The following is the second volume of our series, Work vs. the World. Over the next few weeks to months, I will continue to interview individual team members to ask questions regarding their work and how work-life is being affected by current events. As local governments begin to phase out, or 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.”
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with co-worker Jacob Carpenter, an interactive designer/developer here at Rockit Science Agency. Jacob creates web applications and user interfaces for our clients.
A typical day for Jacob, pre-COVID-19, began with his preparation of an iced caramel latte, with an extra shot, of course. Once properly caffeinated, Jacob would make his drive to work while simultaneously listening to his favorite developers’ podcast, syntax.fm. After arriving at the office, Jacob likes to spend his first few minutes at the office educating himself by checking out trending designs and development articles via his favorite outlets: Dribbble and dev.to. Jacob explains, “It gets the gears turning and brings insight and inspiration into whatever projects I may be working on that day.”
Jacob uses dev.to and Twitter primarily to read up on news regarding certain frameworks and coding practices that he is interested in and will later apply in his work. For design inspiration, Dribbble and Instagram are his go-tos. The Chrome extension Muzli Design Inspiration is another favorite source of content for Jacob. Muzli pulls different design and development content from around the web onto one page when opening a new tab.
Other developers Jacob follows include...
While working at home, iced caramel lattes and morning musings are still an important part of Jacob’s daily routine. However, his typical day working from home does look different from a day at the office. Now, he says, “My son usually wakes me up in the morning. I get up with him and make him some breakfast, and myself some coffee. He watches TV while I start the day looking at emails and upcoming tasks that need to be worked on for the day.” Jacob acknowledges that there are a few benefits to this modified schedule, for example, the opportunity to see his two young kids every day/hour/second. With a lighthearted nod to some of the challenges that working around two young children poses, he acknowledges that working around toddlers can challenge his ability to remain fully focused. His solution? He says, “I tend to lock myself in my daughter’s room at times, pop on my headphones, and work like that for hours.” To refresh and remain productive, Jacob encourages himself to get out of his head and enjoy the company of his wife and children for ten to fifteen minutes before returning to his at-home desk. This is enormously positive for his productivity, he assures me, especially when he gets stuck on a difficult task. Simply replenishing his energy and clearing his mind allows him to view puzzlers from a different perspective, providing the necessary insight to persevere and push past problems.
Jacob mainly misses our team. “We’re a small agency,” he says, “so we are all pretty close.” He adds, “I also miss taking team lunches. I’m really ready to eat some good food soon!” As for what the future may hold, Jacob hopes that we return to the office, permanently. The office provides a structured environment that is most conducive to his personal productivity.