You may have seen our blog series in which we toured the Silverline offices around the country (Omaha, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Minneapolis, and our NYC HQ), but what about all of our home offices? In fact, many of our team members work from home full time. Hear from them what working remotely is like: the quirks, the advantages, the pets, and everything in between.
What’s so great about working remotely?
Aileen McGrath: There are many things that are great about working remotely with Silverline. The most important is that I never feel remote. Silverline does so much to help keep team members connected, including in-person onboarding, the annual summit, virtual coffee buddies, and more.
That being said, there are benefits to being a “remote worker.” I’m able to focus on my clients and work vs. my commute; that’s a huge bonus. Flexibility is another great benefit. As a Client Services Manager with clients in different time zones, I’m able to schedule my day to provide services to them without spending 12 hours in an office. I live on a tree farm (not Christmas trees, old-growth timber) and working remotely allows me to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the creativity and de-stressing it provides. I also enjoy having the ability to raid my refrigerator for lunch and sharing my office with my furry office-mates, who have very good conference call etiquette.
Are there challenges to working remotely? How do you handle them?
Michael Shirrell: As a Sales Solution Architect the biggest challenge that I have found with transitioning from working in an office to working remotely/from home has been the lack of face time and interaction with coworkers. This has been the first opportunity in my career to work from my home in Indiana in a full-time capacity. The change in social interaction on a day-to-day basis was a little strange at first, but thankfully, Silverline offers ways to be involved and to interact virtually.
To help foster that sense of team and togetherness I participate in the #social_coffee-buddies Slack channel to get to know other Silverliners who I might not interact with regularly. I also try to schedule Zoom time with some of the Silverliners who I work with regularly to catch up and talk about life away from work for a few minutes. I make time to attend as many Executive Office Hours as I can, which is a time for anyone in the company to ask our CEO questions, as well as Quarterly All Hands meetings to stay on top of Silverline news. Finally, the Silverline summit in Sante Fe this past summer was an awesome way to see the full Silverline team!
What’s your favorite part of working for Silverline?
Ann Armbrust: I’m a Client Services Manager and I feel everyone says this, but legitimately, it’s the people! Which if you think about it is pretty remarkable for a remote employee — to feel the company culture as strongly as I do from little old Green Bay! Everyone I’ve encountered at Silverline is kind, smart, supportive, and hardworking. When we end up in one another’s cities we make time to enjoy each other without a screen between us.
Our team threw a digital shower for myself and two other members of our team who were getting married or having a baby. That’s just not something that happens everywhere. I’d call it luck, but this company grows intentionally and it shows.
What are your favorite Slack channels?
Kindra Thomas: #team_growth and #team_biz_dev are my favorites, just because they keep me informed, connected, and motivated to keep performing and contributing to the team goals; since I’m a Sales Development Representative I’m on phone calls all day.
What’s one thing you can’t do without in order to work remotely?
Brian Waterson: For me, my AirPods are key for working from home. Being remote in a small town in Massachusetts means spending a lot of time on Zoom meetings rather than in meeting rooms. Some days my calendar is booked eight hours straight! The AirPods allow me to walk around the house while chatting. Sometimes I’m even outside throwing a tennis ball for the dogs while I listen in, thanks to my AirPods. They are also helpful when my young daughters come home from school; AirPods means Dad cannot be disturbed. Though honestly there are times I have them in with no audio playing at all… just to give my children the illusion I’m talking to someone else.
Standing or sitting desk? Show us your setup!
Michael Lepore: I have a great mechanized desk in Hawaii where I live that can be sitting or standing with the push of a button. I prefer to sit, but sometimes I find it easier to be creative on my feet. I’m Silverline’s Art Director, so I need my creative juices flowing. In meetings where I need to create on demand sometimes I find standing to be more productive. It’s also great to stand after a few hours of designing… Prevents me from hunching over and getting a sore back or neck.
Crystel Maxwell: I’m the Delivery Operations Manager! Sitting desk all the way. I don’t love standing (hurts my back). I do get up during calls and walk around to stretch my legs. I think I need some AirPods that Brian Waterson talks about because I can’t walk very far without losing connection on my current headset. My home office is in Delray Beach, Florida.
Aileen McGrath: I recently purchased a mechanized desk accessory for my home in Houston, Texas, that allows me to sit or stand. I added a rocker board anti-fatigue mat to help with balance and ensure that my legs and back don’t get too tired. Like the others, I have a great office fur-mate.