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September 24, 2009

Home is Where the Office Is

In this post: Ever wonder what it’s like to work virtually? Jaimy shares some of her initial thoughts on working for Blue Door from home …

Jaimy SyzmanskiA version of this post was originally published on LifeMeetsWork.com. Stay tuned for Jaimy’s future posts in this series.

Writing this post on a Friday night, I can tell you that working from home definitely blurs the line between professional and personal life. Like a watercolor painting. That is caught within an epic Super Soakerâ„¢ fight between my Grandma and Uncle at the Labor Day barbecue, (Pictures soon to come.)

I’ve been working remotely for two weeks now, so it’s pretty safe to say I’m an expert. Thus far, it feels like a really long weekend working from home.

Insightful, I know.

Transitioning from in-office work to a virtual environment was a lot easier than I expected. That’s either because I’m programmed for an at-home career, but didn’t know it, or it hasn’t had time enough to sink in yet. I’m banking on it being a combination of the two. I think that the shift feels easy thus far because my role at Blue Door hasn’t changed significantly since my departure to Iowa. I still maintain the same projects and workload as previously, and I see my coworkers on a near-daily basis.

Well, virtually at least.

We have found that, for team meetings and long-distance client meetings, video chatting is a really valuable communication tool. The tool we use, Oovoo, allows for up to six video chatters at a time, which is great for us, since we do a lot of multi-person online meetings.

Video chatting to keep in touch with the Blue Door team has made it much easier to perform team tasks than instant messaging or phone conversations. It also has a lot of personal benefits. For example, I can actually see if my co-workers are laughing at my jokes, rather than them being able to type an ‘LOL’ after my witty remarks. That’s valuable stuff. Plus, I’m a people person and love to socialize, so having the option to video chat can be an effective morale boost during a long workday from home by myself.

This post is the first of a three-part series. In future posts, I plan to give some insight into a few facets of getting started working remotely, including choosing your living and working spaces, setting up the essentials and initial lessons learned.

So far, I think I’ll really enjoy working from home. I still get to do the work I enjoy, while witnessing other benefits like decreased stress, easier concentration, and saving money that would’ve been spent on overpriced morning coffee and carry-out lunches.

Wait a minute – I’m still paying for high-priced coffee beans and now brewing the coffee myself. But, I can’t complain too much – After all, it is giving me the energy to put in extra night-time hours, on a Friday nonetheless. 🙂