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Making remote work, work: finding an effective work–life balance.

Over the past few months, Kobie teammates have gone from commuting to our St. Petersburg and Dallas offices daily, to setting up their new at-home office spaces, often with other family members or furry coworkers down the hall.

We fully recognize that the transition to working remotely can be difficult for some.

Trying to find a space that is distraction-free and conducive to completing quality work, juggling the responsibilities of children who are learning from home, combating social isolation, or attempting to adjust to a brand new routine are all examples of challenges that we face when we are working from home. Despite these challenges, 91% of our teammates said that they can perform their work as effectively while working from home as they did in the office!

For some, it is difficult to step away from work when the office is in the same space as their home. In order to effectively support our teammates throughout the pandemic, we have offered many ways to help with creating a good work-life balance.

Some of the tools that Kobie has provided to navigate working from home are:

• Focus on freedom and responsibility – 9 to 5 doesn’t work for everyone anymore! We believe that teammates should have the freedom to set their hours and we trust that they can be responsible for meeting deadlines and serving their stakeholders. With that in mind, we encourage teammates to set a schedule that works for them, adding some extra flexibility to the day.

• Work from home guide (download here) – we’ve always had some degree of remote work as part of our culture. Using all of that experience, we compiled and shared tips and tricks on how to make remote work, work and how to achieve a work-life balance. Kobie CEO, Bram Hechtkopf, held sessions for teammates to encourage creating a balance for themselves and to offer tips on how to do so. “We get that work from home is unique and new, so if there is a dog running through or a kid in the background, don’t let it bother you… thank you for the invitation into your home.”

• Summer hours – we heard that back-to-back virtual meetings were blocking focused work hours. Kobie implemented office closures at 2:00 p.m. on Fridays during the summer to help teammates focus on uninterrupted work, on wrapping up their week and/or preparing for the next so that they could disconnect for the weekend. The feedback was so great, we are now transitioning to no meetings after 2 p.m., despite summer coming to an end.

• Walk & Talk Meetings – if a meeting can be taken outside, Kobie encourages teammates to stand up and get away from their computer for a few minutes.

• Staying active – The health and wellbeing of our teammates is always our number one priority. Kobie offers each teammate a free Peerfit account, a wellness program that allows in-person or virtual workouts around their area, as a way to stay active during WFH. Staying physically active has been such a huge focus for us that we even decided to set our annual fundraiser based around it! We asked all teammates to be active for 30 minutes for 30 days while raising donations for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, a local non-profit.

• Focus on mental health resources – It’s okay not to be okay! We want our teammates to be able to seek help when they need it, regardless of their circumstances. Kobie offers several free resources for teammates to seek counseling, to find activities to help with mindfulness, and to stay healthy.

At Kobie, it is important that all teammates feel that they have the necessary means to stay safe during COVID-19, while simultaneously feeling connected and engaged with their work.
Kobie is embracing the new normal: working from home comes with a new set of challenges and obstacles, but we have created a culture and provided valuable resources that will overcome them.

Danielle Sly

Danielle Sly