WFH hacks from the professional services community (Part II)
Last week’s work from home (WFH) blog series took us behind the scenes with six Intapp employees who are both new and experienced remote workers. Offering their personal tips, challenges, and benefits, we learned who’s got the spruced up diggs and who is still working on them. This week, we shine a light on three professional services influencers from accounting & consulting, crisis communications, and the marketing and business development communities. They’ve provided a behind the scenes look into their workstyles, workspaces, and strategies they use to adapt to a new world.
Work from home hacks from the professional services community
Sebastian Hartmann, Global Head of Technology Strategy, KPMG
Working virtually for “as long as I can remember”
Home office: Frankfurt, Germany
I have had remote working options available for as long as I can remember, which is not unusual, given my consulting background. My current global role at KPMG is well suited for remote working, because it is simply not possible to travel all the time and to do every meeting in person. I often need to adjust my day across several time zones, which makes home office a necessary condition (unless I would like to bring a sleeping bag to my office). The current pandemic definitely helps foster the use of collaboration tools and digital engagement models across the firm.
#1 benefit: Location independence – for professional and personal reasons. It is increasingly normal to connect, engage and collaborate virtually now, and there is no need to explain or apologize for it.
#1 challenge: Building solid personal relationships. A personal meeting to build or maintain important foundations or to maneuver critical situations is my top reason to jump on a plane, a train, or to drive somewhere (but of course not now).
WFH tip: Listen to your body. In my case, I try to get creative or conceptual work done in the mornings. Afternoons are ideal for meetings, calls or analyses. Working remotely allows me to get going much earlier in the morning – or to throw in some exercise during the day when I have a mental block or need to think something through.
WFH set-up: Our apartment has a small round orbital, which fits my pretty small desk and has windows on three sides, which offer perfect air conditioning. I do not need more space, but I usually pace around the entire apartment when I am on the phone. I also use my iPad and my laptop depending on the type of work, as well as my Jabra speaker.
Gina Furia Rubel, President & CEO, Furia Rubel Communications, Inc.
Working virtually for 18 years, “but I have a bit of both worlds”
Home office: Bucks County, Pennsylvania
I started my company 18 years ago and have a bit of both worlds. My office is in a renovated barn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Everyone has the ability to work from home or to come into the office and while I sometimes work from “home,” since the office is less than 100 feet from the house, I usually go into the office.
#1 benefit: Productivity. Cutting out the commute was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
#1 challenge: Productivity. Interruptions and distractions need to be minimized in order to remain productive.
WFH tip: Keep a separate space for working from home whenever possible. Use it when you are working and don’t use it when you are not. Define clear boundaries with your family members and know that those boundaries will get broken – and that’s okay.
Anne Reavis, CRM Consultant, Wilson Allen
Working virtually for 19 years
Home office: Winston Salem, North Carolina
Working remotely is not new for Wilson Allen. The firm’s staff has always had the equipment and resources to work remotely – which helps us avoid interruptions in our level of service and availability.
#1 benefit: Having my office only a few steps away, which means I have more time in my day for personal interests because there’s no time lost commuting. However, having my fur babies around is a big benefit too. For example, if I’m thinking something through or feeling stressed, I can take my dogs for a walk, get some fresh air and sunshine, and come back with a much clearer mind.
#1 challenge: Keeping time boundaries, which can be especially challenging when working with colleagues and clients in multiple time zones. Managing that requires some schedule flexibility on my part. That means some days begin earlier than others and some end later than others, but it balances out in the end.
WFH tip: Have a specific place that you work, as if you’re ‘going to work,’ to keep work/life balance and boundaries. Plus, I try to make my workspace as appealing as possible with natural light and minimal distractions.
WFH set-up: I just got my second monitor (third screen)! This makes managing multiple windows across applications much easier.
Look out for a part 3 of this WFH series, where we tackle another hot (and messy) topic – working from home with kids.