Embracing flexibility: reflections on National Work from Home Day

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“Work from home” is a phrase that has been in the spotlight for the past few years. On National Work from Home Day, it’s nice to be recognized. But for me and probably many others of the estimated 22 million Americans who work from home (14% of all employed adults), it is such an engrained part of our lives that it’s simply “work.”

The number of remote workers is only growing, with estimates predicting that up to 22% of the workforce will work remotely or in a hybrid model by 2025. This growth comes as no surprise, as flexibility continues to be a sought-after work benefit.

I was a relatively early adopter of working from home at Racepoint Global (RPG). Years before the pandemic normalized remote work, I was already working from home two days a week after relocating to New Hampshire. That meant I commuted into Boston three days a week.

My typical commute looked like this:

  • Wake up at 5 a.m.
  • Drive 20 minutes to a bus stop
  • Catch the 6 a.m. bus (often falling back asleep due to the early hour)
  • Arrive in Boston by 7:45/8:30 a.m. depending on the horrendous traffic
  • Try to leave the office by 4:30 or 5 p.m.
  • Work on my laptop during the bus ride home (which usually made me feel sick)
  • Get home by 6 or 7 p.m.
  • Rinse and repeat!

In hindsight, that schedule was exhausting, and the grind of those long days ultimately made me less productive. I barely had downtime once I got home. That was my normal then – and I know people who had even worse commutes. I was grateful to have the two days I got to work from home.

As we all know, the pandemic changed everything. In March 2020, I started working full-time from home, and I’ve never stopped. For me, the transition wasn’t as difficult as it was for others since I already had my home office set up and had years of experience as a remote worker.

Over the years, I’ve discovered many benefits and drawbacks of this new way of working. The biggest benefit for me is eliminating the commute, which increases my productivity and helps me achieve a better work-life balance. However, work and life can easily blur, so I try to set boundaries on how long I stay connected to my laptop.

The biggest drawback is missing face-to-face conversations with my colleagues and the casual “water cooler” conversations. It’s easier to share something about your day or ask a quick question when you’re sitting together, versus calling or sending a Zoom chat. To combat this drawback, at RPG we encourage different ways to continue to foster that connection, even if we are physically sitting miles apart. We host weekly staff meetings, quarterly in-person meet-ups, and our annual all-company gathering, OneRPG.

Flexibility remains a significant benefit to me, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. We value flexibility as a core part of our culture at RPG. As a leader, I trust my teams to get work done in the way that works best for them. This accountability and autonomy help create a rewarding experience for all Racers.

So, happy National Work from Home Day! Pro tips: Don’t forget to unmute yourself on video calls, and always appreciate the cameos from our pets or children – it’s all part of our work life now.


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