Working Remotely: The Perspective of a Fully Remote Team | Mad Mouse Creative
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Working Remotely: The Perspective of a Fully Remote Team

What does your ideal office look like? Does it overlook a park or mountain vista? Or does it have a solid oak desk and restaurant-grade coffeemaker in the corner for fresh afternoon brews.

While we all have a dream work space, the difference today is it can be anything from your dining room table to a corner office in a downtown high rise.

For a growing number of workers, especially in the U.S., living rooms and spare bedrooms are being transformed into home offices, as more and more companies allow employees to work remotely. While traditional remote positions included writing and web design, other industries such as business and finance are taking advantage of the work-from-home lifestyle.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 24% of American workers enjoyed working remotely. People in management, business, and financial operations led the way in remote work that year, with 37.8% doing some or all of their job at home.

What We Learned from Working Remotely

While it’s not always apparent to clients, our entire team works remotely. From Florida to Hungary and many places in between, we meet up and get work done from around the world.

Though we don’t draw straws over who gets the best parking spot or take turns bringing in baked goods, we still motivate each other to meet deadlines and do awesome work. (Kudos to the internet and video meetings for making work possible!). But at the end of the day, even the best tools wouldn’t help if we lacked teamwork or collaboration.

Our working hours are mostly normal business hours, but for some, productivity begins to kick in as the sun sets. Others find a burst of creativity from a coffee shop or deck chair on the patio.

The one thing we all love is the flexibility working remotely provides. However, we’ve discovered that with flexibility comes a lesson on how you really work with distractions all around.

(I’m looking at you Netflix or hitting snooze until 10 a.m. on a Tuesday.)

So how do we work, and what would we recommend to someone considering remote work? We interviewed our team and got the low-down on each person’s unique routine.

Ben, SEO/SEM

Q: Do you work in the same spot every day?

“Yes, I work 90% in the same spot every day, from my laptop at my dining room table.”

Q: Is one time of day more productive for you?

“Generally, I’m more productive in the morning.”

Q: For taking notes, do you use digital only or pen and paper?

“Pen and paper is faster for me (I’m a typing pecker). I’ll transfer it to digital if I reference the info frequently.”

Q: Advice for someone considering switching from the office life to remote work?

“You need to be very disciplined and focus on building habits and routines. Worth it, if you can do it.”

Q: What about working remotely do you enjoy?

“Flexibility number one, then secondly it would have to be not having to commute. I used to commute about two hours a day for 18 years. What was I thinking? The traffic, the stress, all those tolls and all that gas. The miles I put on my cars… I’ll never get those years back, but not commuting at all now helps balance that out.”

Katrina, Social Media & Content Strategy

Q: Do you work in the same spot every day?

“Yes, I usually work from a small table in my apartment that looks out onto a busy sidewalk. Perfect for people-watching and planning. If I’m in a rut, I’ll head to a nearby cafe for a few hours to shake things up.”

Q: Is one time of day more productive than another?

“I’m a morning person, so I prefer to do any creative work then. In the afternoon, I try sticking to more repetitive tasks like scheduling posts or planning out content.”

Q: For taking notes, do you use digital only or pen and paper?

“Pen and paper all the way for notes. I own too many notebooks to not use them. If I’m researching or working with a lot of writing, I’ll make simple notes on paper, then organize everything in an online doc. I type much faster than I write!”

Q: Advice for someone considering switching from the office life to remote work?

“Get on a routine, even if it’s just for a few hours. It’s easier to hold yourself accountable when you have time set aside to get things done.”

Q: What about working remotely do you enjoy?

“The freedom to grab my laptop, travel, and bring work with me. Even though I have to be available at certain times throughout the day, I can still be available from anywhere I choose.”

Michael, Web Developer

Q: Do you work in the same spot every day?

“Yes, I mostly work from my desk in my office. But sometimes if I need to get out of the house, I’ll go to a coffee shop nearby just for a change of scenery.”

Q: Is one time of day more productive than another?

“I would say that I’m more productive in the afternoon or late evening. I’m somewhat of a night owl, but I try to get most of my work done during the day when most of the team is available.”

Q: For taking notes, do you use digital only or pen and paper?

“Digital all the way. I will draw out an idea or concept if I need to, but I keep a running list of ideas or things I need to research digitally.”

Q: Advice for someone considering switching from the office life to remote work?

“Remove all unnecessary distractions from your workspace. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home. Give yourself goals for the day, week, and month to stay on track.”

Q: What about working remotely do you enjoy?

“I would say that flexibility is probably the biggest plus for me. Working remotely has given me time freedom and flexibility that you just can’t get working elsewhere.”

Josh, Founder and Web Developer

Q: Do you work in the same spot every day?

“Yes, I have a dedicated home office complete with all the usual office things desks, computers,, printer, file cabinets, etc.”

Q: Is one time of day more productive than another?

“I’m most productive in the mornings and at night. The afternoons can get a little hectic with meetings and picking up my kid from school, planning dinner, etc.”

Q: For taking notes, do you use digital only or pen and paper?

“I write a to do list every day, with pen and paper. I love the feeling of writing it down and committing to it, then being able to physically cross it off.

For other things, we use task management software that’s amazing for really communicating with projects among the team.”

Q: Advice for someone considering switching from the office life to remote work?

“When you first start working remotely, it can easily feel like a vacation or like you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. That’s not the mentality you need to have with working from home.

Remote work is better for not having to commute, deal with traffic, making your lunch every morning, things like that. Yes, you can be a little more flexible in your hours working as well. However, you have to have discipline, a dedicated work area and really schedule out your time to achieve success in working from home. You can easily end up working all day and night some days, if you aren’t careful. Or even not at all that day, if you get too distracted with other things. Additionally, is the awareness of not having a separate your home and work life, because they become the same space and it’s easy to fall into that mentality of feeling like you are always at work.

My best advice is I highly recommend having your daily goals, stepping away from the computer every 90 minutes (maybe a 15 minute break to go for a walk or step away from the computer screen), and being disciplined in your scheduling and work ethic.”

Q: What about working remotely do you enjoy?

“Business-wise, I like being able to communicate with people from all over. I’m not tied to only finding clients or team members in just one locale. We work with awesome clients all over the nation, and the best employees out of thousands of candidates for each role in our company.

Personally, I like being able to have whatever setup I choose, although it needs to always have security in mind for the best interest of our clients and company. I like being able to work at night, when ideas tend to come to me because I can implement and work on them without distraction. When everyone else is done for the day, I’m still creating new ideas and projects.”

Start Your Own Work-From-Home Routine

If you’re an employee wishing to live the remote life, we recommend starting off one day a week or for a few hours on the weekend. It’s much easier to ease yourself into a routine and build a reputation in the freelance world before diving in completely.

For employers wondering whether to allow more flexibility for work remotely, it’s a good idea to get feedback from your employees. See if working from home is important to them and discuss a plan to implement changes through your HR team and managers.

No matter your situation, we wish you the best of luck in your work-from-home journey!

Does Your Team Work Remotely as Well?

If you need help fine-tuning your processes and improving project success, reach out to us! Visit our contact page and tell us how we can help or call now at 352-281-1134.