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I worked remotely for a week, and I'm a better employee for it.

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I worked remotely for a week, and I'm a better employee for it.

By Kristle Saneewong

Posted on: 10 April 2019

Working for mobileforming has been a dream as a recent college graduate (and no, they didn't make me say that). There's endless snacks (Hot FunYuns and CapriSun are my jam), after-work activities that keep me active (shoutout to our yoga instructor, Keric), and a support system from peers all the way up to the C-levels. I like to say that I took a chance on mobileforming as much as it took a chance on me, but really—mobileforming knocked it out of the park.

Even as I continue to discover myself within the molds of mobileforming, I realize that I only breached the surface of a benefit that attracts millennials to companies all over the world: working from home (also known as telecommuting). Sixty-eight percent of millennial job seekers identified working from home as a great influence in their job search. At mobileforming, we understand that some circumstances may arise that would justify the arrangement of working from home. Some team members have crazy commute times of more than two hours. Other out-of-state employees work remotely full-time. However, everyone has the flexibility to take an occasional day remote when they need to. And I was going to get my first taste of this with a week long "work from home" period at the end of 2018.

It was daunting then—wanting desperately to prove that I could handle this privilege with all the distractions of a non-traditional office. Sure, I'd read about all the perks of working remote and how popular it was getting with people my age, but that didn't keep the intimidation at bay.

I tested out different environments as I worked on my productivity: my bed (bad idea), the living room (worse), the kitchen table (better, but still distracting), and a local cafe (yes, this worked). I struggled with remaining focused. I got nervous when I couldn't immediately run into the office of my supervisor for input on some project. Ultimately, I found myself hitting a creative wall.

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Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Luckily for me, I wasn't the only one who had a hard time working remotely. I easily found online resources that gave quick tips to increase productivity and stay on task. From Mad Fish Digital, I learned to get ready as if you were going to work. Instead of staying in my pajamas all day, I changed into comfortable clothes that helped me get in the work zone even if I was working from my bedroom. From Forbes, I used the practice of taking care of my typical distractions before I sat down to work. For me, this meant washing the dishes or finishing a load of laundry in the morning.

By the end of the work-from-home period, I was confident that I could remain productive and efficient if I got the chance to work remotely again. But more importantly, the time had solidified my dedication to mobileforming. I was a better employee through:

Reaffirming the trust between me and my employer

Any hesitation that I had when producing content or ideas had disappeared (and as a recent college graduate, I had a lot of hesitation). If my supervisors trusted me to work from home and not where they could monitor me, then I could trust that they would value my input. It gave me confidence in what I brought to the table—especially when I could count on their immediate responses via Slack.

Recognizing it wasn't easy

Because I struggled with working from home, it made me work harder. I wasn't going to take the opportunity for granted, but I also wanted to prove that I could handle the responsibility. When I knew that I could, it attributed to my personal growth within mobileforming. One of our core values is #continuouslearning, and here I was honing skills I didn’t expect to: personal accountability, confidence, and diligence. Even in a smaller company, it's hard to feel like you're contributing to its success. By challenging myself, I’m bringing more to the table. I can say I’m constantly learning to be the best mobileformer I can be.

Coming back creatively refreshed and less stressed

Sometimes being in a traditional working space can stifle creativity, and I'm always looking to expand my areas of creation. A week working from home gave me the opportunity to explore just that. Being away from my cluttered desk (even though it's a cool height adjusting desk) was a breath of fresh air. I came back to the office with new ideas that were inspired by different environments and an eagerness to engage.

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My desk at the mobileforming office (that I cleaned up for a photo)

When I saw all the LinkedIn posts about working remote, I was skeptical. I didn't think it would positively affect my own personal experience nor the overall experience at the company. I knew how well I could work in the office, so why was I going to mess with that flow by working remotely? After trying it out, I know that there’s a lot to learn from stepping out of your comfort zone—even at work. Not only did I grow as an employee, but my company was also able to get the best out of me. Now, I understand the hype.