UpClear’s Work From Home Chronicles: Looking Back

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We believe it is safe to say that no one, business, person, or government was prepared for the impact and adaptation that COVID-19 required. As UpClear took all necessary measures, along with every other business around the world, we checked in with our teams regularly to ensure safety and sanity were all being maintained.  UpClear’s offices were all located in highly affected areas, the cities of New York, Paris, London, and Hong-Kong.  

We felt that as a company of 60 employees spread over offices worldwide, that we were a bit prepared as we already worked in a way that was naturally agile, remote, and primarily in the cloud. UpClear’s adaptation was a success, some adjustments expected, others, a surprise. As we look back on our time working from home, we are sharing our experiences, from dealing with dual video calls, to finding the perfect seat: a cross between a sofa, a pouf, and a hammock…

Work- Life Balance 

Working from home is one thing, working from home during a stay-at-home order and city-wide shut downs is very different. The days start to blend together and work can start to feel non-stop, whether it is your role at a company, your house work, the work to care for families or our furry friends. Make sure that some time is kept just for you.  

“House chores. I don’t know who needs to hear this but working from home doesn’t make you a domestic god/goddess. If you’re finding the time to do 100 more things, that is fine. If your house looks just the same as when you were working from the office, that is fine as well.” – Alexa, UpClear UK 

The weekends are the most challenging for me. But they remain very important to me to relax and think about things other than datasets, ROIs, interfaces and all that. We arrange at least 2 or 3 videos “apéros” with friends all over the place, and I spend more time reading or making music  – Jean Sebastien, UpClear France

Configurations are Everything 

Finding a space to work at home is not always as easy as one would think. Across the board, our teammates called out their different approaches to creating a space where one could work comfortably and focus took some time and creativity.

“Finding a comfortable spot in my apartment without having a proper working desk set up has made me explore my options between the sofa and bean bag – Sofa Sack. When that wasn’t enough, I made myself a makeshift (Jugaad – as we call it in Hindi) standing desk. “  – Harsh, UpClear USA

“Working from home for a such long period of time needs a bit of organization. What is primordial is finding the best spot to work. I found mine, enjoying the coziness of this inflatable Fatboy, a mix between a sofa, a pouf and a hammock.” Alexandre, UpClear France

We both have calls pretty regularly and we had to reconfigure our main room to fit two desks instead of one. Calls at the same time are the toughest, especially if it’s video but otherwise not bad!” – Mariele, UpClear USA 

Routines, Habits & Preparation 

For a lot of us, we had to develop new routines as we adjusted to the new normal of work from home. In a lot of cases that suddenly means not being able to eat out for lunch, getting that walk in, or having that same structure to your day.  

Unfortunately, as with all sports, the NBA has just stopped. So much for my routine. But the even better replacement routine is that I can now have lunch with my wife and daughters.”  – Jean Sebastien, UpClear France 

Having a plan and doing some prep work helps. Last week I threw a pork shoulder in the slow cooker and made pulled pork, and then depending on how much time I had for lunch each day I made pulled pork tacos, sandwiches and mac & cheese. Also remember to prep for breakfast! Even if it’s just having enough cereal and milk” – Alexa,  UpClear UK 

Celebrating Silver Linings 

While we are all mourning the closings of restaurants, gyms, bars, not being able to travel, or spending quality time with friends and family, there is always a silver lining that comes out from these situations.  

Apart from cooking, I have discovered a new found love for planting and it has really been therapeutic. I am still learning but looking at my first plant of mint, there is no stopping me now. ”  –Harsh, UpClear NYC  

By not  needing to commute or iron clothes, I get an extra of 12 hours per week that I use to experiment with home-made breakfasts, yoga and meditation before I turn on the laptop. Or to catch up with family and friends in different timezones, or to immerse in nature in the beautiful parks not too far from my home.”  – Silvia, UpClear UK 

With the closures of gyms, I have started running outside to stay active. Turns out, I love it! Central Park is beautiful and it gives me some me-time with my favorite music. Also, we have discovered some great local pet and wine stores that we otherwise wouldn’t have known about.” – Mariele, UpClear USA