Office Culture

Working From Home: 1-Year Anniversary

 -  6 min read

At 88, we surprised even ourselves at how effectively we transitioned to working from home, not missing a beat for our clients. But it has been different. Here’s what some 88ers have learned from 365 days of WFH.

What have you learned from working remotely?

“That I actually can. Managing and mentoring has always had me thinking that it couldn’t be done. It can. Its not the same for sure. But it can be done.”

—Joe Popa

“Yoga is a great way to fake a commute at the end of the day and wind down.”

—Erica Pelletier

“I’ve learned that I remain a creature of habit. Whether I’m at home or in the office, I need a cup of something warm at my side and music in my ears (baroque, classical) to give me focus.”

—Brian Crowley

“We’ve all adapted and have been very successful with the change, but in my experience, working from home comes with unforeseen challenges and things that I miss. Surprisingly, I miss the daily routine of riding the CTA to work, getting out and walking in the downtown hustle, and getting dressed in ‘real’ clothes.”

—Elizabeth Paterson

“Starting at 88 during the beginning of the pandemic, it quickly became apparent that building relationships and making connections wouldn’t happen as organically as in-office (over lunch, coffee, etc.). Taking every opportunity to attend virtual happy hours and Fun Committee events has been critical to feeling connected.”

—Emma Lally

“I’ve learned that as an agency, 88 thrives even though we are not on site together. We collaborate seamlessly and create work effectively, always meeting deadlines. We’ve accomplished so much for our clients in this period that we are all proud of! Though I will be happy to see everyone ‘in person’ again, I’ve been surprised at how video technology helps with feeling connected, both internally and with our clients and partners.”

—Barbara Jurgens

“One wonderful thing I’ve learned is that, in the office or working from home, agency culture is still very much alive at 88. Even though meetings and social events are happening virtually, the same spirit of camaraderie, fun and real friendship are all there. And when it comes to the work, nothing has changed—we still all have one another’s backs and the creative is as strong as ever.”

—Terry Boyd

Since you’ve started WFH what have you changed in your home office?

“I work from anywhere now. This has been incredible for my thought process and productivity. If I’m feeling stuck, I just change my location. I can work outside, on the couch, at the table, in a different state, you name it. It has been really nice to be able to change my ‘home office’ locations to keep me going and inspired.”

—Jessie Friesen

“My office is tucked in a south-facing dormer window. The windowsill is where we start seeds for the garden every spring. Soon, there will be tomatoes, zinnias and other annuals springing to life behind me.”

—Terry Boyd

What’s one thing in your Zoom background that is new, interesting or has meaning to you?

“My stereo and speakers. Headphones were always acceptable in the office, but being able to crank tunes on my speakers feels great—it’s my own space and I’m not distracting anyone.”

—Andy Yamashiro

“I now proudly display paintings from daughter on my background bookshelf. Willa was just a few months old when WFH began.”

—Brian Crowley

“I have an illustrated 2020 election postcard from one of my favorite stationery brands that says ‘Time to get to work, ladies.’ It’s very inspiring!”

Erica Pelletier

“Most days, my Zoom background is my bookshelf where I happen to sit right in front of the Harry Potter shelf that has my set of books, chocolate frog cards and other HP related items. The part I’m most proud of is my DIY golden egg (from the Goblet of Fire) that lights up. It made for a fun quarantine project!”

Taylor Mackey