A Day in the Life of Four Remote Workers at Dell
When we first heard from Jennifer, Clint, Georgia, and Jane, they walked us through the paths they took as they became remote workers, as part of Dell’s Connected Workplace initiative.
Because remote workers have a lot of control over how they structure their days, we find it fascinating to hear how individuals choose to approach their work and personal activities when they have a variety of options. So, we asked the team at Dell to describe what a typical day for them looks like, including both their work and personal time. This is the second post in a two-post series. Be sure to read part one of Dell team members’ remote work journeys here.
Read on for a glimpse into the daily life of four remote workers, located around the world.
Integrating Work and Life
Clint Littlejohn, Bay Area, California
Dell Director, Talent Acquisition
One of the things I appreciate about working remotely is that the “typical” day is anything but typical. In general, I start working between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m., depending on my meeting schedule. Since I’m on the West Coast, I find that the majority of my work activity happens earlier in the day.
I tend to work a long stretch in the mornings and break for lunch around 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. I’ll then come back and work for a couple more hours before shutting down.
That said, there are several times when I may work later into the evening in order to complete something for a project or colleague so they have it first thing the next morning. I have also worked a few split-shift days where I may start very early, work four to six hours, and then take time off midday to handle personal errands, etc., and then come back and finish up in the evening.
I tend to think of it as work-life integration as opposed to work-life balance. Instead of worrying about balancing my personal and work life, I simply try to integrate the two in a way that makes the most sense for my lifestyle.
Making Time for the Ski Slopes
Georgia Hybner, Vancouver British Columbia
Dell Regional Talent Acquisition Program Lead for Asia Pacific Japan
Here’s what a typical day looks like for me in my dream job at Dell:
- Sleep in until 9:00 a.m. (unless it’s a powder day, then I get an early start)
- Healthy breakfast, cup of Twinning’s, and onto the ski gondola for 10:00 a.m.
- Four runs on Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain.
- Back to my home office for a 12:30 p.m. start.
- Prepare for the day, typically connecting virtually (phone/video) with over eight countries per day (across Asia, India, North America, and EMEA) over Microsoft Lync meetings.
- Lead several project meetings, connect with my manager, HR, and business colleagues.
Working at Home and in the Office
Jane Ellis, Amsterdam
Dell Regional Program Lead, Europe, Middle East, Africa
My typical day starts with getting my two children up and ready for school in the morning. In between making school lunches and letting the dog out, I start up my laptop to check what the day ahead looks like.
As a remote worker for three days a week, I vary my working-from-home and office days dependent upon any onsite meetings; this quick check makes sure I don’t miss any important new meeting requests that came in overnight. I enjoy my working-from-home days, as this gives me the opportunity to cycle with my girls to school and get back home to start work within 10 minutes, including a visit to the bakery to pick up fresh bread for lunch! On the office days, I take the car, and the commute is approximately 30 minutes.
On home-office days, I head out to my recently-created home office. Previously, I worked in a dedicated spot in our lounge, and I now have a “real” office at home which is a converted, rather large shed!
It’s overlooking our garden, and the dog joins me lying in her very own office chair! This detachment from the house ensures I have a real business setting and don’t get distracted by the dishwasher needing filling or the washing machine beeping at me. These things I do when I take a break and need to get up and stretch for a while. It also means if the children are home sick or home from school and I have late meetings, I’m available, but not too available.
With two to three hours of meetings each day, using the technology Dell provides for remote workers, I can simply utilize my softphone (VOIP) for meeting or video conferencing, plus of course instant messaging to catch up with my colleagues for a chat or to ask a quick question.
On my part-time days when I work six hours, my home location affords me the opportunity to be able to pick up my children from school, have their friends over to play and enjoy some mummy time, but be available for urgent or time-critical meetings or emails.
At the end of the day, I’m lucky enough to be able put my laptop to sleep and close the office door and walk 20 steps into my kitchen to make dinner without a stressful commute sitting in a traffic jam.
Finding the Flow Between Work and Personal Life
Jennifer Jones Newbill, Austin, Texas
Dell Senior Manager, Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement, and Experience
There is certainly no typical day, but I do find there are a couple of common themes. Because I work on a global team and have direct reports in five countries around the world, I am up fairly early on calls at 7:00 or 7:30 a.m.
I attend one-on-ones as well as team meetings or project calls while also blending in things I need to attend to in my personal life through micro-bursts in pockets throughout the day.
I may choose to exercise over my lunch hour by either taking my dog for a run in the neighborhood, attending a yoga class, or hopping on the Stairmaster in my at-home gym. If I have an evening call, I may hop offline in the afternoon and run an errand or chat with a friend or neighbor.
The key is to be comfortable moving back and forth between personal work, professional work, rest, exercise, and fun.
This takes practice, but ultimately is the life of someone that is remote/virtual and can be very rewarding to feel ‘in control’ of your schedule—just don’t let your schedule ‘control’ you!
A big thanks to the team at Dell for sharing their remote work experiences with us!
By Brie Weiler Reynolds | December 3, 2015 | Categories: Work Remotely