With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic developing and changing our lives on an almost daily basis, the way we do work has also needed to change. In order to do our part to slow the spread and #flattenthecurve, Triple Crown Construction’s office has made the move to work from home for the time being, while our field teams continue to work on-site complying with CDC recommendations around social and physical distancing.
While remote work, or work-from-home (WFH) arrangements are common across industries, for a team as tight-knit as ours, it can be challenging not seeing your work-family’s faces on a daily basis. We’re in uncharted territory here, but we’re getting along by helping each other out. Even in this unprecedented time of self-isolation, it’s important to remember that we’re not alone. That might mean going a little stir crazy in our own homes, but hey—others are in the same boat!
We checked in with some of our staff on how their transition to remote work has been going and asked for any tips for others still adjusting to the WFH life!
The Pros & Cons
What’s the best part of working from home? Well, for one, the commute. “It’s unbeatable—not that my existing commute is bad, but ten seconds is hard to beat,” said Mark Cooney. It’s nice to not have to factor in commute time to your schedules, or account for traffic (not counting the line that can form in some kitchens around lunchtime, especially for those with kids staying at home!). Said Angie Ugaz, “I love waking up and I’m at work, and love getting off and I’m at home.”
“I absolutely love it,” said Catherine Payne. “I love having the commute time now as my time. The drive in and the drive home was often draining. I’m getting better sleep, I have time to walk and exercise after work, and I feel more relaxed when I sit down at the computer first thing in the morning.”
“Some team members are noticing that the costs of everyday commuting and work life outside the home—gas, coffee, eating out for lunch—can add up, so it doesn’t hurt that they’re saving a few bucks here and there that they’d be spending otherwise,” said Kurt Peurasaari.
It’s also been nice for some of our team members to get a little more time in the day with their children who would otherwise be in school while they’re at work. Those with younger children are tasked with the challenge of keeping an eye on them, making sure they’re learning (many schools have moved to remote learning during this time), while still getting work projects done. “It’s been very hard because I have to watch the girls, be a teacher, and get my work done all at once,” said Fany Armendaris. But outside of that difficulty, working from home is something she’d recommend in normal times if employers allowed it. “Even if it’s once a week, just to break the routine. I think that I would love working from home if it wasn’t on me to be a teacher and caretaker simultaneously.”
The other difficulty is the lack of contact with coworkers. “I discovered that I’m more social than I realized,” said Jacki Grubb. “Human interaction is important to me.” Almost every one of our newly-WFH employees listed missing seeing everyone at the office as one of the biggest downsides to the arrangement. Thankfully, this is temporary, and we’ll see each other again soon—and there’s always Zoom video conferencing in the meantime! As Rhody Ross said, “I’m actually more of an extrovert than I thought. People…where are the people?!” Though, as for his biggest downside—that his “ManCave” now has more of a work feel instead of a relaxation zone…not much we can do about that one, unfortunately!
One of the big questions people have when it comes to working from a home office is how will I keep my work life and my home life balanced? That’s a question we all wrestle with during normal times, but when we live in the same place we work, there’s some fear that the barriers between them might erode.
Fortunately, the TCC team overall has felt like they’ve been able to keep a pretty healthy balance between the two. Triple Crown is allowing its employees a little flexibility in their schedules so they can attend to timely things that come up at home, such as taking care of children that are now out of their usual routine. Being able to balance work/life needs and hours has proven valuable, said Kurt, and as long as you’re able to shut yourself away from distractions it’s not too hard to stay focused on tasks.
This might not be the case for each person, as everyone works differently, but for people like Angie Ugaz, it’s worked very well. “It just feels like there are more hours in the day without the commute or traffic,” she said. “I’ve learned that I can work from home just as efficiently as I do in the office.”
Finally, we asked our crew if they had any final parting tips for newly or soon-to-be remote workers. Here’s what they had to say!
- Greg Maciulla: “Do your best to maintain routine and assist others wherever you can.”
- Jacki Grubb: “Walk away from your work and allow yourself a full lunch break like you would have in the office. It is easy to overwork yourself when work is always accessible, but it is important to take care of yourself too during these times.”
- Kurt Peurasaari: “Stay focused. And wash your hands.”
- Angie Ugaz: “Savor the moments while they last.”
- Mark Cooney: “Establish your work area. Once you have that set up, it’s pretty easy to focus.”
- Catherine Payne: “Set your work area up to feel as ‘office-like’ as possible. I’m sitting at a desk with a drop down for the keyboard in the living room and it feels like I’m at work—working on a kitchen table or on a sofa would not be good for me. And try not to snack any more than one would usually do at work!”
Even though much of our staff is working from home, rest assure that we’ve still got the talent, skills, and tech to continue providing exceptional, partner-grade service. We’re open to requests for proposals, project planning and PIP consultations. Contact our office at 240-815-5300 or at Connect@TripleCrownConstruction.com if we can be of assistance.
About Triple Crown Construction:
Founded in 1991, Triple Crown Construction built a reputation for itself as a reliable partner in the hospitality and commercial construction industry by understanding and delivering on its partners’ expectations. Based in Frederick, Maryland, Triple Crown Construction strives to approach each and every project with the goal to deliver quality, service, and value, and is committed to raising the standard of excellence in all areas of its work. The company operates with a family mentality, a commitment to the greater community, and a desire to work with those who aim to improve their customers’ experience.