This profile series aims to bring some realness to the work-from-home conversation and hopefully, a bit of levity as we navigate the new normal of social distancing. At the end of the day, we are all in this together trying to do the best we can.
What type of work do you do and how long have you been working from home?
I am a Senior Recruiter for a tech company based in a different state than where I live. I have been working from home 3–4 days a week for the past four years. I go into our local office once every two weeks or so.
Describe your work from home setup.
I have a dedicated home office with a standing desk, under-desk treadmill and stability stool. I also have dual monitors, a docking station for my laptop and a webcam for meetings and interviews since I work remotely.
What do you do to get into work mode?
I don't go straight to my desk. I wake up, make an attempt at getting ready (e.g. hygiene and getting dressed), make some coffee, eat breakfast, tell the kids bye for the morning work block and then head to my office. I turn on Slack and say hi to my coworkers (like you would if you were walking into an office) and then get to it!
Are there any work-from-home challenges that you find surprising?
I find myself not leaving the house for days on end, which is not a healthy habit. I also tend to work without any breaks because there are fewer distractions than a traditional office setting. I can look up and it's the end of the day and I haven't taken a break.
What’s the one work-from-home item that you can’t live without (besides your computer and cell phone)?
STANDING DESK and white noise machine to muffle any external sounds, especially now that my kids are home from school all day.
What are you most looking forward to when you can go back to the office?
Gourmet coffee machine, our all-office lunches and the PEOPLE!
What is your funniest or most cringe-worthy work-from-home experience?
My back used to face the door to my office, which is basically a giant window. Usually my husband is getting ready for work about the time I am starting meetings. One morning, he didn't realize I was on a video call and he was running around frantically in the background with nothing but his underwear on, looking for his work clothes. Since my back is to the door, I didn't know this was happening until my leader asked if there was a mostly naked man in my house. My husband met that manager later this year at a company family picnic and greeted him by saying, "Nice to meet you with clothes on!" Luckily the leader had a good sense of humor about it all.
What song title describes your work from home mood right now and why?
Green Day — Welcome to Paradise
Based on this experience, would you elect to work from home permanently?
I have the best of both worlds: I work from home when I want but can also go into an office when I prefer. I enjoy my work from home commute (5 steps if there is no traffic — Ha!) but would really miss meeting with my colleagues in person if I worked from home permanently. I mostly go into the office for the camaraderie when it's needed.
And finally… Real clothes, comfy clothes or a combination of both?
BOTH! But mostly comfy clothes.