As a content writer, much of my work can be done remotely. I live in Chicago and especially during the winter, there are days where leaving the house is out of the question. After having to make a few miserable commutes in my career, I focused on finding a job that allows me the flexibility to work remotely at least twice a week.
When I came to G2, they promoted their WFH policy proudly as a perk and I was sure to ask around with people I knew who worked there to ensure the policy was as flexible as they claimed. And it is!
I think anyone looking to work remotely part-time or full-time should have those conversations upfront to ensure they’re getting what they want.
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I’m a writer and team lead for the content team at G2. Part of my time is spent working on strategy and personal projects, another big chunk is managing my direct reports.
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Freedom! My family lives in St. Louis, so a lot of times I’m WFH Friday when I’m taking the train to see them and it gives me more time and flexibility. I don’t have to turn down plans and I can visit home on the spur of the moment.
I also love that I can work remote with people! A lot of my friends work remote, so if I'm ever feeling the itch to see other people, I can call them up and we can meet at a coffee shop. It gives the same sense of being social like the office does without having to go into the office.
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Lack of human interaction. Though I love my dog, he can’t always give me the deep conversations a human could. And I actually love my office and my coworkers, so I wouldn’t ever want to stay away TOO often.
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Slack and Asana. Slack keeps me connected to my team during my WFH days and keeps me accountable to the rest of my coworkers. It bridges that feeling of disconnection when you’re away from the office. Asana is our project management tool and that keeps me focused on the actual work that needs to be done. Between those two things, it’s pretty easy to keep on track.
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I split my WFH time about 50/50 between my home and coffee shops. I really like working in environments where other people are also getting some work done. The library is another great spot because the energy feels serious.
I feel more accountable to actually do work when others are working around me.
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Limiting distractions. Don’t work remotely from your bed or couch because you’ll want to watch TV or just take a nap. I like to keep my WFH space similar to my desk at work because it puts me in the mindset of needing to work.
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Funnily enough, I wake up around the same time as I would for a day commuting into the office. I normally walk my dog on WFH days in the morning and then get to work.
I always check my emails and Slack first to see if anything important came up, then I check Asana to see what deadlines I have that day. Throughout the day, I check Slack to ensure I haven’t missed anything.
I check Slack more frequently when I’m WFH than when I’m in the office. When I work in the office, people can come to my desk if they have an important question. Slack, in a way, is my office when I’m WFH. So I make an effort to be more active when I’m remote.
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I front-load my week to finish work that I need to be in the office for. My WFH days revolve a lot around my writing because that’s something I can do anywhere. I don’t take meetings on my WFH days because I prefer being present during meetings, though I will Zoom in if something pressing comes up.
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When I’m feeling burned out, I like to take a walk with my dog. I go offline for an hour, get some fresh air, and then come back to my work. If I’m working from a coffee shop, I’ll leave and go to another one or just head home.
Changing my scenery helps a lot when I start feeling stir crazy.
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I heard this on a podcast once, can’t remember the name, but basically it’s a version of a quote from President and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Bryan Dyson:
Life is all about juggling balls, some of them are glass, and some are plastic. The sooner you figure out which balls are plastic and can be dropped, the better your life will be.
You can’t juggle everything at once. You need to figure out, for yourself, which things in your life need your focus (your glass balls) and which can be dropped and picked back up.
As someone who wants to do everything, this has helped me a lot with prioritizing my life and career.
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I explicitly asked for it while interviewing. A year ago, before I joined G2 and I was job-hunting, I made it very clear that remote work was non-negotiable for my next career move.
I got a few rejections because of it!!
But I’m not a doctor, and I don’t work in a field that requires my physical presence in an office every day. So I dug my heels in and said, no, I’m not taking another job that won’t let me work from home when I need to.
It worked out. Ask for what you want; you’d be surprised what people are willing to give you.
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Don’t slack off. Prove that you can be trusted to work from anywhere and do the job you said you’d do. Remote work is a privilege because not every company allows it. Don’t squander it.
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Aside from using job boards that specialize in remote work, apply for jobs that aren’t necessarily remote jobs, and start the conversation.
A lot of companies are willing to be flexible if you have the experience they want.
If the choice is between hiring the perfect remote candidate and hiring a mediocre candidate who can be in the office every day, a smart company will take a chance on the remote worker.
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The same way I expect my coworkers to respect my schedule, I need to do the same with them. It can make scheduling things difficult, but that’s the trade-off.
It just means I need to be more proactive with my work. Fewer things can be “last minute” because there’s always a chance that the person I need won’t be in the office that day. It’s an exercise in being more mindful about my work relationships.
It sets an expectation for myself and my team. People know that I don’t do meetings on Fridays, and my direct reports also take their WFH days the same days I do.
That allows us to maximize our face-to-face time together while giving them the freedom to work remote as well! It also just helps my sanity to skip my commute a day or two each week.
Scheduling. It’s scheduling 100%. But that’s also the beauty of the time we work in. There are so many tools and software options that allow people to video call into meetings and tools like Slack. I think it’s a minor inconvenience. The benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.
At RemoteHabits we're always trying to improve our interviews, what question should we have asked Lauren Pope?
Lauren is a Content Marketing Team Lead at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Hubspot, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene.
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