We know that you're thinking - what is a "Nive Girl of the Month"? Each week, we interview a millennial woman that acts as a catalyst for deviating from the typical nine-to-five lifestyle. This week, our Nive Girl of the Month is Ella Chrzan Shepherd, remote worker extraordinaire.
Whether you find yourself reporting to a cube farm or an open-concept workspace, we think it’s safe to say that the conventional work environment is slowly becoming extinct. In a telecommuting study performed by Global Workplace Analytics, roughly 25% of the US workforce works remotely to some extent. However, a stark 80-90% of US workers have expressed that they would like to work remotely part-time. While there’s a clear disparity in the way employers are managing their organizations and the needs of the workforce, the everyday work environment will continue to evolve. Luckily, Ella has found a way to strike a balance and successfully master the work from home experience.
We hope that her unique insight into the remote work experience will leave you with some helpful tips for when you take your next work from home day!
Tell us a little about your background
"I’m originally from Westfield, NJ. But I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. I went to school down south in High Point, North Carolina where I majored in Nonprofit management. I have a big passion for animals and the nonprofit sector overall. But I currently work in the private sector managing clients from all around the world for a tech company as a Program Manager."
What is something that most people don't know about you?
"I am adopted, and my middle name actually means “horseradish” in Polish."
As our Nive Girl of the Month, how do you think you would define your individual style?
"I’d say my style fluctuates a lot, with a lot of adaptations on current trends or classic styles. I love color and unusual prints especially!"
Tell us about your morning routine!
"I’m an early riser for sure; I wake up when my skylight wakes me up (around 6:30). Usually I read some of the news and check my phone, get up and get on a call with whatever overseas client has something scheduled, wash my face, brush teeth, and take my dog for a walk. Then, I do my makeup (usually mascara, blush, some concealer, and sunscreen), brush my hair, and get dressed to head to the office or my co-working space. I’ll sometimes make tea and grab some blackberries on the way out too!"
How have you chosen to deviate from the typical 40-hour workweek? What initially prompted you to start your own business?
"I haven’t started my own business but I’ve definitely fallen into a position where the typical 9-5 isn’t my jam. I can work remotely, and that flexibility is huge for me as someone who has their whole family living elsewhere."
In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?
"The hardest thing for me when working odd hours in various locations is definitely the lack of camaraderie in my job, as well as staying motivated. I find that scheduling time away in the daytime really helps give me a second wind. I’ll take a break and read, and I’m not afraid to go on vacations (or staycations) in order to say “no” and shut work off to give myself some space to recover. The lines blur with my particular work schedule, and balancing that is hard, but crucial."
Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
"I’m really inspired by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who come from a place where it would’ve been easier (and safer) for her to stay working where she was, but she felt it important to work to improve her own life and the lives of others by serving through politics. I wouldn’t be a very good politician, but sacrificing certain comforts to serve others and improve their day-to-day life is definitely really inspiring to me."
What is one piece of advice that you'd like to share with our readers?
"I’d definitely say that you can’t be afraid to make space for yourself. Don’t allow work or others to infringe entirely on space that you need for your own mental health and well-being. It’ll burn you out. It took a long time to learn that spending time with yourself is a blessing, not a curse, and learning to embrace that and work on self-improvement and care in those times is huge."
THE INTERVIEW DOESN'T STOP HERE...
If you would like to learn more about Ella, follow her on Instagram here!
Don't be shy, we don't bite! If you know somebody that would like to be interviewed as the next Nive Girl of the Month, don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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