How working from home is really like
In 2016, one of our senior accounting associates, Sara Ryal, moved to South Carolina. She had the opportunity to continue to work for Lewis & Knopf from the comfort of her home office. We recently sat down with her and asked a few questions on how life is like living and working from home. Below you will find a few thoughts from her.
1. What is the biggest benefit of working from home?
Working from home allows me to continue to work for L&K, which I enjoy, while being able to live in South Carolina with my family. Also, I have the flexibility to be available to help my husband get my daughter to and from school.
2. How do you stay involved with your team members in Michigan? (i.e. phone calls, Skype, etc.)
Thankfully, I am able to stay very involved with team members from the Small Business Services Group through weekly Skype conference meetings. I also Skype and/or Facetime with team members when we work together on projects. Additionally, we communicate through emails and phone calls throughout the week.
3. What is the biggest drawback of working from home?
Sometimes I miss having other team members around to talk to. Also, it’s easy to get pulled into doing something “non-work” related when I am supposed to be working.
4. What tools do you use to help you manage your time effectively?
I have a separate room for my office, so I am able to close the door and completely focus on work. I try to get up at the same time every day, shower and get dressed, and then go into my office to start working. If I work in my pajamas, I won’t get anything done. Once I am in my office, it is pretty easy to stay focused and accomplish tasks. I make sure my family knows the hours I will be working every day and they try their best not to disturb me, especially if my office door is closed.
5. How was the transition of going from an office setting to a home office? Logistically, what are the steps that you took in order to make the transition seamless?
Initially, James, L&K’s IT expert, came to my home to set up my computer system, printer, etc. He also verified the type of internet connection I needed in order to make sure I would have adequate service to do my work from home. I am still arranging my office to ensure I have the best setup possible.
The transition was a little difficult at first since I worked outside the home for 20 years. I learned that I need to do something after work each day so I get out of the house for a bit. I also struggled with not having other team members around me, but I’m thrilled I have the ability to Skype with them so I can see everyone and they can see me.
6. Do you have any advice for folks that are interested in working from home?
Anyone looking to work from home really needs to make sure they have their own office space – a separate room so they can shut out the “home” life in order to focus on work. They also need to have the support and understanding of family that is mindful of their work-time and home-time.
If they have the space, I would encourage them to do it. It’s just nice to know your family is near. I no longer regret not spending enough time with my family since I am now more available for their needs.