Strange, wasn’t it? At the beginning of 2020, the idea of watching all your coworkers pack up their laptops and their office supplies and head out the door to work from home for the next two years or so wasn’t on anyone’s radar. It’s just not the kind of thing that happens, right? But it did happen. We packed it up and had to learn how to work from home successfully. We set up our workstations at the kitchen table, in the spare room, or on the coffee table in front of the couch, and we worked furiously to collaborate with our team members, care for our clients, and meet deadlines. Even though we had everything we needed, it was a difficult transition at first. In the many months that followed the stay-at-home recommendations, we learned how to stay connected and be there for our clients and each other. We had our successes. We developed a number of working from home tips. We managed to keep our sanity too! And although all of this may not yet be behind us, we’ve learned how to make it work.
Everyone’s work-from-home experience has been unique, and we’ve learned so much as a team. We thought we’d gather our thoughts, talk about the transition to remote work, see what we’ve learned from the experience, and offer up some of our top working from home tips.
How We Stayed Connected.
Stephanie. During our time away from the office, the whole L&P team still found time to meet. At first, it was social distancing outside. We’d take a walk at the ROCC or the Eastern Glades. We’d have team meetings and lunch meets outside. We even continued this trend when the social distancing guidelines ended. We made our way back to in-person meetings, and collaboration sessions were added to the mix. Even though we were working remotely, we felt more connected than ever. When we weren’t Zooming or Teams Calling, we were regular calling, texting, emailing, or meeting in person. This is how we learned to work from home successfully.
Mackenzie. Agreed. I think L&P did a great job of cultivating a collaborative working environment, even when we were working remotely. Whether it was through our weekly meetings or quick daily check-ins, we were always reaching out to our teammates for their opinions and input and sharing working from home tips.
Amanda. Yeah, chatting via Teams and having weekly calls to catch up on work and life was essential to our success. And our sanity! Just making an effort to meet in person once a week for social interaction and having company-wide events so we could catch up with people outside our team made it all seem less bizarre and detached!
Mackenzie. I love the fun events we’d have, such as team lunches, community visits, and the L&P picnic!
Stephanie. Absolutely! The L&P picnic idea was a huge hit!
Stephanie. We had so many successes! We launched new websites, brands, and campaigns. We took on more business, hired new employees, and saw continued growth and success with all of our clients.
Alana. It’s interesting how our successes felt even more rewarding due to the fact most of our hard work was done primarily from home. We’ve been able to plan events, keep up with client meetings virtually and in-person, launch new websites, and create new collateral almost every month. With the use of Teams, Zoom, and, of course, Outlook, I think L&P as a whole was very connected. These applications allow us to get a quick response or message out to the team fairly quickly. If we were at our desks in the office, we might feel like we were interrupting someone.
Mackenzie. I’d only started with L&P the previous September, so a huge part of the overall success for me was seeing my role evolve, getting to work with some great communities, helping manage projects from start to finish, and seeing how much the clients loved the final product.
What Kept Us Sane!
Dena. Personally, I found my sanity in working from home. In blending life and work, I found that I wasn’t living my life in designated, separate segments. Now I go to work. Now I go do all my errands. Now I do housework. Now I relax. Now I see friends. It is all blends together in what I think is life-enriching, work-enhancing balance. I write when I am inspired, and I go out and get inspiration when needed. I exercise or garden or check on our bees when I need to reset my brain. I have more time and energy for everything, including work. I love where we are in terms of working from home as needed for focus or personal reasons and working together in the office as needed for collaboration or social connection.
Rebecca. Same for me. I loved working from home. It allowed me to work outside of the 9-5 schedule depending on what my client needs are. Being home helped me stay grounded. I didn’t feel like I was pouring all my energy into my job. By working from home, I could easily spend time with my dog or do chores around the house or start on dinner early.
KeEmma. For me, being able to go to the gym or take my dog on walks at midday helped keep the energy high and helped me avoid burnout. Working from home allowed me to prioritize my health in ways that have helped create balance for me.
Stephanie. Absolutely agree. Staying active was critically important! Whether it was working out, doing chores around the house between emails, or just getting out of the house, I needed to keep moving. I never let a day go by that I didn’t do something active!
Mackenzie. For me it was sticking to a routine and keeping some structure throughout my day. Before work, I was usually at the gym, which helped me wake up and prepare for the day. I’d also take a daily walk with my dog during lunch to get some fresh air, which was a great mental break.
Amanda. Getting a change of scenery was important to me. Some days I’d work at the kitchen table, others at my desk. I liked keeping the location fresh so I didn’t feel confined to my desk! In addition to that, I’d go outside to walk during lunch or just get out of the house during the day even if it’s for 15 minutes! Plus, finding ways to connect with my family by grabbing a quick lunch or talking to them on the phone has helped enormously.
Everything Else We Learned.
Rebecca. I was pleased to learn that working from home was tremendously beneficial to my productivity. While working in the office is great for collaboration, I was able to accomplish tasks quicker by not being as accessible as I would be in the office. I was always available, but if a coworker needed something and I was busy, I’d let them know I would call them back whenever I completed what I was working on at the moment.
Alana. Yes! Staying focused and productive was essential. When it comes to working from home, I found that the major factor that I attributed to my productivity was organization and tidiness in any work-designated area. I tried to make sure my workstation contained all the needed docs and notes for the day and work week.
Rebecca. Working from home affords you a lot of freedom around your work environment, so for those who those have trouble working remotely, I’d say try to find whatever environment you work best in and try to replicate that at home. For example, if you like noise (like I do), turn on music or an old TV show and let it fill up the background while you work.
Alana. Agreed. And don’t forget to keep the refrigerator and pantry well-stocked!
Regardless of where we are—in the office, at home, at the local coffee shop, or out and about anywhere—the L&P team is always available for YOU! If you’ve got a marketing project or other venture that could use this same kind of dedication, craft, and creativity, reach out and let us help! We can put our entire team of creative thinkers and smart doers on the job to make things happen for you, too!