When I moved to Pittsburgh, I began doing something that I think many of us dream about doing, at least on occasion: working from home. As I travel back to Denver this week for work, I thought I’d share a bit about what working from home while still employed by a company looks like for me (vs. working from home as a freelancer or managing your own business).
I am extremely fortunate to work for a company that is willing to be flexible and allow me to work remotely when I moved across the country. When we knew Alex would be attending business school in Pittsburgh, Alex and I spent many hours talking about the pros and cons of me moving to Pittsburgh with him or staying in Denver. Ultimately decided the right decision was for me to move with him and I approached my manager with a proposal for how I could continue to stay on the team while working from Pittsburgh.
I’ve been working remotely since August and finally feel like I’ve found a rhythm. Because my company is based in Denver and my territory is west coast based, I generally still work on MST hours. And while I sometimes go to a co-working or shared office space, I spend many of my days working out of my apartment.
(As a caveat: I work for a high-growth tech company that is growing like crazy so these hours are on the long side as we hire into the growth.)
Here’s what a typically work-from-home day looks like for me:
8-8:30a: Wake up, walk Philly, take Alex to school on days he has to wear a suit (all other days, he rides his bike).
8:30-9:30a: Drink coffee and eat breakfast, check work email from last night’s late arrivals. I’ll usually spend a few minutes straightening up (laundry, dishes, hanging up coats, etc) or taking inventory of the fridge to plan dinner before I really hunker down for the day.
9:30a-1:30p: Work. Much of my day is spent responding to client emails, joining internal or client calls and giving direction to my team. I have 1 direct report so we spend a few minutes each afternoon (morning, her time) talking through priorities.
1:30-1:45p: Lunch! Before I know it, it’s 1:30p and I’m starving. Usually I scrounge around in the fridge for something quick and healthy and will build a kale salad and sandwich or reheat leftovers.
1:45-6p: Work. Because I work with west coast clients, a bulk of my client calls and an influx of emails are later in my afternoon. I try to take a 10-15 minute break to walk around the block with Philly and get some fresh air but some days, we just take a quick break to the back lawn of our apartment.
6-7:30p: Meet up with a friend for a workout – most days this is either hot yoga or an Orangetheory Class, both within a 5 minute commute of my apartment. On Wednesdays, I try to meet up with a local run club up the street with a handful of friends and business school spouses. As often as possible, I try to work out with a friend as much for the social aspect as the accountability aspect.
7:30-7:45p: Shower and start dinner. Alex is usually still at school until about this time so we tend to eat dinner much later these days. Most nights, we make an effort to eat dinner together and connect but some nights, he is stuck at school until late so we’ll eat separately.
7:45-10:30p: Back to work! Trying to get a few more items crossed off the to-do list to wrap up and prepare for the next day. I try to make a conscious effort to turn off work mode by 10:30p.
10:30-11p: On some lucky nights, Alex also takes a break from school at 10:30p and we watch an episode of something on Netflix (currently: Longmire). If not Netflix, I will spend a few minutes reading articles/blogs, writing my own blog or generally just winding down from the day.
11p: This is generally the earliest I go to bed but it’s often later. As you can gather, there isn’t much free time for Alex and I to spend together so I often sacrifice sleep to hang out for a few minutes.
And then, it starts all over again.
Overall, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work remotely. There are obvious challenges – lack of interaction, sad ability to sit inside all day without realizing it – but there are also advantages like a quiet work space and built in puppy snuggles.
This week, though, I am beyond excited to spend to take time off from Remote Employee status and spend a full week in Denver with coworkers and fun company events on the agenda. You better believe I will be soaking up every minute of it!