How We Work: UpBuild Home Offices

“UpBuild exists so driven and passionate technical marketers can do their best work, in their ideal environment, for clients whom they’re excited to work for.”

This post is going to focus on the ‘ideal environment’ part, namely the physical element of where we do our best work. UpBuild is a 100% distributed company with team members located all across the U.S. Despite and as a result of these differences in location, we all have the shared experience of working remotely. We talk about it a lot, swapping pro-tips, commiserating on down Wi-Fi, and sharing links to home office gear.

What do we mean when we say “ideal environment”? I’ll let the UpBuild Team tell you where we each do our best work.

Will

Describe your home office

The basement of the duplex apartment that my wife and I moved into about one year before I started working for UpBuild. Half of it is furnished and that’s my workspace.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

My cat, when she chooses to appear.

What do you love about working from home?

E*V*E*R*Y*T*H*I*N*G. Chiefly, though, I’d say it’s the ability to take breaks when I want to, and return to make up the work later in the evening if I need to.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

Being a procrastinator by nature, the biggest challenge for me is the multitude of available distractions at home. There are always chores to be done and they become strangely visible when I’m working on something frustrating.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

My upstairs couch, the two comfortable coffee shops nearby, and occasionally the library at Concordia University, which is about a 20-minute walk from my place.

Anything else you’d like to share?

All my music gear is in the same space because my work computer is also my recording “console”, and because the basement is the most reasonable place in the apartment to make noise in. Upsides to this for work are that my drum stool becomes my cat’s hangout platform when I’m not using it, and since I have a high-quality audio interface and good mics for music recording, my voice on conference calls always gets the deluxe podcast treatment.

Michelle

Describe your home office

Open loft space!

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

I used to live in a basement apartment with no light. My new home office is above ground with lots of light and very open.

What do you love about working from home?

There’s no better commute, lunch and coffee are very cheap, and my dog.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

It can feel isolating, especially in the winter. Also, when my partner comes home from work, she usually wants to stay in whereas I really want to leave the house.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

Coffee shops and I hope to try out co-working spaces as the weather gets colder.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Working from home is awesome!

James

Describe your home office

Trapped in the early 2000’s

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

My adjustable desk!

What do you love about working from home?

The loud music and being arm’s length from my dogs.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

I honestly can’t think of one.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

I don’t! If I somehow lose power or internet at the house I’ll venture to a place with good WiFi, but that’s a rare occasion.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t have a floor in my office right now.

Laura

Describe your home office

Dual-purpose: home office and guest bedroom.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

I love everything about my desk setup: the desktop, the adjustable desk, the keyboard tray, and the La-Z-Boy chair. Oh! I also recently bought a heated blanket for my icy cold feet which is my new favorite thing ever.

What do you love about working from home?

I was always the person in the office with the big ol’ headphones to mitigate the distractions of the dreadful open office plan, getting simultaneously told by my bosses that I needed to walk around the office more and chit chat with coworkers, while being completely overloaded with monthly client work that gave no margin of error for wasting time. The incongruity of those expectations really stressed me out.

A lot of our UpBuild strategies and deliverables are extremely technical, so I love being able to hunker down with them for hours on end without being distracted or feeling like I’m being negatively judged as being anti-social by the higher-ups. I truly feel like I can do my best work this way and that is just the best feeling.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

It can be challenging for me to disengage from work at the end of the day. Most people can manage to disconnect during their commute, but since my commute is a 2 second walk to the living room, there’s sometimes an awkward transition period where I feel like I’m ‘still at work’ after I sign out.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

I like using Workfrom to find new coffee shops for remote work. UpBuild provides a co-working stipend each month, which can go toward that cuppa joe and makes this a no brainer when I’m feeling like I need some extra stimulation or inspiration outside the home office.

Ila

Describe your home office

My home office isn’t really much of an office space. I just moved and haven’t really dedicated a space specifically as an “office”, nor do I think I will. Typically, I work from my home for half of the day and then go to a local coffee shop for the other half of the day (depending on my schedule, of course). If I have a lot of meetings scheduled on the same day, I’ll spend more time at home for the sake of knowing I have quality internet. If I’m working on tasks where I don’t need to stream video, I enjoy going to local coffee shops and working with some background noise.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

My favorite part of my home office would have to be the atmosphere and design. I’ve decorated my space to fit me very well. I have photos and artwork everywhere that remind me of the things I love and keep me motivated to work harder.

What do you love about working from home?

I love the location independence! The idea of being able to work from the comforts of my home, but also be able to work from just about anywhere is a relaxing sentiment to me.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

My biggest challenge working from home is that I’m actually a huge extrovert. I love talking to and being around other people, hence why I love the location independence. I can work from home when I want/need to be alone, but I can also work from anywhere else when I need that human interaction.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

Since I just moved, I’m in the process of exploring my new area. I’ve discovered my new favorite coffee shop, and I find myself there 3-4 times a week.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Someday soon I would actually like to do away with whole home and office all together! I would like to be 100% location independent. The plan is to travel from place to place for about 1 month at a time and work simultaneously!

Alex

Describe your home office

We were lucky enough to buy a home that allowed me to have a dedicated office which I’ve grown to love having. It’s pretty basic but has all the things I love: my records, my cat, and my books in addition to my computer set-up.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

Being able to shut the door and turn my music up louder than I would if I was sharing a space.

What do you love about working from home?

Making my own coffee and having random conversations with my cat during the day.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

Having conversations with my cat when I should be working. It doesn’t happen that often I swear.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

I haven’t tried working remotely from anywhere else for an extending period of time yet. I’ve spent an afternoon here or there working outside of my home office but it’s just too comfortable here.

Ruth

Describe your home office

My home office is the room over the garage in my house. It’s on sort of a “mezzanine” level between the first and second floors. I have a standing desk, and there’s also a comfy futon for me to sit on when I don’t feel like standing. I have a collection of desk items I’ve collected over the years, including my “Cold War Unicorns” and a stuffed panda someone sent me when Google Panda hit.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

The sunlight! My desk is right next to a window so I get lots of light all day. The window looks out over the top of the neighbors’ garage, so I often see cats, birds, and squirrels doing their thing out there.

What do you love about working from home?

Almost everything! The short commute, the ability to wear comfy clothes, getting to cook myself a proper lunch in my own kitchen when I want to. The flexibility that working from home affords me is so important to me as a working parent. My house is only about five minutes from my kid’s day care so if he gets sick or anything, it’s quick and easy for me to come get him.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

The isolation! I’m a pretty extroverted person and sometimes my family are the only people I see all day. I try to combat that by grabbing lunch or coffee with friends during the day, doing social things in the evening, and of course chatting with my co-workers on Slack during the day.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

Occasionally I’ll go work from a coffee shop. If I need to write something like a blog post I find it much easier to get in the zone and write at a coffee shop than in my own house – something about tuning out the extra noise and bustle from a coffee shop helps me focus. My husband and I live far away from our family, and the last two summers we’ve been able to spend about a month back on the west coast seeing family and friends. Working remotely means I can take the time to really see the people I love, while still getting my work done.

Ryan

Describe your home office

My home office currently doubles as a guest bedroom and small storage area. I’d describe it as a mix between a functioning adult’s workspace and a 17-year-old’s bedroom. I’m moving in a couple months and aim to make it lean more toward the functioning workspace side of things.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

I have a few canvases in the background that were painted at a wine and paint night event. Mike is a big fan (probably because he hasn’t seen them up close).

What do you love about working from home?

I can mold my schedule around when I’m going to be most effective.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

Sometimes I don’t leave the house for 2-3 days, which is also kind of a blessing. I do have to make an effort to get out and be social, or I notice my productivity start to decline.

Nick Bradman

Describe your home office

My home office is a converted sunroom in a remote log cabin. It has lots of space, and a great panoramic view of the rustic, natural surroundings. I keep my musical stuff here so that I can jam out if the mood strikes, and there’s a fireplace to warm up next to when the weather gets cold.

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

The abundance of natural light, and peaceful view.

What do you love about working from home?

Not having to commute.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

My sometimes spotty internet connection.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

The local coffee and bagel shop is a nice place to work when I want to go somewhere.

Mike

Describe your home office

It is my Palace of Ultimate Productivity. The Code Cabin. The Podcasting Shed. The Fortress of Solitude. The UpBuild Mindfulness Center (a former co-worker gave it that name).

What’s your favorite part/feature of your home office?

The fact that it’s this perfect workspace where I can control and refine every minute detail so that I can do better work more efficiently.

What do you love about working from home?

Pretty much everything, but that’s not a real answer. I love being able to either close or open myself to external inputs by having Slack and email open. When I want and need to interact with the

team and our clients (which I love), I can. When I want to focus in on something or if I need to disconnect to think through a big decision, I can shut the entire world out with just a few clicks.

What’s your biggest work from home challenge?

Aside from spending way too much time looking at an array of monitors, my biggest challenge is not compulsively vacuuming the office. Luckily, it’s a small space.

Where else do you like to work remotely?

I’ll occasionally go out and work from a coffee shop. I’ll bring my noise-cancelling headphones, put on Brain.fm, and use my Chromebook (which is great for portability and limiting the types of things I can work on) and just burn through email like there’s no tomorrow.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m insanely privileged to be able to work (and live) in the way that I do. There’s not a single day where I’m not grateful for it. Even if the unspeakable happened and I was no longer a part of UpBuild, I’d only be able to work for a remote company. My capacity to work in and travel to an office has been forever destroyed.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.