Although it was a year ago, in some ways it feels like March 13, 2020 was yesterday. It was the day our agency’s name became (somewhat) literal. The day we were asked to pack up our laptops, monitors, cords and office plants to take with us, as we were about to begin working remotely indefinitely.
We Nomads fairly easily moved from the comfort of our office space to our virtual office, housed in each of our homes across the Valley. HQ looked a little different—with kitchen tables instead of standing desks and a lot more kids and dogs than usual—but the show went on.
Now, on this weird anniversary that so many of us around the world are recognizing, we wanted to take a look back at the year. We polled Nomadic to see how far we leaned into quarantine trends (aka banana bread and TikTok), how many of us have completely abandoned jeans for sweatpants and what lessons we’ve learned. Here’s what we found.
Slack and Zoom became the standard mode of communication and connection for Nomads, with more than 188K Slack messages sent, 89% of which were direct messages, and 3K+ (work) Zoom calls participated in… but we’re sure that number would be much higher if it included Zoom happy hours. And yes, we still get caught talking while on mute.
The adjustment period took longer for some of us. One Nomad relocated their desk space five times, though the average is twice. The most popular home office purchase was a proper home desk, but others got techy by adding new speakers, mug warmers and space heaters to their set up. Most Nomads say the worst month for their wifi connection was June—which is probably why Nomadic introduced a wifi reimbursement perk to improve those uploading and downloading speeds.
By removing the commute to and from the office, the average Nomad saves nearly 60 minutes in their day. Without a physical communal space, Nomads have adopted work schedules that best suit their productivity peaks. There is no longer a “typical day at the office.”
We’ve cozied into our home offices, with only one Nomad claiming they never wear sweatpants or yoga pants. The more typical Nomad wears stretchy pants four days of the week. Many Nomads are basking in the sweet, sweet silence that a work-from-home life allows. However, those who prefer background noise have shared the playlists that get them through their day. We highly recommend giving them a listen.
As we head into year two of the pandemic and as our lives start to get back to “normal” (whatever that looks like), there are a few learnings from this year we hope to hold onto. During this time, we got better at setting healthy work-life boundaries for ourselves, learning when to walk away and take a break in order to come back in a better, more refreshed state of mind. We’ve also learned patience—for ourselves, colleagues and families. We’ve learned not to just “show up” when you really need to sit out, because there is immense value in taking a rest for your physical or mental health.
And finally, we have learned that we can be (and are) adaptive. In a single day, we moved from in-office to fully working from home, transitioned from in person to Zoom and “water cooler” chats to Slack chats. We’ll continue to make adjustments for whatever comes next, like setting up in another location at our new base in the OH Holdings building, but we are confident (and even excited) about what the future holds.