SeaLab | Meet The Team: Kelly Hannifin


SeaLab | Meet The Team: Kelly Hannifin

A wanderlust girl, looking for her favorite place to work.

Hi, my name is Kelly and I am a Web Designer for SeaLab.

Working from home means being able to truly work when I want, where I want and to make an office or area that inspires me. Sometimes I wake up early, work for a few hours and take the rest of the day to get whatever I need to do in life done. At other times, it means sleeping in, working for a while, making dinner, cleaning the house, and tackling a few more work tasks later that night. It also means taking a few weekdays off to go camp or relax when there aren’t as many other people around and then working through the weekend. In other words, it is a bit of a juggling act for me. I am not much of a routine person, I like to do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it and a work from home arrangement allows me to feel successful in areas that are not directly related to my job.

My current at home work arrangement which I share with my boyfriend. It is about as clean as it will ever be, in view are my dual monitors, a printer, his breath mints, truck keys and passport for the upcoming trip we are planning. You can also see a peek of the trees out of the office windows.
A close up of my desk clutter including opened mail, sets of keys, and a U.S. Passport. This is where we pay bills, plan trips, write birthday cards and shop online. It is often cluttered with my boyfriend’s stuff too since he shares the office.

Freedom

Working from home can be great! I have a lot of freedom, I don’t feel like my job owns me, and my commute is VERY good (I don’t even have to put on shoes). I love my office, it is a modern-day shrine of stuff that inspires me and reminds me of my travels. I have a map on the wall because the reason I work is so I can travel and have glorious adventures, (rappelling in Croatia anyone)?!

An image of my adventure in Croatia, I had my laptop locked up back at the hostel. We were hiking, jumping off boulders into the river, and repelling and I had spent that morning working on a train. Here I am giving two thumbs up before descending down a mountain face, all smiles — a yellow helmet for safety — with a rushing river below.

Working from home also means I can shop online with wild abandon and never have to worry about missing a package or needing to be home to sign for one. This is all well and good, but working from home can also have various downsides.

Distractions

The working world has seen quite a revolution in the past decade or so due to the abundance and affordability of the personal computer, which means that not only do I work from home but my boyfriend and our roommate also work from home, which can be really difficult.

Also, I am not quite sure what they do for a living, but my dog, cat, and bunny also seem to work from home, therefore, I can and do have quite a few distractions to deal with during my work day. My cat hangs out in the basket by the window next to me (when he isn’t trying to lay on my keyboard).

Oso, my black and white tuxedo cat, cat-napping in a red basket like he always does in my office.
Gizmo, our Australian Shepherd looking up with his puppy-dog eyes who is paws down, my biggest distraction.

My boyfriend and I share a small office, although full disclosure, he is a real estate agent and often works more out of his car than from home so it works well that when I am working he is usually out showing houses. Our roommate works similar hours as I do and occasionally uses our office for conference calls and such which for the most part works out well. It can be really hard to concentrate when the house/office is dirty, and that is usually when productivity dips very low for me and I either have to clean it first or take an adventure outside to a coffee shop. It can also mean that my friends think I am available all the time and tend to come by/stop over whenever they are free because I am probably home. I have learned that I have to set boundaries and just let people know that I am glad they stopped by after work, but I still have work to do.

I am sure that working from home is not for everyone, it takes quite a bit of time management, a bit more of doing your own bookkeeping and you better know how to make a good cappuccino or you’ll never make it! Just kidding, I am only mildly addicted to caffeine, well mildly might be an understatement. Annnyways…

Travel

This past Summer, working from home meant working from 8 European countries. I have also worked from Guatemala and a few states around the US. This may sound great, but it is actually quite challenging. I am learning that a vacation where I can truly unplug and leave my computer at home is worth its weight in coffee…ahem…I mean gold. I chose to take my computer to Europe because I went on a 4.5-week backpacking vacation which I could have never done if I didn’t work from home. I have packed my computer on almost every vacation I have ever taken since college because I do work from home and might need to fix/work on something on the fly. Working and traveling also mean I became an expert wifi hunter and I was surprised to find out that Costa Rica had way more accessible internet than London.

The lovely map of where I have been and the next few places I’d like to go, I am thinking Colombia, Cuba, or Thailand. I mark the places I have been with pastel push pins and the places I would like to go next with push pins with white and gold animals on them, Thailand is marked with a unicorn, my spirit animal!

My home office is filled with photos of people I love, postcards from places I have been, board games, toys that I have collected from all around the world and fun trinkets I have picked up here and there. I also have our guitar mounted on the wall, a colorful rug, a small crafting cart and a coffee mug warmer because cold coffee just will not do. But, I think my favorite part about my office is the view out the office window at this beautiful tree in our front yard. I love watching all the birds that fly around it and I am so happy it’s not the other side of someone’s cubicle.

My favorite and most recent addition to my toy collection, a set of wooden Viking dolls from Stockholm, Sweden. I also have a cartoon mouse from Germany, a bronze chess set from Turkey, and fun cartoon creature from Feed Me, a DJ and graphic designer I love.
My view, a sight that grounds me every single day. Outside my window, I can see blue jays and other brightly colored birds in our two red oak trees that have the most beautiful vibrant green leaves right now. I recently hung a hummingbird feeder and hope to see a few soon.
Our glass-front bookshelf of treasures and games. A few of our favorite games include: Smallworld, Ticket to Ride, and Mysterium. Also pictured are Settlers of Catan and extensions, Cosmic Encounter, Texasopoly, and Clue.

Team & Culture

Overall, I do love the freedom of working from home, I get to work at my own pace and manage my schedule. I think having a strong team that is supportive is absolutely necessary though. Our team at SeaLab is fun, inspiring, and always striving to do good things for our community. Our leader Heather is so supportive and truly cares so much about each and every one of us, she figures how each of us is most efficient and tries to work with us. I feel like a united team even though we are spread across the globe.

We get together at least once per quarter to discuss how things are going and how we can improve the process, we enjoy a meal and drinks and always have a great time. We have Skype discussions once a quarter as well and get really good face-time with the team members we don’t get to see in person. We have a team member in Japan and we love getting to see his life that is so different from our own. I feel like we are a family, a united front and one that shares the feeling of living freely and loving our work.

At SeaLab, we pour our life and love into our work through the computers in our homes, in our bare feet, with a smile on our face and I believe it shows.

I would love to hear about why you love working from home or what you love about your office being at home.

Thanks for reading!

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Source: Medium:Remote Working
SeaLab | Meet The Team: Kelly Hannifin

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