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Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...

  • 1.  Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...

    Posted 03-20-2020 08:32
    Many professionals are working from home because of the pandemic.  This is a huge transition in everyone's work experience.  I know that adjusting to working remotely was one of my biggest challenges when I left the corporate world to start my independent consulting business in mid-2018.  One thing that helped me greatly with that adjustment was to hear how other people dealt with their challenges to successfully work remotely.

    So, please share your challenges and successes.  Topics can include:
    • Your home "office" - workstation and ergonomics
    • Maintaining contact with your work colleagues - both project-related and "coffee break / water cooler"
    • Conducting remote meetings
    • Getting done what you need to get done
    • Your new "work-life balance" - Dealing with distractions from work and home (spouse, children, pets) and society (pandemic)

    Looking forward to sharing and hearing your challenges and experiences.  Most importantly, stay safe and take care of yourself and loved ones in these challenging times.

    Aaron Sarafinas
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA

  • 2.  RE: Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...

    Posted 03-20-2020 10:22
    One of the challenges I think people are going to face with remote working is isolation.  I've been a one-person consulting firm since 1995 and I love it, but isolation is a thing...   When we have jobs we go to, we develop a work family that supports us in ways that go beyond work.  Fortunately, the tools for maintaining virtual contact with friends/family/colleagues are pretty great now.  They don't take the place of seeing someone in person but they're way better than having only written correspondence and telephone.  

    As COVID-19 precautions roll out, the option for being with others at local section meetings has disappeared.  The AIChE's Virtual Local Section has been holding monthly meetings online for nearly a decade and during the COVID-19 outbreak we will help other local sections hold their meetings online if they want.  Meanwhile, if you're feeling a need for connection, this month's meetings of the Virtual Local Section are next week.  This month's meeting presentation is about making your focus your magic as you start or develop a consulting business, and it's free for anyone to attend.  

    Best to everyone!  Be well.


    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States

  • 3.  RE: Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...

    Posted 03-20-2020 16:17
    I've scheduled a number of video calls with my work colleagues, friends and family so we can still see and interact with each other as if we were in person.  It's not quite the same as face to face, but certainly helps me feel more connected and less isolated.  Looking forward to hearing what others are doing!

    Monica Mellinger
    Senior Membership Associate & Engage Community Lead

  • 4.  RE: Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...

    Posted 03-21-2020 00:52
    Edited by Steve Cutchen 03-21-2020 00:58
    I worked remotely as a CSB Investigator for 8 years. I'm in Houston, my organization was in Denver.  What I found was:
    • I needed to establish a routine. I went to work. I went to lunch, I went back to work. I went home. I set up an office that was an office... not anything else. 
    • I needed all of my files and support information to be electronic. It was not feasible to duplicate paper files.
    • I spent my own money on hardware. External monitors, external backups, an iPad Pro, a good sound system, a damn good office chair.
    • I worked hard to figure out what software worked for me. Some, like MS Office, were obvious. Some were communications tools or tools for creating electronic versions of paper. PDF editing software. Video editing software. Photoshop. Scanning to PDF, including books.
    • Video conferencing into a meeting was difficult. I'm a face on the wall, not at the table. The table was not used to that. It was hard to participate. It was on me to make it work.
    • Making and receiving comments was difficult. It's easy to poke your head into an office and say something quickly. And misunderstanding are immediately fixed. Written comments are as misunderstood as written drafts.
    • It was great to be able to devote long periods of time to a task, without interruption. Maker's versus Manager's time. 
    • Fortunately I'm a Thinking Introvert, so once I was buried in a task, it was great. I didn't miss people.

    Steve Cutchen
    Investigator, retired
    US Chemical Safety Board
    Houston TX

  • 5.  RE: Working Remotely - Share how you're coping...