In October, I started working for Digital Fusion, a Denver-based digital marketing agency. Today, I’m the only full-time remote employee, which means I work out of my home in Indianapolis.
Since I’ve started, I’ve talked to many people about what it’s like. These conversations got me thinking about all the things I love and don’t love about being a remote employee. So here you have it…
Apologies in advance if you have a long drive to work. I’ve been there too. However, working from home is great when it comes to the commute! Mine consists of walking from my bedroom to my bathroom to brush my teeth and from my bathroom to my office. Of course, there’s a detour to the kitchen for coffee and oatmeal, and most of the time I stop in the living room to turn on the Today Show for background noise.
The dress code.
If I’m video chatting with colleagues, I may or may not adhere to a different dress code than my typical WFH ‘uniform’. Most of the time, however, you’ll find me wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and theses cute owl slippers my friend, Kate, got me for Christmas. If I didn’t exercise every day I’m sure I’d forget to shower on some days.
The office companion.
If you don’t know Dug, check him out on Instagram @thedogdug. Occasionally he will even make an appearance in a company meeting.
The cleanliness (sort of) of my house.
I say ‘sort of’ because, let’s be honest, I’m not the cleanest person in the world. While people in an office wander around their office during a conference call, I wander around my house. This can lead to decluttering or folding laundry, which is certainly nice to take care of during the day. Remember, I don’t have coworkers to talk to and catch up with, so, yes, sometimes these chores simply get accomplished when I need a mental break.
The quiet. (Most of the time.)
If you guessed that the ‘most of the time’ has to do with the office companion mentioned earlier – you’d be correct. Sometimes I forget to pick up his toys that have squeakers in them and I really regret it in the middle of a call. Otherwise, not having to worry about drive-by conversations that distract me from whatever I’m in the middle of doing is great.
The lack of human contact.
I do not count talking about the weather before a call starts as human contact, and I talk to Dug A LOT. Need I say more?
The forgetfulness of colleagues.
No offense to the team at Digital Fusion! I can’t imagine I’m the only remote employee this happens to, but because I’m not visible in the office, I sometimes get left out of meetings. I’ve learned to overcome this challenge by IMing a colleague (or three) in advance of a team meeting to make sure someone starts the online meeting and dials me in.
The lack of camaraderie.
Even if they do forget to dial me in on occasion, our team is amazing. I get to work with a lot of awesome, talented people, but what’s not awesome is that I don’t get to see them every day. This makes it hard to feel like part of the team and really get to know everyone. However, I must say that our team goes out of their way to help with this. Whether it’s FaceTiming me into a pumpkin carving party or shipping me my very own gong to use for celebrating new business…I’m lucky.
The inability to leave work.
When your office is your home you’re always at work. It can be really hard to unplug at the end of the day – especially when the rest of the team is on MST. We probably need to have another conversation about unplugging in general, because we know we’re all guilty of that.
The cupcakes in the breakroom!
If my neighbor, Frank, is reading this – thank you for sympathizing with me on this very topic. All of us get too much email and when you’re the remote employee, you get all of the emails that aren’t relevant to you since you aren’t in the office. And then there are the Reply All replies to those emails… Let’s just say someone (I won’t name names) sent out an email to everyone about accidentally eating cottage cheese that wasn’t his.
….you know who you are.
The good news is that Digital Fusion’s presence in Indianapolis is growing! So, soon I’ll have the perfect balance of being able to work from home when needed, but have an office to go into when I need the human interaction and a change of scenery. If you’re interested, here’s who we’re looking for.