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Working from home means working harder than ever.

by: Kim Smith Office Management

A glimpse at how we’re acclimating to juggling work and life at home.

Just as with many other businesses, we have been learning to adapt to working from home. At the same time, the rest of our families are home as well, leaving little to no separation between home life and work life. This means we are not only working from home but have also taken on the responsibility of educating our children.

 

"
Things have been rough. I am used to working from home but with three kids it’s a whole new world. I have a four year old who needs not only parenting but teaching… and twins who are in a sleep regression peak… and a house to keep up with… and a job to do… and a husband who’s home and while that totally helps it also adds more clutter! Hah. You never realize how messy your house will be when you have everyone home all day every day. I am feeling ok and finding ways to time block and schedule to really keep my mind on track. But it is definitely difficult.”
- Madison, Project Manager (pictured above)

 

Our team has learned the following are important to be successful while working from home:

  • Structure your workday
  • Get up from your workspace and take a break now and then
  • Be creative
  • Find time to refresh your mind and body
  • Reach out to others – Social Media has been great for this
  • Try to laugh and smile
 

Clara is putting these principles into practice. She tells me,

 

"
"I think being in the smaller office, it's been easier to work from home. It doesn't feel too different. I do miss the community feel of the office, and it can be lonely, but with work and podcasts, I do OK. For me, I can maintain work hours while working from home, so that's not a struggle. I try to stay on task so I can relax in the evening."
- Clara, Digital Strategist

 

This is the end of the 5th week, and I think that we might be getting the hang of this! We are working harder than ever from home. The hours seem to blend together, and the next thing you know, it’s dark outside and the day is over. We are working hard at staying connected to our clients.

 

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"I personally have been able to adapt easily. I enjoy working from home and think it has been a good experience. Because the team is available and willing to meet on a video call when needed, we do just fine. Some things are definitely easier to do in person - like white-boarding sessions - but overall, we are making this work. I also like the fact that we have started using video for client calls. Most of our client meetings already used to happen remotely, but we didn’t use the camera. I feel more connected to the clients now that we implemented this."
- Raquel, Digital Strategist

 

We have learned it is just as important to stay connected to each other as it is to stay connected with our clients.  As one of my coworkers, Brady put it;

 

"
"You weren't planning for a pandemic. You're stuck at home with your crazy kids (and/or animals), you're using god knows what in lieu of toilet paper, but most of all, you're missing your coworkers."
- Brady, Solutions Analyst

 

For this reason, we have scheduled virtual hangouts to stay connected:

  • Morning Coffee - a daily chat with our friends while we get up to speed before getting our workday started.  During one of these morning coffees I learned how very creative and talented one of our designers, Morgan is. Her artwork is wonderful! I have also learned that some people are not early risers.
  • Thirsty Thursday - a weekly happy hour in place of our usual biweekly Fireside (if we were in the office.) But just because we're in quarantine, doesn't mean we can't have a beverage alone... together!
  • Friday Luncheon - once a week we virtually have lunch with the rest of the team. I have learned that we genuinely miss each other. While it might have been nice to be away from everyone the first week, we now can’t wait to see each other even if it is just by video. Another observation from lunch: we are getting creative in meal prep depending on what we can find at the grocery store; I think some of us may try out for the next season of Top Chef. 😊

 

 

Last week we had a pet photo contest.  

Our pets have become our new daily co-workers. We have a lot of cute, adorable, funny pets that live with our team. Some of my human co-workers have pets that are getting into trouble, including: eating furniture, typing on keyboards, barking during client calls, etc. Others have pets that are just so cute, like these guys!

 

doggos, kitties and ouch mouse

 

On a more serious note, our families are being impacted, just as many of yours are. I learned from several of my co-workers the same thing that has happened in our house; everyone has either been laid off or let go, so we only have one family member that is working. This is putting additional stress on families. Our hope is that these individuals will be able to get back to work soon.

We are very appreciative of our clients, our essential workers (from healthcare workers to first responders to grocery clerks) and each other. We will see each other soon. We will be able to go back to the office. We will be able to have coffee and lunch with each other in person. One day soon, we will all be together once again.

Stay healthy!