Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Technology Roundtable

What professional strategies are helping during COVID-19?

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic continue to affect our personal and professional lives, especially as we think about the months of social distancing behind and ahead of us. In our first tech roundtable, we asked some of our tenants how technology's role has evolved in their lives during the pandemic.

In this second installment, we asked What strategy has helped you the most professionally during the pandemic? and our tenants were just as candid with us. We hope you enjoy the responses below and maybe even find a few ideas to help you out.

Part 3 What's your number one social distancing lifesaver right now? is ready for you as well!

Alex Shimla, Program Director, Co.Labs (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“Disconnecting and getting exercise. I think it is important to give your brain space to be creative and if all you hear is dings 24/7 from your laptop plugged in 4 feet away it can get overwhelming. As well, trying to fit regular activity throughout the day to keep energy levels up while working. The worst feeling in the world is lethargically sitting in front of a monitor and experiencing zombie brain. Take a walk while on that call, squeeze in some push ups between meetings (elbows in), or whatever activity suits your fancy.”

Katrina German, Director of Digital Awesomeness, (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“We immediately reduced as many costs as possible and also had to lay off some of our staff. Keeping a lean bottom line is crucial to ensuring the longevity of the company. Staying in daily contact with my remaining staff through Slack and our project management system, Clickup, has been extremely important right now.”

Tyson Liske, Vice President Marketing and Communications, Lumeca (Innovation Place, Regina)

“That's a great question. I'm still trying to figure that out. For me, I've chosen to invest in personal relationships, trying to reach out and connect with those I haven't seen in awhile. This helps to balance out the new normal we find ourselves in, giving me a renewed perspective. Being available for friends and having friends available to connect with (albeit virtually) has helped me immensely. Coupled with that, trying to be protective of my time with my family at home helps bring balance. Startup life brings its own unique opportunities and challenges and the pull to work can be strong. But I have found that I am at my best when my life is more balanced, including work, family, recreation time and exercise.”

Jeff Dyck, Director of Engineering, Mentor, a Siemens Business (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“For me, remaining focused on solving our customers' problems and on delivering on business targets is the main thing. That's nothing new – it's always the main thing. However, the pandemic brings with it a lot of genuine challenges and even more frivolous distractions, and it takes more discipline than usual to keep our eyes on the prize.”

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“Many on the SHRF team have found it useful to stick to a routine. For some that has meant sticking to a similar routine that existed before the pandemic, minus the commute to the office. For others, that routine has needed to adapt to the fact that we share our current workspace with family members who are also working from home or doing schoolwork. The blending of our work and home life requires flexibility and understanding, and most importantly, communication so that deadlines and expectations are met, and the work keeps moving forward.

Brett Park, Co-founder, Shiverware (Innovation Place, Regina)

“The ability to conduct online meetings and communication with clients and within teams has been our best strategy. As we work with clients worldwide, during the pandemic I feel like we have been put on an even footing with other organizations that are closer to the clients as all teams are ‘remote’ now.”

Jackie Robin, Director of Communications, Ag-West Bio (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“We’ve been having brief staff meetings three mornings each week, where everyone checks in and has a chance to talk about how the pandemic is affecting their lives, both at home and at work – just to make sure that no one is feeling overwhelmed. This has helped us feel like we are still working as a team.”

Monique Simair, CEO and Founder, Maven Water & Environment (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that has resonated with me: ‘If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.’ With a situation that constantly changes in ways that are beyond our prediction (let alone control), focus on what you can influence or change, even if some days it’s only your attitude.”

Dr. Lidia Matei, Corporate Business Officer, Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (Innovation Place, Saskatoon)

“I found the shift towards online events beneficial and I am excited to virtually represent the Fedoruk Centre at the next Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNNMI). We will be present with a ‘virtual-real’ booth. It will be a new and exciting experience. Recently, the Fedoruk Centre – in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and Tourism Saskatoon – won the bidding process to host the International Conference on Isotopes in Saskatoon in 2022. We have a massive responsibility for the international scientific community and we are committed to achieving our goals. Now, we are focusing on different plans to start this project.”

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- May 25, 2020