How A BCG Associate is Managing the Realities of Working From Home

It is undeniable that we have all experienced a large period of transition when it comes to norms in the workplace. For many, the idea of normalcy has entirely been flipped on its head, while others have been able to adapt in a less extreme manner. Regardless of what your work-day transition has looked like this Covid season, remember that change is hard!

This week, we had the pleasure of talking with Courtney Townsend. Courtney’s life consisted of traveling four days out of the week to work with clients, and now, well, let’s just say she is very familiar with zoom conferences. Take a look at our conversation to learn more about how Courtney dealt with the transition into working from home, how she prioritizes her wellness, and how to spend some quality time in your garden.

Interview with Courtney Townsend

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what an average workday would look like for you before Covid hit?

A: “So I traveled every week – I was gone Monday through Thursday. The location changed depending on the client I was working for. About three to four times a year, I was going to a different place. Mondays were always an early start, heading to the airport, then coming back Thursday evening. In the middle, we were up pretty early working with our entire team and with our clients. It was definitely really rewarding; we got to form great relationships day in and day out, you felt that you were part of a team working towards a goal together. Also, being able to be in a team room with our internal coworkers was really fun; we have awesome people on our team, and it’s really nice to get to know everybody, since really we were only in our home office one day a week.”

Q: What does your work day look like now?

A: “Now I’ve been at home, I guess since February. Which has definitely been different – my home office is way more set up than it used to be! My schedule is definitely busy, and I do appreciate that. Instead of meeting our clients in a boardroom, we’ve been on a lot of zoom calls. At the end of the day, we’re still trying to accomplish the same thing – to really forge strong relationships, so that we can deliver our clients the best possible product. It comes down to being able to communicate on a daily basis, so I’m very grateful to still be able to do that in some form. Definitely spending much more time in my home office.”

Q: What aspects of your job do you really enjoy?

A: “One of the things I love about this job is that it’s always a little bit different – depending on the client, it changes from month to month. You’re never bored, which is great. I’ve been able to work across the whole spectrum, but one of the things I focus on is technology-based products. I’ve gotten to learn a lot about how a company would operate on a digital infrastructure level; I’ve been able to help our clients find efficiencies, and explore new capabilities and functionalities. It really varies all the time – so, I’m definitely using the full spectrum of qualitative and quantitative thinking, which is very rewarding. It’s a nice mix of big picture thinking and detailed tactical planning.”

Q: What was the most difficult part of that transition for you?

A: “For me it was not being able to collaborate in person with my team, because that’s such an important part of our process; having a quick team meeting to talk about the challenges our client might be facing. We’ve come up with a lot of workarounds, luckily, so we can still get to the same place. My job is typically also very fun, so I definitely miss spending my day with that group of people.”

Q: Do you have any recommendations for those who may be struggling with adapting to a different structure of working?

A: “For me, what’s been helpful is to set up some boundaries. I try to only do work in my office. In the beginning, I was moving all over our house, and now I’ve really made an effort to just work at my desk. Then, when I leave the office (I don’t go in there when I’m not working), I try to create a semblance of normalcy. Big shifts are always a challenge.”

Q: What wellness routines or habits do you practice to keep yourself happy and sane?

A: “Yes! We just got a dog a year ago (at the beginning of the lockdown), and she’s been the best addition to our team, and has definitely made life much more fun. It’s a good reminder to get outside a few times a day, even just a walk around the block to get up and move. When work is crazy, we do always have our commitment to her, which helps to keep us more productive. Her name is Covey – she is super fun. Having a pet is great because it helps to clear your head, and it’s a good reminder not to stay stagnant all day.

Q: Do you often spend time in your garden?

A: “I’m the proud owner of many Gardenuity gardens, I love them! I have The Herb Garden, which I managed to keep going in the winter, and I use it all the time. I love to cook, and it’s really fun and cool to go into my backyard and pick some basil, or tomatoes and cucumbers to use for my meals. It always kind of surprises me that I can do that. I have definitely learned a lot, I wouldn’t say that I have a natural talent for gardening, but Gardenuity definitely makes learning so much easier. Just having something growing definitely brings a little bit of calm to the day. I also have The Desktop Garden, and I love looking at it, especially when I’m on call after call. It’s always nice to have the reminder to care for something. When you’re nurturing something, it brings you a sort of happiness.”

Focus on your Happiness

In the tumultuous day-to-day of seeking out normalcy and routine while working from home and managing your life, find the time to prioritize your wellness. A wonderful way to do this is by getting out into your garden, and spending 10-15 minutes a day unwinding and nurturing your plants. Cut out this time, and you will not be sorry.

If you want to learn more about Why Gardening is so Good for You, take a look at this article.