For much of the world, the sudden shift to working remotely has been a shock and a challenge. For those of us here at The Kevin Eikenberry Group, it’s been a typical work week….kind of. In this series, we want to share our perspective as veterans “on the front lines” of remote work. We’ve learned a thing or two over the years that we hope might help you in your transition.
How long have you been working remotely?
I have been working remotely for about 15 years. Before I came to work for Kevin I was part of another totally remote team. We were a small group of retirees that had been recruited to work from home for a self publishing company.
What challenges (if any) are different for you in our COVID-19 remote work world and what tips do you have for overcoming these challenges?
The biggest challenge I have felt is the stress and tension that is palpable in the people I talk with. Many are insecure about their jobs. Many are having a tough time working, managing their homes, teaching their children and just trying to have some degree of normalcy and security.
Fortunately, none of these are issues for me. I just have to deal with them and be sensitive to them, as the super heroes on the other end of the phone are in the midst of all of the above. I feel that being a good listener is the best way for me to be of service. The many resources that Kevin and his team offer can make a difference for the people I talk to, but first is to just be a good ear for their concerns.
What was your biggest challenge when you first started working from home and how did you overcome it?
I first had to figure out that I needed a designated workspace and then decide where in our home I wanted that to be. When I first began to work at home, I just set my laptop on the kitchen table and thought that would work. It didn’t. I had to plan how I would work best and then organize the area where I would be working.
What tips do you have for staying connected with your teammates?
We are blessed to be using Slack and that gives our team lots of communication options from private messages to group messages and an area to share “silly stuff”. And – there is always the telephone! If I feel the need to hear someone’s voice, I ask them if it’s a good time to chat.
Working from home can blur the lines between personal and professional. How do you set boundaries to help with this?
This is a challenge and a half. Fortunately for me, my husband had moved his law practice home years before. We worked it out back then. Work time is work time. Did we/do we “chat’ during the day? That’s no different than taking time to chat with one another from one office to the other.
What advice would you offer for those who are just now entering the remote work force.
Seize the opportunity and make it yours!
What are some of your favorite tools/technology and why?
I love printing from my cell phone. I can dictate a thought or something I want to remember and then I can save it to my phone or computer. As a visual, I like being able to see phrases, dates, events etc. My laptop and my iPad mean I can work anywhere. I have worked on a beach, on my fabulous front porch and at my 97 yr. old Mother’s.
Remote working truly is a blessing or a curse – you get to decide!
About the Author
Barb McLin is our Remarkable Member Development Director. She is a proud finisher of 5 half-marathons and counting, and she’s also a wife, mom and doting grandmother of five.