When I was initially told that I'd be hired to work for Shopify, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the world, and have the opportunity to work from the comfort of my own home, I was ecstatic, but also very nervous. I had no idea what to expect going into this, being my first time not needing to make the commute to an office.
Having been with the company for almost a year now, I have my fair share of pros and cons. If you're contemplating working at Shopify remotely, or just want a good laugh because you already work remotely and can relate, you'll enjoy this article.
I was immediately comfortable with the fact that I didn't have to wear pants... Ever. Even when you're in a meeting, as long as your top half - the half that your colleagues will see during video meetings - has its life together, it really doesn't matter what you have going on with your bottom half.
Due to this instant comfort, getting out of your pyjamas before the day comes to an end is considered a conquest. I find that I need to make a conscious effort to make myself look like a presentable human being on a regular basis.
Despite the con, this is still absolutely a huge win at the end of your greasy, probably not showered in a few days and probably wore the same thing several days in a row work week.
You now have 24/7 access to heaven, aka the kitchen. As long as you made the effort to venture out of your house on grocery shopping day, this is a beautiful thing. You don't have to wait in line for the office microwave, and you certainly don't have to worry about someone taking your beloved chocolate jell-o pudding cup from the work fridge that you've been excited to eat since you packed it in your lunch bag.
You now have 24/7 access to heaven. This means you can get up and grab something to eat whenever you want. If you're like me, this has turned into an unnecessary amount because you're in your house and no one is watching you.
It's still very possible to maintain a healthy diet! Stock up on healthy snacks and prep your meals in advance to avoid this problem. :)
When you work at Shopify, you're not only part of an amazing team, you're part of an irreplaceable work family. We all communicate on Slack, which is very similar to yé olde school MSN Messenger that us 90s kids are so nostalgic about. (It has emoticons and everything!) There are channels for every single hobby you could possibly have ex: theatre arts, sports, inspirational quotes, music, anime, books...anything under the sun. You won't have the opportunity to feel left out. There's a special group for every single person, no matter what you're into, all at the click of a mouse.
While you have the opportunity to build life long friendships with your peers and you can easily reach someone whether they be in Ottawa or Ireland, there's still this lingering sense of solitude seeing as you never physically get to hang out with them. You turn off your laptop and poof, they're gone. If a co-worker/friend of yours had a bad day, you can't say 'let's go to that place you like down the street for a brewski.'
It's like a completely different world, and something that some remote workers never get used to. Despite all of this, an awesome thing about Shopify is that the company does its best to bring us all together throughout the year as often as possible. You absolutely will get the chance to meet your work BFF. That's a guarantee! Luckily for us, we live in a world full of technology that has a workaround for this problem...FACETIME! Grab your phone/tablet/laptop and head to Starbucks. Facetime with your work friends after work and talk about non-work related things while not spending money on data by using public wifi. When there's a will, there's a way!
Getting down to business
Like any other job, it's not always fun and games while hanging out with your work fam. You have a job to do! Sometimes it can be hectic. Sometimes, you don't feel like doing it. Other times, you're rocking the day and it flies by mega quickly. No matter what type of day you're having, there will always be support.
I genuinely don't have a con for the type of support that's offered at Shopify. Since Day 1, I was welcomed so warm-heartedly by every single person that has ever mentored me to be where I am today. Physically, I'm still on the same couch I was on when I started, and it's formed perfectly to my body, but that's besides the point.
Initially, I was thinking 'how will people monitor my success? How do they know I'm actually working? Did they add a secret chip in my laptop that acts as a video recorder?'
I can assure you, there isn't any sorcery happening within the company, but I can promise you, your boss is very good at making sure you're doing your job.
To be honest, I feel better taken care of at Shopify than I have at any other company I've ever worked for. Even if you had the ability to take a cat nap at your desk, you just don't want to. All people at Shopify are very passionate people who want nothing more than to watch you grow as an individual and as someone who represents the company along with them. You have a voice, and everyone here wants to hear it. This in turn makes you want to work as hard as humanly possible every single day.
In the end, there's an underlying sense of professionalism in everything that happens at Shopify. We get shit done, but in the most genuine, coolest way. This company has taught me that work doesn't have to be bland. There are constant changes happening at Shopify. Since I've started, the amount that the company has evolved has been astronomical. This isn't only due to the higher-ups trying new things and having them succeed, it's thanks to the fact that no matter what position you have, you are just as important as anyone else, and everyone cares about your opinion.
Working remotely was an adjustment, but infinitely worth it, every step of the way. You belong. If you have the opportunity to work at Shopify, I say jump on that chance and run with it. You will never be disappointed.
See? I told you that you get to meet your work BFFs.
Written by Sonia German