Our newest member over here at Team CMVA, Heather Heinrichs, comes filling a much-needed role. And we are excited to introduce her to you and share some of the wisdom she’s collected from her time working on remote teams, from home, with a growing family. Inspiring much? We think so.
Question: What do you contribute to team CMVA?
Heather: I’m the newest member of the team! I act as Charissa’s Assistant to tame her schedule and keep her life as organized as possible. It’s my responsibility to help Charissa be at the top of her game at all times. I’m also incredibly excited to be moving into a client facing role and working with some of our clients. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, I've developed a skill set that allows me to really help people maximize their productivity and organize their lives. I'm passionate about using this skill set to provide administrative and marketing support to busy professionals.
Question: How did you get started with a remote team?
Heather: I was a working mom with a basketball team worth of children and a corporate career that kept me away from them. Even when I was at home, I felt like my mind was always at work. A couple of years ago, I decided to make a big change. I realigned my priorities and made sure to position myself so that I could make sure my family was the center of my day. Meanwhile, I still got the satisfaction that I get from working. Who knew that I would end up adoring it so much? Before transitioning to remote work, I didn’t know that it was possible to truly love your job. Now I get to work with such an amazing variety of clients and learn so much from them every single day.
Question: Did you have any concerns at first?
Heather: I did my research before deciding to work remotely. If I had a dime for every time someone warned me how hard it would be to separate work and family when you work from home, I would be out shopping for shoes right now. This was my biggest fear going into all of this. I didn’t want to be even less present from my family than before.
Question: How did you address those concerns?
Heather: My husband is an amazing partner in all of this. He has always been open and honest with me, and he helped me develop rules that make sure that I draw my boundaries in all of the right places. He was mine and my children’s support system through the trial and error parts of developing these rules.
Question: What are the advantages to working on a remote team?
Heather: I get to spend time with my family. When I was in the corporate world, I had nine-hour work days and three hours of commute time. I live in a small Arizona town that is about an hour from any major cities, so any position that I held would require a hefty commute. Now, no matter how many hours I work in a day, I’m able to sit down to breakfast and dinner with my family every day and tuck my kids into bed every night.
Question: What are the challenges?
Heather: I am a little bit of a workaholic. This is extra challenging when your office is in your home. More often than not, I tuck my kids into bed and then settle back into my office to get some more work done. Sometimes I wish I could silence that part of me and just try resting. It never seems to work out that way though, and I’m accepting that this quirk is something that isn’t going away anytime soon. Some people count sheep before bed; I check things off of my to-do list!
Question: What tips do you have for someone just getting started on a remote team or considering one?
Heather: If you are considering making the leap, don’t settle because you are star struck by the appeal of absolutely any remote position. Find the right team for you! It is even more important in a remote environment than a typical office environment to pair up with a team that you work well with. If you are just starting out, define your boundaries. You should have hard start and stop times in place to help you manage your day. Even if those boundaries include pausing for family time and then wrapping up your day after everyone else is in bed, it has been my experience that establishing these rule has countless benefits.
Family time is a huge priority for so many that choose this way of work, and finding balance between work time and family time can be a unique challenge. Whatever your reasons for being a part of or creating a remote team, making sure to find the right collection of people for YOU is a crucial step all along the way.