Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a lot of online chatter recently about working from home. The internet is flooded with numerous blogs and articles outlining the dos and don’ts of working remotely. While this is new and uncharted territory for many in the workforce, the trend of working from home was becoming more common even before it became a necessity. Since 2015, the number of people in the US working from home has risen from 3.5 million to 4.7 million. That’s 3.4% of the U.S. population, and that number will more than likely increase exponentially as a lasting result of the pandemic.
The team at Creative Click Media has occasionally worked from home in the past, but like many businesses, we have gone fully remote. Although currently a necessity, the idea of abandoning a company office and working remotely has been a topic of conversation among the team for a while. Here was our opportunity to find out if it could actually work. We have been working from home for more than three weeks now. There were some hiccups along the way, but for the most part, everything went smoothly and the door to the Creative Click Media office was closed for good.
Now each of us is adjusting to working from home permanently. We are discovering new ways to be productive and creative as well as figuring out the logistics of working from home. We thought instead of writing yet another how-to blog, we’d just share our experiences. Maybe you’ll be able to find a valuable takeaway among them and if not, we hope at least they make you smile.
Adam | Founder
What I Like: Working from home has given me time to focus on what’s important. I get to spend every day with my son, Miles, and puppy, Link, and a decreased travel time means more time to get work done. Working from home has also reintroduced the concept of “free time” into my life, which I have been using to read more and finally learn how to play the piano.
Our current situation has also forced us to embrace trying things differently. We had been considering utilizing virtual meetings more often already, and our experience thus far has been more productive than we had anticipated. Virtual meetings are efficient and allow for collaboration with colleagues, clients, and coworkers from anywhere in the world without having to get dressed up. I predict the pandemic will have a permanent positive effect on how virtual meetings are perceived.
My Biggest Adjustments: Homeschooling a second grader while managing my workload has been a real juggling act. He’s a smart kid who asks complex questions, which can be difficult to answer adequately between work tasks, phone calls, and Zoom meetings. Looking after a new puppy in the midst of this change has also been a big adjustment. He’s well-behaved for the most part, but training him, cleaning up after him and giving him the attention he needs is certainly a time commitment.
Working from home has definitely taken a toll on my fitness regimen, as well. I used to have yoga class built into my schedule, but studios are closed and I’m too busy at home to set aside time for practice as it is. My next big challenge will be to work exercise back into my daily routine.
Francis | Videographer/Copywriter
What I Like: It’s really nice being able to skip the commute in the morning. I’ve realized so much of what makes a workday difficult is simply the process of getting it started. When I work at home I feel like it’s just me and the work, without all the trappings of ‘the ol 9-to-5.’ I also find all sorts of ways to stress myself out on the car ride when at home, I just hop online and hit the ground running.
My Biggest Adjustment: For me, routine is huge. While I do enjoy skipping the commute, I still end up waking up at the same time every day and don’t really know what to do myself until it is time to clock in. On top of that, not being able to see my coworkers every day is going to be quite an adjustment. Fortunately we live in a time where video calls and text messages can keep us connected and let us continue to collaborate with each other.
Kristen | Web/Graphic Designer
What I Like: My zero minute commute! I would drive 45 minutes each way, which took a considerable chunk out of my day. I love being face-to-face with my team members, but instead of those spending that time worrying and making mental checklists, I can just dive into my work. I am also enjoying slaying the WFH Dress Code with all of my sweatpants and hoodie combinations, the new WFH cafeteria (aka, my kitchen), and my new account supervisor, Teddy, a shepherd-lab mix who is always sniffing out new opportunities for my work to improve.
My Biggest Adjustment: My biggest adjustment will be the lack of face-to-face time with my teammates! My dog doesn’t laugh at nearly as many of my jokes. I often feel the most inspired collaborating and joking with the people around me, and I am definitely missing the brightest sources of inspiration from my workday. The good news is that we’re still in this together, and the occasional Zoom meeting means my jokes will now have visual aids! I will also miss the view (from our office, not the television show). Having our office overlook the lake was inspiring, as were some of the dogs and dog owners we would see making the most of the improving weather. At least my work area at home has a lot of natural light during the day, which shines on my new makeshift post-it wall and helps me power through. Creative photosynthesis, if you will.
Kelly | Social Media Manager
What I Like: I can’t lie, being able to work in my pajamas is pretty awesome! Bad hair days aren’t so bad anymore, unless we are on a video call. We decided to make the best out of social distancing and staying home by adopting a dog, a husky-shepherd mix named Sky! It would have been a lot harder to go right back to the office after bringing him home. The time that normally would be spent on my commute is now being used to take him for a walk before and after I clock in. That should help offset my quarantine snacking…
My Biggest Adjustment: Adjusting to my new at-home work station has been relatively easy, although my house is a lot busier than it usually is. My family (who I live with) are all working from home too, so we’re all adjusting to finding our own workspaces in the house. My husband and Sky are both great at-home coworkers, but I definitely miss seeing the CCM team everyday. A lot of my job is working with the design team, so not being able to collaborate with them in the same room is something I miss. However, video conferencing has made this a lot easier!
Kayla | SEO Account Executive
What I Like: As someone who loves to be cozy at all times, the comfort of working in my fuzzy socks and slippers is my favorite part! I start my mornings wrapped up with a warm cup of my favorite coffee, and it’s the best way to start the day. Also, being able to have my dog as a co-worker is the best perk!
My Biggest Adjustment: Although the work from home transition has been a relatively easy transition, my biggest adjustment is not having that personal, face-to-face interaction with my co-workers. I was so used to being around the team that the lack of presence is definitely different and sometimes hard to get used to! However, making the most of Zoom and other online video conference resources has been extremely helpful!
Brittany | Graphic Designer
What I Like: Not having immediate face-to-face access to the team and their encouragement or insights has pushed me to depend on myself more than I would have thought, providing a new kind of encouragement that’s valuable in its own way. Having my dog (even if he’s making me jealous by sleeping on my bed behind me) and snacks an arms-length away is also a major plus!
My Biggest Adjustment: Seeing my co-workers’ faces over video calls as opposed to in-person is definitely a major adjustment! Communicating and collaborating can be a bit of a quicker process when they’re only a few feet away, but luckily everyone is always accessible for help and encouragement via emails, phone calls, etc. The occasional dog appearance over a video call is also a new kind of collaboration that I’m happy to adjust to.
Olivia | Director of Communications
What I Like: Creative Click Media’s version of “business casual” somehow has gotten even more casual. Did you know creative professionals are 78% less productive while wearing jeans? That statistic is completely made up, but based on my experience working from home I’m inclined to believe it’s a fairly accurate guess. There’s something about starting my morning in my comfiest pajamas and coziest socks that makes me eager to take on the day – and take on my bed as soon as I clock out in the afternoon.
My Biggest Adjustment: Had I known I would be working from home for the foreseeable future would be my new normal, I probably would have remembered to take my self-control home with me when I left the office. As productive as I may be working remotely, the urge to chow down all day long on the food we’ve been stockpiling has been insatiable. I’m snacking on bacon bits as I write this — not bacon bits on something, just bacon bits. I definitely miss when my only unhealthy temptation was a weekly trip to Rita’s next door. Another adjustment I’ve had to get used to is learning to make the most of a small space — as you can see, I only keep the essentials over at my work area!
Bev | Project Manager
What I Like: The extra hour of sleep in the morning! Even though I still wake up at the same time as before, it’s great to roll over and go back to sleep. I feel like I’m getting away with something. The same goes for clocking out and already being home. I have taken business casual to a whole new level. My slippers are my new “work shoes” and some days I just pair them with my PJ’s and bed-head hair. Oh yeah, I’m grocery shopping remotely as well, I finally started ordering my groceries online and having them delivered. I may never go to the grocery store again.
My Biggest Adjustment: Face to face collaboration. Brainstorming via pings just isn’t the same. I really miss interacting with my co-workers and drawing inspiration from them. While I love that I get to hang out with my cat, Charlotte, all day, she can be distracting and isn’t any good at giving me feedback. When she’s not napping at the other end of the couch (yeah, that’s where my office is most days), she is either trying to get me to play by attacking the bows on my new “work shoes” or running frantically from window to window making strange noises at the birds. And although I really enjoy that extra hour of sleep, I kind of miss the drive to work. Listening to music and drinking my coffee on the way to the office gave me time to clear my head and collect my thoughts before starting work.
Corinna | Executive Assistant
What I Like: I really enjoy being able to wake up and leisurely start my day. I don’t have to run around getting ready and then drive to the office. I can make a nice cup of tea while I check emails and munch on my breakfast. I also love being able to hang out with my dog Bella all day and not having to worry about rushing home to feed and let her out. I’ve been able to figure out a new daily routine and I’ve made myself a comfortable designated work area in my kitchen. My new dress code of slippers, hoodies, and sweats has been such a plus. Do my clothes match? No one knows! The quiet and comfort of my home is exactly what I need to get through the day.
My Biggest Adjustment: While getting used to my new work environment has been relatively easy, my biggest adjustment has been not seeing other people. I went from sitting next to the office door and greeting my coworkers to just sending ‘good morning!’ in an instant message. Answering office calls from my personal phone at home was a little strange but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve also had to demonstrate a new self-control and not devour everything in my fridge throughout the day. While I’ll miss seeing coworkers face-to-face and our occasional team lunches, it’s nice knowing that no one is more than a video call away.
Our team has been fortunate to have a relatively easy transition into work-from-home life, especially now that we are going fully remote for the foreseeable future. That being said, we know many businesses have not had our shared experience. How are you doing? How is your team adjusting to working from home? Share your work-from-home stories in the comments, and please feel free to reach out to us if we can provide guidance, support or advice for any creative challenges your business is facing under these challenging circumstances.
Even more COVID-19 Resources: