Every Friday, our new weekly column talks to CEOs, founders and tech leaders about the benefits they’ve discovered from WFH in 2020.
This week it’s Joel Thomson. co-founder of presentation platform LivePreso (recently rebranded from SalesPreso).
Thomson says he’s been working in tech (in one form or another) for almost 20 years.
“That’s 20 years of people saying things like; “Oh, you work in ‘new media?’ great, perhaps you could look at my computer, it’s been playing up,” he quips.
“One of the most common remarks has been; ‘It’s so great that you work ‘in computers’ that means you can work from anywhere, you could do your work the beach right?’.”
Working from home has never really appealed he confesses.
“I like being away from the distractions of my own house, I miss the structure and the casual chats with the team—in person—at the office,” he said.
“Enter, a global pandemic, which has forcedly made home my office; and since we’re in Melbourne, add a curfew and a 5km travel restriction to the experience.”
“So now I have a new-office (front room) with break out space (kitchen nearby), and it’s okay, I’m getting used to it, I’ve even liked some things about it.”
Here are the six things that spark joy about Joel’s home office life:
I’ll take any opportunity to make a meeting ‘alfresco’; I can grab the dog, pin the phone to my ear and get away from the desk.
Our team all working from home has meant we have many more planning meetings; “what are you doing Joel, what’s blocking you, etc.”. These are ideal walkie-talkie opportunities; I’m getting more fresh air and sunshine, and Deefer’s happy too.
2. Understanding our clients better
I’ve found working from home has brought me much closer to our client’s working experiences. With the overnight shift to working from home, our own remote selling software features have seen a big uptick; and the focus of our business has turned to support this new way of working.
Being in the same boat as our clients, with our sales, account management, and customer support all working remotely; we’ve learned first-hand the new challenges facing them and some new ways to help.
3. Run like I’m being chased
Not commuting has meant more time for exercise, which is great, but my love of running has been as much about managing the stress and anxiety of running a startup though this pandemic as fitness.
So far this year I’ve run 720km, I’ll get to a 1000km by Christmas. I can imagine all that stress and anxiety chasing me; it makes me run faster!
4. When the work day’s over, it’s over
Before remote working, I did long hours in the office; getting home late was the norm. I expected working from home to make this worse. Instead, the work-day has started and ended earlier at home, and it’s been more productive.
That said, I don’t have kids, live in a shared apartment, or any of those things that make home hectic, and the office a haven of peace and focus.
The days feel longer and more concentrated; life feels less like it’s flying by.
5. More time with Joëlle
That’s my partner, not an alter ego. Our most connected time together, before I started working from home, was the weekend. Working from home means we meet through the day, sometimes have lunch together, cook more together, have some evening time together, more together-things.
I think working from home has brought us closer; I love that.
6. Changing routines
The unavoidable routine of commuting is a drag. That said, mine’s only half an hour or so each way. I even thought I’d miss it, like punctuation marks in the day; time to zone into work, or out of it.
Instead, I just replaced it with other things, running, Joëlle, walkie-talkie. I’ve found working from home forces all sorts of change to routine and behaviour, and on the whole that change is good, a lot of it is here to stay.
Back on the commute, I’ve saved money on gas, car maintenance, probably licence points too. I’ve taken those savings and spent them on more wine, one more reason to love working at home.