As firms across the world were forced into mandatory work from home policy during the worst months of the pandemic, many employees have realized gains and losses from the new working dynamic. In a recent conversation with my niece who has worked from home for the last 4 years, I gained some interesting insight into the pros of this working environment.
My niece, Elizabeth is a recruiter for a consulting firm. Most of her firm has been working remotely prior to the pandemic. “I think it really begins with understanding when you are the most productive,” she describes. “I am definitely a morning person, I love getting the bulk of my work done first thing in the morning while having coffee – the coffee of my choice since I can make any kind from home!” No commute means having more time to spend on work, and less time deciding what to wear to the office. All of this extra time can be poured into designing your day to be more efficient. “I run everyday between 11 to 1pm depending on my schedule. Being able to workout everyday is so important to me, and having the autonomy to decide when is a privilege. I feel lucky to have this autonomy and I believe it makes me a better employee.” That’s not the only thing she loves about it, as she spent many summers traveling abroad. “The freedom of location means I can go away when I want and for as long as I want, as long as I have working internet and the time zone is relatively close to NY.” Elizabeth has worked remotely from Italy, Prague and Portugal most recently. “Being remote has given me the ability to create my ideal life that does not revolve around some corporation’s understanding of how the work day should be structured. This way of working enables me to plan my ideal schedule based on my productivity periods (mornings) and energy level. I know I am most productive when I first wake up, and use that to my advantage. I don’t need constant motivation from others, which I know can be a hindrance for some people.” It does somewhat come down to personality type, some people thrive when they are around colleagues and given times to show up, but there are some hacks she mentions to create this effect. “You can set an alarm just like you would to go into the office. You can set an alarm to remind you to switch tasks, you can Zoom with your colleagues or Slack them constantly – all of this creates more of an office like environment with the added perk of more autonomy.” She also goes to different coffee shops usually in the afternoon to switch up the environment. “I gain inspiration from being in different locations for my work, so I usually rotate between 3-4 different coffee places all for a different vibe. It’s a wonderful thing to have freedom of location.” Working from home opens up possibilities to be creative and accomplishing your goals.