What I’ve learned working remotely for 1 full week

TelecommutingWork From HomeWorking Remotely

Tomorrow will mark the end of my first *full* week working remotely. I’ve been in my new role for over a month now but I’ve been working on-site at the HQ for at least a portion of each week, until this one. And while working from home is nothing new for me, doing so for a whole week + knowing this is what my new normal is, is a marked change.

So what’s it been like and why is this full week down such a big occasion?

  1. I don’t walk anywhere near as much. Duh right? But fitness trackers make it clear just how big of a drop it’s been. Consider: in my last role I would walk 3 miles each day just getting to/from the office on the train. Sure it took some time but it was an easy walk and added in a good number of steps. Now if I don’t go to the gym or do anything my steps add up to less than 1/2 mile daily. This is easily changeable but it requires actively thinking, about, well, being active. Luckily I work out a lot and am able to walk to grocery stores and the like, but this would definitely add up to packing on the pounds if I wasn’t mindful of it.
  2. I eat the same things day in day out. I’ve always been a bit of a creature of habit. Even at an office I’ve been known to eat basically the same thing for weeks on end (and by weeks I actually mean months). Working remotely I do this too but I’m noticing that I’ve been eating the foods I often have for dinner on repeat now too since I have access to the stove and oven. I don’t mind it… yet, but will surely have to add to my rotation of healthy, at home meals. If I find particular ones I like or think fit best into a busy remote day I’ll be sure to share them here.
  3. I have to be aware of actively involving myself in meetings. If you read my post earlier this week about my first 3 hour working session you know that I’ve been spending a good chunk of time on the telephone and which has inherent challenges. That was a big accomplishment for me and something that if I am being completely honest I wasn’t quite sure how I would fair in. But like many other things in life it’s largely about your attitude. Sometimes while working from home I need to consciously tell myself to “pay attention,” a simple trick that really works for me. Interestingly enough sometimes I can truly focus more on these calls because I can get up and walk around, something that I’m sure I could do while in person (how many times do you see meeting participants simply strolling around a conference room to keep their blood moving?) though maybe I am learning ways to maintain my active engagement in, in person meetings too!
  4. I’m realizing my current desk space is inadequate. I’ve been planning on getting a new desk but finally pulled the trigger because it was becoming a problem. I need space to sprawl out and my Ikea mini desk which has served me very well for 2.5+ years was no longer doing the job.
  5. I don’t know how I survived college with just a laptop. I desperately need a monitor. Luckily I have one on its way from my company but it can’t get here soon enough. I also have no idea how I survived just working off a laptop screen in college. Probably because I was 10+ years junior and because I wasn’t in excel so much.
  6. The importance of a good chair. My back is starting to hurt and I think it’s a combination of a few of the above things, namely not walking as much (even just to the bathroom, to my car or to transit, etc.), sitting at a small desk, not having a monitor, probably getting older as well, and also not having the best chair. I am now on the hunt for a new chair but in the meantime will use pillows and continue to move myself around a bit each hour.

While this may seem simply like a list of gripes (oops) but really I am enjoying this work arrangement so much and am so grateful I am getting this opportunity. It’s not without its challenges but what is? And not having to wash my hair daily (who I am kidding, I didn’t do that when I did go into an office daily) or deal with a commute or relocate for a company is such a huge upside that I welcome these various side effects of this telecommute job with open arms!

Do you work remotely? What have you learned about your work-style while doing so? Share your thoughts below.

Acing the LONG conference call from home
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