No More Brick and Mortar:
My Personal Transformation Journey

June 23, 2020 | Continuous Improvement, Remote Work, Transformations

It’s a phrase I’ve thought to myself more times than I can count over the years.

It wasn’t that I didn’t love the work I was doing, but I knew I was missing something, and every day just seemed like a predictable routine.

That is until four years ago when I stopped wondering if there was a better way and started to create my own path, a path that led me to my work from home transition.

This transition has led me to have more time to spend with my young family, as my own boss without the brick and mortar office holding me back.

All I need is a laptop, phone and internet to do my job. I can work from home. I can work from anywhere, anytime.

My brain, my experience and my drive are what enables me to get up each morning and get the most out of each and every day.

I no longer must sit in a cubicle, the metaphorical and physical chains to my desk are no longer holding me down.

During my work from home transition, I’ve traded:

  • Boring meeting rooms for engaging Zoom meetings
  • White cubicle walls for nature
  • 8 to 10-hour workdays in an old office chair for freedom, able to work from wherever the hell I want each day

In fact, some of the most transformative solutions I’ve created have come to me at 3 a.m!

With the current pandemic, people across the world are learning that they, too, can start their own work from home transition…perhaps with a few hiccups

We aren’t tied to our desks and offices like we used to be. It’s our brains that bring value to the company, not our physical presence.

Suddenly, my way of working is becoming the norm.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know it’s not always easy to give up the daily grind and fear held me back for years. I always wondered; will I make enough money? What if I fail?

Knowing what I know now, I wish I gave up the brick and mortar years ago.

You can, too. And this is how (and why) in just 9 steps.

My first home office. I’ve come a long way since then!

THE 4 “WORK FROM HOME” PILLARS

Of course, there will be a work from home transition period when you’re making a personal transformation and it’s not always overnight. That doesn’t mean it’s unattainable.

I prepared myself by creating a solid foundation of four critical work anywhere pillars to ensure I would be not only successful but happy in my transition. I knew those four important pillars were:

1. Technology

The first step is to make sure your laptop or tablet is up to date and connected.  Having the right tools means you need to have the programs, software and applications ready to go. Whether it’s from a cabin on the lake, a weekend getaway or on a month-long vacation, I can plug in anywhere. I can also unplug it for some much-needed downtime, too.

2. Communication

You need to ensure you can easily stay connected and communicate with your peers and clients. Have the right phones, phone plans, and online meeting platforms ready to go is key. Whatever your preference – email, Microsoft Teams, phone calls or Zoom meetings, online and offline communication is critical for remote work success.  If you are working with a team, you need to make sure everybody has the same programs and knows how to use them and when.

3. Comfort

One of the best parts about working from home means I can wear what I want. Many people might choose to still get up at the same time, throw on a suit and tie and work from their desk dressed to impress. Others prefer their pajamas for low maintenance, carefree comfort. Some might even work in their workout gear. The fact of the matter is, you can wear whatever the hell you want!  Pro tip: If you’re working with a team, you might want to consider doing themed meetings from time-to-time (e.g. workout clothes Wednesdays) to build a personal bond and have some fun.

4. Flexibility

Flexibility is the pinnacle of working from home. It means saying goodbye to not only the confines of your office but the rigors of 9 to 5, which – let’s face it, is never actually 9 to 5 when you factor in commute time. Some people are not meant for early mornings and do their best work at night. As an entrepreneur with a young family, some of my best work has come in the wee hours of the morning long after putting my child to bed. Your time is invaluable, and the freedom felt by being able to choose how you use it cannot be understated.

WHAT YOU MIGHT MISS – AND HOW TO NOT MISS IT

Sure, working from the ol’ brick and mortar isn’t all bad. You get to bond with coworkers while collaborating and networking in the office. Sometimes it’s nice to have a routine and meet up with friends for a morning coffee run or after-work drink. But with remote work, you don’t necessarily have to give that up. In fact, you could even find yourself with the perfect balance.

5. Stay connected with your network

Remote work doesn’t mean you’re isolated. In fact, I frequently collaborate with my team members as well as colleagues, old and new. Whether it’s a quick coffee, a phone call or a text, you have the freedom to reach out and connect with people. I make it a personal goal of mine to reach at least one former contact per week. You never know what opportunity might arise from a quick call or text!

6. Keep your own schedule

Before I started my personal transformation, I spent a lot of time commuting to and from work and to be honest, it didn’t leave me much time for other hobbies and activities once I was done with the workday. It may not have been a routine that worked for me, but it was a routine. Sometimes people need that, but they may not realize it’s not a healthy routine. I have a new routine now, and it may not be the same every day but it works for me and ensure I have the time and flexibility to coordinate my schedule so that I still have time for health, fitness, friends, family and fun. Work hard, play harder has never rang so true until I created the life I wanted.

BUT WHY?

We’ve already talked about why and how to start your personal transformation and how to say goodbye to the brick and mortar. Now I want to simplify it into the three main benefits I have reaped – and you can, too.

7. Balanced time

I simply have more time to focus on my family, personal health and career. The ability to take the time to meet those needs is awesome. Burning hours each day in commute is unfathomable now. I’d rather spend it living.

8. Freedom

I can work, live and play anywhere in the world I choose. I can choose when, where and how I work. Enough said.

9. Personal fulfillment

American businessman Nolan Bushnell once said; “the true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” For so many years, I was a dreamer, but that all changed four years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. That is not to say I’ve reached my ultimate goal, or don’t face daily challenges, Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination. But it feels pretty damn good to look at what I’ve accomplished. And I’m not done, yet.

For office workers, the main thing the pandemic has shown us is that there is a different way to work without losing your identity. Working from home – or remote work – is truly becoming the future of office design.

It just might be time to cut those ties to the brick and mortar office and start your own work from home transition.

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