The following is the fourth volume of our series, Work vs. the World. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to interview individual team members to ask questions regarding their work and how work and life are being affected by current events. As local governments continue to phase out, and bring to an end, stay-at-home orders, I aim to explore what it is like to be a part of the advertising industry in 2020 - life at home, life at work, and life when “at work” means at “home.”
Casey West is a newly hired graphic designer here at Rockit Science Agency. I asked her to describe her role at the agency. She explains, “I wear several hats here at Rockit. I work with both the print and web teams. I go where I am needed.” Her favorite aspect of her job is that no day is the same. For Casey, work never feels monotonous because she is constantly between different projects.
This week is our first back in the office after nearly a two month stint of working from home. Working from home did not pose too many additional challenges for Casey, her responsibilities were largely unaffected by the new circumstances. From home, Casey could sleep until just 30 minutes before she logged into work online. After waking, she would immediately make herself a cup of tea, scroll through social media and the news, and allow her body to unwind as she became more alert. Throughout the day, Casey would take brief walks through her neighborhood for fresh air and to prevent herself from falling prey to lurking productivity slumps.
To keep current on industry trends and tools, Casey relies on Chrome extension Muzli, which curates content from various platforms and publishers. Muzli incorporates specially chosen work to be featured on one page, which is refreshed daily.
The greatest hurdle, however, was that Casey felt she struggled to remain inspired; her home is a place where she feels the least creative. “In college,” she explains, “I always did my work in a studio or coffee shop. Of course, neither of these options were accessible under stay at home orders.” As an alternative, she says that she consumed additional artistic content online, primarily via Youtube. As a self-described homebody, she expected she might even prefer to work from home. “Boy, was I wrong!” She laughs, “I found I was too stir-crazy and all the time. I really missed my coworkers and our funny workplace conversations, antics, and lunches!”
Casey, like myself, was brought on as a full-time hire only two weeks prior to being sent to work from home. In addition to finding it difficult to unleash her full creative-capabilities from inside her home’s walls, she also came to face fears that her treasured new position might be at risk. She says that, “The sudden collapse of the economy did cause some anxiety that my job might be at risk.” Fortunately, Casey had interned at Rockit for a semester before being offered her current position. During her internship, Casey had seen what strong relationships exist between our agency and our clients. Casey also felt secure in her own relationships here at Rockit. “As far as work goes, I have proven myself as an asset here,” Casey, now happily reclining into her desk chair, concludes, “I am so comfortable with my team, we are as close as you can get to a family at work.” In the thick of uncertainty, there was nothing more to do than keep her head up, work hard, and trust her company.
How does it feel for Casey to be back in the office now? She is thrilled to have returned, although, she admits that it did feel a bit strange -- at first. Laughing lightly, she says, “It's funny, almost as if I am back in another semester of school and all the time spent in quarantine was a (very disappointing) “summer break.”” She is truly so happy to be back, she unnecessarily assures me.