Working from Home | Assignment Desk – Blog | With all the craziness of this pandemic going on across the globe, it’s no shock that offices everywhere are closing down and sending their employees off with monitors to work from home. This is a first for a lot of us, and it can seem daunting. We wanted to let you all hear from one of our amazing senior production coordinators who has been working remote since she started with us. Introducing, Larissa Ross, she’s always putting a smile on our faces and truly a superstar at Assignment Desk (we stole her from our pals at ESPN because she is that good). Keep reading to hear from her about her experience working from home!
I’ve been working in the television production industry for 20 years. Under my belt I have a few local news stations and one worldwide leader of sports. These jobs came with crazy hours, weekends, holidays, wall to wall coverages that last days on end. Through those years I got married and had three kids. The balance between work and a personal life was difficult to say the least! Until one day, a wonderful opportunity fell in my lap. I accepted a position working remotely as a Production Coordinator in August of 2019.
It’s been quite an adjustment from working at a large corporate office with 4,000 people for 8 hours to being home with just me and the dog. My first priority was building my work space.
You really need a room or space with a door so you can take phone calls and not be disturbed. Thankfully I have a room that I was able to fit a standing desk, a large monitor, and a high back office chair with adequate lumbar support. I also contacted my cable company to ensure I had high speed internet and that my cell phone service was dependable.
I can see how many people think that “working from home” is occasionally checking emails in your pajamas, surrounded by snacks and Netflix. From my own experience, I will tell you that this is hardly the case. You are surrounded by constant distractions, so it’s entirely up to you what you make of your work day.
My second priority was managing my time and keeping a strict workday schedule. Here’s what my day looks like. I should be ready to work in my chair at 9am. Dress up as if it was a regular work day. My husband would always ask “Why are you wearing perfume?” to which I would reply, ”It ‘s part of my routine! Leave me alone!” Since I’m home with the dog, I take short fifteen min breaks walking her at 11am, 3pm & 6pm. When you work from home you aren’t chained to your desk, so it’s actually very helpful to step away for a moment and come back ready to work.
Interaction with the rest of the office is also key. Our office has a Facebook Portal. The portal is on from 9am – 6pm. If there are any questions for me or my team, we have an open channel to be able to problem solve or get quick feedback without a delay by email or busy phone signal. I know in other work environments SLACK is a great tool to stay in touch.
A Busier House!
Cut to March 2020 and the introduction of the coronavirus. My workspace is now cut in half since my husband, an ESPN photo editor, is also asked to work from home as a safety precaution. To add to that, all three of my children are home because of school closings until further notice. Now what? Working next to my best friend is great. We are both like minded, so we get our work done and take some time to complain here and there like any other workplace. He gets requests from ESPN.com writers for images and illustrations for the website, and I get requests from clients all over the world for production crews. I usually keep it to light chit chat as we both have important work to do. Being the proactive organizer type mom, I put on my “Production Coordinator” hat and made a schedule for my kids.
This helps alleviate the question, “I’m bored. What can I do?” then I say, “Go look at your schedule!” I keep it loose and dont live and die by it hour by hour, it’s mainly used as a guideline to keep the peace.
Making it All Work
Since my office IS my home, we have all our supplies and keep tally of what we need. Meal prep is key. Have a plan for all the food you intend to buy so there is little to no waste. There are plenty of stores in my area that have been emptied out by hoarders.We try to space out our trips to the grocery so the stores have time to replenish. It’s usually my husband that goes while the rest of us stay away from public places completely.
I try and find time to get our kids out in the yard for fresh air and exercise. If the weather isn’t the best, we have impromptu dance parties, yoga sessions or our family favorite, the fitness dice! There are PLENTY of learning tools online to keep the little ones occupied. All our streaming subscriptions keep us entertained when we’re ready to wind down: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime. And by all means parents, it’s okay to let your kids BE BORED. Let them use their imagination to create, to write, to draw, to build, to write letters to friends and to just be kids! Though the circumstances are not ideal, it’s really been nice spending this time with my family.
If you have an upcoming shoot coming up during this pandemic, give us a call. We are open and here for you. We might be remote, but we are still available for those pop up shoots (and safety comes first so precautions are put into place). Stay safe everyone!