Day in the Life of a Remote Worker: Jacqueline Zeller

Day in the Life of a Remote Worker

This spotlight illustrates how each remote worker finds freedom and productivity in their everyday life, in their unique way. Get inspired and see how you can improve your workspace, workflow, and work/life balance.

Name: Jacqueline Zeller
Pronouns: She/Her
Current Job: Chief Marketing Officer at Workplaceless
Current Location: New Jersey, USA
Current Computer: Lenovo Yoga
Current mobile devices: iPhone X

What does your typical workday look like?

Varies by the day! This was my day on Dec 29th, 2019:

My morning routine starts with intentionally setting my alarm seven minutes early and calling our 3-year-old and 5-year-old kids to come into our room. I know lots of people have established habits of starting their days with meditation or a workout, but we start our mornings with some family time snuggles—easily the most reflective and energizing start to my day. Once we reach the first snooze, we hop out of bed and officially get moving.

After breakfast and getting everyone ready, I’m out the door to drop the kids off at school, but my “mini commute” allows me to already be back at home by 8:30am. Now it’s time for me to settle into my workday. But first, coffee.

I sit down (or stand up) at my desk to get started. 90% of the time I’m working out of my home office. I’ve dedicated a space in our upstairs where I can close the door and walk away when it’s time to shift my attention to other aspects of my life. My workday typically starts with checking our Workplaceless social accounts (we’re most active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram). I ensure that everything we scheduled to post went live as planned, and aim to respond to any comments that occurred during the evening. 

I also use my morning routine to check in with our various team communication and planning channels so I have a clear view of lies ahead and what I need to accomplish today. Here are a handful of the tools we use to keep everything running:
  • Gmail (+ Google Calendars + Docs + Sheets)
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Zoom
  • Social Report
  • Active Campaign

One thing we teach as part of remote team fundamentals is establishing a company communication charter. This means ensuring that everyone on the team clearly understands when to use which channel for different types of communication—to assign a task, to share an update, to provide notice of an item that needs immediate action. This helps to align expectations, as well as establish boundaries. As our team expanded during 2019, we’re in the process of revising our communication charter to address our growing team. 

Daily check-ins and responses completed. Now onto the goals for the day. If possible, I prefer to schedule my meetings in the morning and reserve my afternoons for deep work. However, as our team is spread throughout Europe, United States and Canada, we aim to be flexible in coordinating meetings with respect to the various time zones. And this afternoon we’re hosting our team holiday party.

This morning I’m finalizing the content for an upcoming blog post in Google Docs. I want to get it to a solid place during my morning, so I can send it to our editor to have ready in her inbox when she starts her day on US West Coast time. Then we collaborate together within the Doc on content and grammar edits needed before transferring the piece to our official publishing platform—async collaboration for the win! 

11:30am With the flexibility of adjusting my schedule to accomplish all my goals in my day, I’m grateful I can pop down to our basement for a midday workout on the Peloton. (Yes, my husband and I did purchase a Peloton for each other pre advertisement controversy.) And we love it! Especially working from home, it is so helpful to have an easily accessible, yet motivating, exercise option during my day. Then it’s a simple leftover or salad lunch for me. An odd benefit of working from home is that I’ve found our food doesn’t go bad as often.
12:45pm I’m back upstairs, getting prepped for the afternoon of my workday, with my second cup of coffee. I [try to] log out of communication channels (Slack, Gmail, Asana). I’m spending this afternoon taking the time to map out our 2020 Content Strategy in MURAL. We’re excited to bring forward and reflect on some conversations and best practices that our Networkplaceless virtual community has suggested such as: hybrid team relationships, and optimizing remote team communication.

2:00pm Workplaceless team holiday party time! This was just a casual event to check-in and celebrate with all the members of our team. No work talk or specific goals established, but we did play a fun, low-pressure game of “Hot Seat”—highly recommend this virtual team-building exercise. You get to learn a lot about your teammates on a wide range of details beyond the typical scope of work.

3:00pm After the fun, I’ve reserved the last working hour of my day to log back into our communication channels: catch up on any communications in Gmail and Slack, check in with Asana to ensure I accomplished specific tasks for the day, and ensure everything I need auto-scheduled for the following day is ready to run in Social Report or Active Campaign.

3:45pm My specific workday schedule varies depending on the day of the week and personal commitments. Again, because of the freedom of flexibility, today I’m able to log off in the early afternoon to take our big kid to music class. I’ll sign out at 3:45pm, but after dinner and putting both kids to bed, I’ll finish up those final scheduling items or plan ahead with our social calendar.

8:30pm Hi, me again! Logging in quickly to spend 30 minutes capturing some edits needed for our end of year Workplaceless Insider newsletter and scheduling to send in the morning. Lastly, 15 minutes to run through my Asana tasks to get a quick setup for tomorrow. 

9:15pm Officially shutting down for the day. Time for some personal recharge activities before resting and starting the day anew. 

Describe your workspace setup:

Dedicated home office with a desk that I’ve converted to work sitting or standing.

What do you listen to while you work?

It depends on my mood or tasks: ranges from silence to Spotify Pop and even to the Great British Baking Show on in the background.

Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace:

Easy—coffee warmer

Connect with Jacqueline:
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jacquelineferris

Follow Workplaceless:
Twitter: @workplaceless
Instagram: @workplaceless
LinkedIn: Workplaceless
Facebook: Workplaceless

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