Spotlight

Kelly Shermach

Role: Content strategy and creation, B2B marketing
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Connect: linkedin.com
Remote Since: 2008

My Workspace

I work from my dining room table. I work on a laptop and get great natural light for part of the workday. I’d like to have a dedicated workspace, but I haven’t figured out where to put it to maximize the light and minimize the intrusion into our home. I don’t want my home to look like a hybrid work/life space. I keep files, printer, office supplies in my linen closet and only pull them out when needed. I put my laptop in there over the weekends, too.

Why I’m Remote Where I’m Remote

I have worked from several apartments in the past 10 years. I selected my current location to get my son into our desired school. I had a colleague who rented a work space and offered to share it with me, but it was a distance from my home. He left the company recently, and I’m disappointed I never took him up on his offer. I have many out-of-home workplace options within a couple of blocks, including Starbucks, Amazon bookstore and cafe, Whole Foods, Capital One Cafe, independent coffee shops. I have been connecting with other remote workers and expect to meet them occasionally to create a temporary co-work experience.

I love that I’m able to walk to and from my son’s school and volunteer during the day. I have all necessary amenities within walking distance. I can hear Cubs home games from my apartment. I have better lunch options than I did in some of the offices from which I’ve worked.

The Mothership

My company’s main office is about 775 miles away. I’ve visited once in my 13 months of employment, for an all-staff meeting. I flew. My company has three business units. The unit for which I work is all remote. My co-workers are spread out across the country.

My Thoughts on Pets

Because my main task is writing, I do not listen to the radio or music as I did in years past when my work responsibilities were less creative. I think an office pet would be a benefit to me.

Why Remote?

Flexibility, work-life balance, proximity and accessibility to my school-age child.

What Challenges Do Remote Workers Face?

The solitude.

My Best Remote Work Advice

Set up walks, lunches, coffees. Get out a bit. Use all available tools to keep in contact with others. I like to be organized, and that I can create multiple errands. I like the sense of accomplishment AND exposure to the outside world I get by taking a few minutes to return books at the library or pick up a couple of staples at the grocery store.

When I’m Not Working

I can be available for my son’s school activities, appointments, drop off and pick up, host play dates and shift my work hours/tasks as needed. I like to cook, bake, garden, do freelance reporting. I am trying to expand that list with exercise and a monthly arts and culture salon. This week I met a friend for lunch and took a walk with another. The hour out of the work day pushes me to organize my workload with greater definition and gives me something to look forward to.

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