More than 16 million professionals started working remotely due to the novel coronavirus in late March, according to a report from Slack. About half of those individuals would prefer to continue working from home even after their offices reopen, a poll from Gallup reported in May.
Greg Christine is one of those people in no rush to return.
Prior to the pandemic, the senior account executive spent most of his work week at the office. Christine said he got used to seeing his family a limited amount during the week, and relished their weekends together as a result.
But after his employer, adtech company The Trade Desk, went fully remote in March, he got to spend much more time with his family. Now, he’s sold on the idea of working from home at least partially and thinks many other employees may follow suit.
“After experiencing the other side of this balance, I believe our lifestyle in America has changed forever,” he said.
Christine shared some of the big differences that little acts — like cooking his wife breakfast and taking walks during the day — make on his remote productivity and happiness.
How long have you worked remotely?
I have been working remotely since March. I was previously in the office primarily, so that shift was drastic. It took me some time to understand how to best work remotely. Little things like having a workspace that was not the kitchen table were a challenge at first. Now, I have an entire home office, which has really increased my productivity.
Working remotely challenged my perceptions of how hard I work and how much I see my family.”
What’s the one thing you do every day that has the biggest impact on your work as a remote employee?
I work out, or at least get outside for a walk, every day. Some days are packed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., which makes working out difficult. But if I get 30 minutes to walk outside, my mood improves dramatically. Working remotely makes it more difficult to be active because you have to be conscious about it. Moving around is more natural in an office because people walk to meetings and leave the office to see clients or grab coffee with co-workers. So getting up from my desk and out the door for some exercise is important to keep my energy strong.
What’s the most important lesson you've learned about remote work throughout your experiences?
The importance of creating more balance. Working remotely challenged my perceptions of how hard I work and how much I see my family. Getting my daughter ready in the morning without rushing and cooking my wife breakfast have been welcome changes.
I used to value spending weekends together. Now, I value all of the time we spend together. After experiencing the other side of this balance, I believe our lifestyle in America has changed forever. I hope to work from home more than I did before.