For much of the world, the sudden shift to working remotely has been a shock and a challenge. For those of us here at The Kevin Eikenberry Group, it’s been a typical work week….kind of. In this series, we want to share our perspective as veterans “on the front lines” of remote work. We’ve learned a thing or two over the years that we hope might help you in your transition.
How long have you been working remotely?
I have been working on/off remotely for around 8 years, starting with one day a week in a previous role. When I joined, The Kevin Eikenberry 6 years ago, I was working remotely part of the time and have now been entirely remote for the past 2.5 years.
What challenges (if any) are different for you in our COVID-19 remote work world?
The biggest challenge I am facing in this COVID-19 remote work world is now I have 7th and 4th grade colleagues and our missions are different.
I have realized it may take 42 minutes to write a 2-sentence e-mail because we are all working at the same time and I will be disrupted to help with assignments. So, although I am lucky because our school system is familiar with e-learning and the teachers have been providing lessons for the students, my children do not prefer this type of learning and need more assistance.
While I am used to working from home, their world has been disrupted and I must remind myself that it will take them longer to process the change. I am working to be patient and understanding of how they are processing these changes. I have also shared my calendar with them to help manage my time. This helps them to know when I need to be in a meeting or when I have true deadline versus when I am available to help with school (or lunch).
We continue to work together to find the right balance. We yell at each other (mostly because we are frustrated with the situation), but we are doing the best we can and we know each day is an opportunity to try something new and start again if the day before didn’t work.
What advice would you offer for those who are just now entering the remote work force?
Give and receive grace. Just like any new role/position/endeavor, there is a learning curve. Allow yourself the opportunity to learn and don’t be afraid to tweak your process. Further, make sure your teammates know you are in this together and together you will find a way to make it work.
About the Author
Lisa Ritter-McMahan is the Learning Events Manager for The Kevin Eikenberry Group. She lives outside of Indianapolis, IN with her husband and two boys. She is a runner and big fan of Indiana sports – especially the Colts, Pacers and Hoosiers.