Quarantine Q&A: How BDN's Employees Are Mastering the Work From Home Life

Four of our employees share their challenges, silver linings, and advice to cope with this new way of life.

4/6/2020

Summer Olson, Talent Acquisition Specialist

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

My biggest challenge thus far has been not being able to work alongside my team physically. I get a lot of my energy from face to face interactions, so it’s been an adjustment not having them next to me throughout the day to talk to. Thankfully, we are keeping in touch throughout the day via Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

What is one piece of advice you have for others working from home?

Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it! Sunday night I outline my week, and then at the end of each day I look at the day ahead and make any adjustments needed. Also, as a rule of thumb I put my least favorable tasks at the beginning of each day so I can tackle those and get them done.

What is something you didn’t think you would miss as much as you do?

I miss my drive into work which is incredibly unexpected (who would of thought I would miss an hour of being in the car). I never realized how much I value the time in the car. It really does allow me to get myself mentally ready for each day while driving in, and when leaving it allows me an opportunity to unwind before I get home.  

What is one thing you are thankful for during this forced stay/work from home confinement?

I’ve owned my house for 3 years and I’ve finally been able to get done a lot of the projects I’ve been meaning to get to, which makes me feel extremely accomplished.

Here's a look at Summer's new work space - check out that note pad! 

 

Tonya Ristaino, Erecruit Subject Matter Expert

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Getting used to a new set up. This includes telling my fur children (2 cats) that I cannot play with them as I am at work.

What is one piece of advice you have for others working from home?

Stick to your routine! While it may be convenient to roll out of bed and simply sit in front of the computer, stick to your routine of getting up, getting ready, eating breakfast, etc. I have also made it a point that when I am in my home office that I am “at work” and while I am in other areas of my house I am “not at work.”

What is something you didn’t think you would miss as much as you do?

I’m adjusting to not being able to walk over to my colleague’s desks to ask them questions or help them with troubleshooting. I have however been able to leverage Zoom Meetings and Microsoft Teams to adapt to the remote work.  

What is one thing you are thankful for during this forced stay/work from home confinement?

I am thankful that I do not have to drive into work each morning, traffic can certainly put a damper on one’s day.

Here's a look at Tonya's new work space, dream vacation background and all:

Jade Lommano, Talent Acquisition Associate

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Not having my monitors! I like to have multiple screens up at work so I can get more things done, working with only a laptop has been very challenging but I am getting used to it.

What is one piece of advice you have for others working from home?

Stay on top of your work, do not slack. It can be easy to get distracted, so try to find a quiet place in your home!

What is something you didn’t think you would miss as much as you do?

My monitors, headset, and being around my coworkers! I always wanted a remote job but after being home for so long I realized I NEVER want one!

What is one thing you are thankful for during this forced stay/work from home confinement?

I still have a very strong connection with my manager and team members, we talk 24/7! We still motivate each other through text which is fantastic. I am also thankful for spending more time with my family.

Here's a picture of Jade's four-legged assistant, Ruby:

Tom Stammberger, Senior Director – Business Systems & Performance

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

  • Taking regular breaks to stretch my legs
  • Getting my fresh vegetables

What is one piece of advice you have for others working from home?

  • Maintain a regular schedule
  • Get up, shower, and dress as if you were going to the office.
  • Set clear boundaries with others at home
  • Take regular breaks
  • Stay connected
  • Celebrate your wins

What is something you didn’t think you would miss as much as you do?
Walking over to Starbucks, and having colleagues physically close to me to socialize

What is one thing you are thankful for during this forced stay/work from home confinement?

Being able to contribute to flattening the curve, and delaying getting infected as much as possible to make sure that there is a bed, and respirator for me at a hospital when needed, and/or there is a treatment and vaccine in the market. On the positive side, spending time with my wife, and connecting more often with family and friends.

Here's a look at one of Tom's check-ins with his team around the country: