Working from home has either been a seamless transition, or a difficult dynamic to get used to. For some, it helps to boost their productivity – and for others, it can be less than optimal.
In this week’s video, Isobel Phillips and Charlotte Moore discuss how working remotely fits into their lives. They also tap into the challenges they’ve faced, the solutions they’ve found to make the process easier, as well as share several top tips to help you, too.
With these two different perspectives, come different experiences in how to make remote working manageable.
Damson Cloud has been a remote working company for over a decade. With thanks to Google Workspace, Damson has uncovered lots of new ways to stay connected and on track – no matter where we are.
How Remote Working Fits Different Lifestyles
Both Charlotte and Isobel live very different lifestyles – but one thing that suits them both is the freedom that comes with remote working.
Charlotte’s experience of remote working has given her the opportunity to live in a campervan and explore Europe. Being able to fulfil one of her biggest passions was really important to her, so she could continue to travel while also enjoying the security of working full-time.
On the other hand, Isobel is permanently based in Ireland and has two young children. Working from home means she has the flexibility to be present with her family while still tending to her career. Isobel also has family overseas, which means anytime she needs to visit, she can simply take her work away with her.
When Charlotte first got the job at Damson Cloud, she was working from Valencia in Spain. From there, she moved to a co-living space in Palma, Mallorca with other digital nomads which she found really valuable and beneficial. By collaborating with like-minded people who had different experiences and ideas, she was exposed to many new concepts from different industries. She could then bring them back to Damson and incorporate them in new ways.
Similarly, Isobel appreciates remote working as she also likes to work from different places – whether it be from home, or in Dublin city centre. This is so she can connect with colleagues and clients locally, have interesting conversations and be inspired to create new ways to boost Damson Cloud’s strategies and offerings.
The Challenges of Working Remotely
While there are many benefits, remote working does come with its fair share of challenges.
For Charlotte, she finds that she misses in-person interactions with her colleagues. Her solution to this is coming back to Ireland once every 4-6 weeks, staying home for a week or two to do batch work, and then going back on her travels.
By not being around colleagues, this can often feel like there’s a disconnect amongst the team. Damson Cloud overcomes this in various ways – the main one being that the team like to spend the first 20 minutes of their Google Meet catching up on all the things that are going on in each other’s lives. This helps to fill that void of in-office chat, and means everyone can get to know one another on a more personal level.
For Isobel, she partially misses the structure that working in an office provides. Even with the commute, it gives you that space at the beginning and end of each day to listen to podcasts, get up-to-date on the news and simply just prepare for/process the day.
The main struggle for Isobel is separating the work life from home life. While there’s many advantages to it, working from home can feel like you’re constantly working as you find yourself balancing both work and home tasks. This means it can be hard to stop at the end of the day and set those much-needed boundaries.
Charlotte and Isobel’s Top Tips
There are several ways remote working can suit both the employee and the employer – here are Charlotte and Isobel’s suggestions:
Charlotte believes that being able to compromise on both sides is essential in order to achieve effective working relationships. Travelling around the world is a huge perk for Charlotte – so she is more than happy to offer flexibility in order to meet the needs of the company as and when necessary.
For Isobel, she agrees that commitments which are non-negotiable have to be made clear from the beginning. In her case – it is the school runs. Because of this, she knows she has to flex to work when she can, meaning she might have to spread her work out to make time and space for other things. While this does mean she has to manage her time better, it still offers a greater level of compromise and flexibility that working in an office cannot compete with.
Batch working is a way of working that focuses on one topic or task type at a time. This method is said to increase productivity, boost creativity and minimise time wasted.
This is something that Charlotte practices when she comes back to Ireland. As she is responsible for creating the videos at Damson Cloud, when she is home, the team will film eight weeks’ worth of videos with her in-person. This means that when she returns from her travels, they can record in bulk again and better streamline the company’s content output.
Make Time to Connect with Others
Remote working can mean losing out on different inputs, ideas and conversations with people that can help you feel more creative and content.
Isobel says that by making time to speak with others – whether it be via Google Meet tea breaks or messaging someone about something non-work related in Google Chat, this can all add up to helping you feel more connected to your team.
If you have any questions or more tips on remote working – let us know in the comments section below!
As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner Program, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including Google Workspace, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.