Originally published 6/11/2021
Our "Day in a New York Life" series offers you a look into the daily lives of New York Life’s employees who are giving their time and expertise to our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that welcome all employees and help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and are aligned with New York Life’s mission, values, and goals.
Scott Bell is a Corporate Vice President at New York Life. He leads the Human Resources governance team, which helps manage risk for all New York Life employees. He is also co-chair of the Black Organization for Leadership & Development (BOLD) ERG.
Scott lives in New York with his wife, Crystal, and their two year-old daughter, Ava. Here, he tells us about his typical day, working at home.
Getting the day rolling
My day starts at around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. First I do half an hour, or 45 minutes, in the makeshift gym in the basement. I start the coffee brewing before I head down so when I come back upstairs I can have a cup to get my day going while I read the news. Sometimes I have a bowl of cereal or a granola bar, just to get me rolling.
Time for dad
When Ava wakes up, around 8:15 a.m., I switch into Daddy mode. I get her dressed and ready. I do mornings and my wife Crystal (she’s my rock!) handles the evenings because I’m usually still working. While I’m getting Ava ready, Crystal takes our dog, Miles, out for a walk. If Crystal has an early morning meeting, I’ll make sure my calendar is free. It’s a balance between the both of us in this work-at-home environment.
Next, I head upstairs to get my work day started; although I’ve already taken a peek at my emails before Ava wakes up, just in case there’s anything I need to address quickly.
The most challenging thing about working remotely is that in normal times we’d all love to catch each other in the hallway or the elevator, and go to lunch in the cafeteria–New York Life is a very demonstrative company. Moving to a remote environment really impacted that, but eventually we all leaned into it. I still network remotely but it’s just not the same as going for coffee.
Meetings and Zoom/Microsoft Teams have taken over the day-to-day. But if I do have time free during the day, I’ll take Ava for a walk, or we’ll spend our time together laughing and joking or reading—Green Eggs and Ham is her favorite at the moment.
BOLD-ly going forward
Our BOLD community went through so much in 2020. Our group became a safe harbor where it was ok to be vulnerable, where everyone could talk and share how we were feeling. I think the hardest thing for many of us was the appearance of being ok, when we were not ok. BOLD started a self-care series to help with the internal self-awareness and wellness. We had a therapist and psychologists come in to talk about the impacts of COVID-19 and social injustice, and how we couldn’t let what was happening dictate our futures.
On a rising tide
The self-care series taught me that if we’re not good to ourselves, then we’re no good to our families, our friends, and the company. How we show up to work every day is critical for our advancement and development.
My BOLD co-chair is always telling me, “a rising tide raises all ships.” So I always think of BOLD as being that tide. As long as we can continue to draw attention to the experiences and culture of the Black community, we’re not only raising people of color, we’re raising our allies, and we’re raising the overall culture of New York Life. Then we all get better, become united, and grow together as one.
My tenure as co-chair ends at the end of the year. Crystal asked me, “What are you going to do?” I was like, “I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll find something else to fill my time.” I’ve always worked more than I probably should. When I’m not working, when I’m not dad, son, or uncle, I’m a pretty mediocre golfer. That’s my escape, my self-care. If I find time, I try to get out on the golf course, just to find quiet, get centered, and get back to being everything I need to be.
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