Last year, as everyone dealt with working from home, we launched a new series looking at the joy people find in the WFH experience.
And just as it looked like everyone was heading back into the office, Victoria has put plans to ramp up to 75% office capacity because of a hotel quarantine infection on pause.
Meanwhile, plenty of people are continuing to commute daily from the bedroom to the kitchen table, so we’re continuing our weekly column, which every Friday talks to CEOs, founders and tech leaders about the benefits they’ve discovered from WFH.
To kick off 2021, it turns out Anna Ji, Head of Product at video creation platform at Clipchamp, is already a veteran.
“I’ve been working from home for almost three years before the world was struck by the pandemic,” she said I’d say those 3 years gave me a great headstart to prepare for the new working from home world we now live in. Most importantly, I believe working from home has taught me to become a better leader.”
Here are Anna Ji’s six things that spark joy while working from home:
1. Stronger time management and a better leader
Working from home forces me to be extra disciplined when it comes to time management and my leadership style. When almost all team members are remote, you have access to every public conversation, every project that’s happening whenever you want, and it’s easy to get lost in the weeds.
Very quickly I was able to clearly identify where I spent mental energy on tactical things and restructure my focus to think and act more strategically. If you have a command and control leadership style, which is very common, you quickly realise it doesn’t work in the new world.
At Clipchamp, we now have really mature product processes to manage the chaos while keeping us nimble so we can make decisions quickly. This is the outcome of being remote and having to ensure we empower the team to be autonomous. What you get is a highly engaged team who have clear ownership and responsibility.
2. Stronger relationships
I’m building better relationships with people I work with. Without the luxury of corridor conversations and lunchtime chats, everyone at Clipchamp has recurrent 1:1 with their peers, managers and reports.
I value these regular 30 minutes so much more and developed better listening skills in the last three years, it has made me more confident as a mentor and coach for my team.
You really get to know each other, in fact, each other’s family members too. I love it when my coworker’s partner, children, housemates and pets pop up on the screen throughout the day. You really feel like you understand them and their world better so you get who they are and how you can better work with them.
3. No daily commute
I love eliminating the need for a daily commute, not only does it give precious time back to you and your team members so you have more mental capacity during working hours, it’s also fantastic for the environment.
4. Out and about
We live in Pyrmont which has access to some of Sydney’s best views and cafes, it’s nice to be able to have a stroll when I need to put on my thinking cap and solve challenging problems anywhere I want. A walk to pick up my favourite cold brew is also a daily requirement.
5. Masterchef in training
We used to eat out every second day, but now I’ve deep-dived into the culinary arts. My partner and I have made delicious cuisines, our own passata and even ramen from scratch. So work lunch just got a whole lot more interesting! Next on the agenda is nailing the perfect Creme Brulee.
6. A new companion
Last but not least, seeing my furry friend ‘Happy’ between busy schedules and meetings sparks immense joy and just makes the day-to-day so much better. Happy would be categorised as an ‘iso puppy’ and I’m not mad about it. Having him join our family was by far the best decision we made in 2020.