A Day in the Life of a Remote Worker: How Children First Inc. & Athens-Oconee CASA are adjusting to remote work
This spotlight illustrates how remote workers at Athens-Oconee CASA find freedom and motivation in their everyday life and their transition to online work. Get inspired on how you can improve your workspace, workflow, and organization in a remote setting, and hear about the steps we're taking to stay involved from home!
The Challenges of Working Remotely
When the physical office of Athens-Oconee CASA closed due to COVID-19, our staff was forced to completely change their workplace and adjust to a non-face-to-face setting. Susie Weller, Executive Director of Children First Inc., said that the biggest challenge for her initially was "the Unknown:"
"Initially, it was the unknown. How are we going to do this? What equipment will we need? How do we maintain services to clients? What will happen with funding and donations? After a year, we now know- everything went digital. Communication, sharing documentation, training, conversations, funding- all of it. I would say the biggest thing now is the disconnect from staff and missing the laughter in the building."
Executive Director, Children First
Other staff have also noted difficulties in separating "work time" and "home time" in a remote environment. When your personal life and your work are both under the same roof, it gets harder to switch off.
The distractions of "home"- pets, family, roommates, etc.- have also been mentioned as hard-to-control interruptions!
How our Staff is Navigating a Remote Workplace
Perhaps the biggest lesson our CASA staff has learned over the last year is flexibility: A lot can get done from home, remotely. It took some adjusting to Zoom, Teams, and more, but we can function and function well in a hybrid model of work environment.
One way our staff is approaching this new style of work is through organization and separation of "work space" and "home space." Some staff have separate rooms where they store all of their work-related technology, files, and equipment to make it feel more like a distinct work area. This separation also helps us minimize distractions and really focus our efforts on each day's mission!
Our staff also loves to connect virtually and chat about how we're feeling! Staff regularly chats through IM during the day and on scheduled weekly meetings, which helps us keep the sense of connection that we may be missing being out of office. These virtual meetings are a great way to catch up, debrief, and plan out our calendars! It is also a great way to connect new summer interns and allow them to get to know the team.
Moving forward: Returning to our Office
Although we have grown used to our remote workday, our staff is excited to return to the physical office in 2021. Staff mentioned that this shift will help us reorganize and feel more comfortable in a familiar place. Most of all, we can't wait to catch up with our co-workers and hear the laughter in the building once again!
693 North Pope St.
Athens, GA 30601