hey clients, that's really all we want.)

An aha! moment since all this started.

Save jobs! Everyone should do what they can. If you are a partner to a hotel, restaurant, airline, whatever it may be—give away as much as you can so maybe you save even one job. If you are a client and your business is doing well, or can do well online, then pay a fair wage to your vendors as they are saving jobs. Save jobs. And if you are a consumer and have the means, buy online and save jobs. And stay home and keep social distancing. So let's go! 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Look, this is a horrible, terrible tragedy. What we hope, if we are lucky enough to live through this—and that is not meant glibly—is that we can tell our kids we worked hard to save lives, to save jobs, and we reinvented the way things work.  That the essential workforce gets the respect and compensation they deserve. And we reinvented how education happens, how much we travel for business, what the office of a 300-person company looks like. And after all the sacrifice and loss, we can respect science and respect each other. (Tom: And respect sports!)

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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