RED is made up of a diverse group of people pursuing the same goal: helping you help the world. Where do we come from, and what brought us here? Here is your chance to see inside a remote team – what makes us tick?
Alisa has been with RED since 2004. She started out working with databases, and over the years started programming, and then working with WordPress. Now she concentrates on website security, but her responsibilities cover a range of activities.
RED: How did you end up at RED? What attracted you to RED?
I’ve known Emma since 1991. When she approached me in 2004 about giving her a hand with some data entry and database manipulation, I was happy to give it a try. I discovered that I really enjoyed the work, and quit my much less interesting day job that fall to join RED full time. Emma has an amazing skill for breaking tasks down into bite-size pieces so I was able to learn database manipulation and PHP programming as I went along. RED has a real heart for non-profits and a desire to help people, both clients and team members, so I enjoy the atmosphere and values as much as the work itself.
RED: What are some of your interests outside of work?
I love to read. I have walls and walls of books in my house, and hundreds more in my Kindle. I learned how to crochet recently. One of my favorite things to do is have friends or family visit us and go sight-seeing in our area.
RED: Why is remote work important to you?
Remote work allows me to contribute to my family’s financial well-being while also allowing me to be at home with my two boys, and run them around to their various activities. It keeps my brain working but gives me the freedom to be with my family, and also to travel, since our schedule is so flexible.
RED: Where do you normally work? Are there other places you like to work?
I have a home office, so that is where I usually work. If we’re traveling, I just bring the computer along. I also have an “outdoor office” – a tiny travel trailer in the yard, where I can get wifi from the house, and I have my own coffee maker out there. That’s great for times when the kids are home from school and I need a quieter environment.
RED: Do you work with music, TV, complete silence, other white noise?
I usually work in silence, but every now and then will put on the radio – usually country or ’90s alternative rock.
RED: How do you structure your day? What is your most productive time of day?
I like to get started by 8:30 or 9 in the morning, and then work through around 4 pm, when the kids are getting out of school. I find I’m most productive in the morning, so I try to get the tasks that require the most concentration done then.
RED: It’s not easy to work remotely. Many find it challenging to stay motivated and miss the communication with coworkers. How do you handle these challenges?
I’ve always been self-motivated, so that isn’t a problem for me. If I’m in a mid-afternoon slump, I change gears, have a coffee, or see a friend. If I find I’m stuck with a specific task, I ask the team if someone else wants to help out. I’m an introvert, so I love working alone! I find the office environment draining. We also use Slack as a team, so we can stay in touch with each other throughout the day. I do take coffee breaks with local friends so I don’t live like a complete hermit.