Rolling remote with Elizabeth Fretz

Elizabeth (Liz) works for Infor, a global software company that builds products for industries, as a manager in their education group. It probably sounds like a big job and it is, which is why working from home is essential. When things get too stressful or she needs to step away, Liz has two furry excuses–her cats Simon and Sydney.

Liz shares how her cats help break down the inevitable barrier in remote-based work relationships–plus how they keep her in check when she’s irritated or upset.

Liz’s furry work companions, Simon and Sydney | Submitted by Elizabeth Fretz

Quick-fire profile

How many years have you worked remotely? 11 1/2 years

Where are you based? Metro Detroit

Where do you spend most of your remote work hours? In my home office

Coffee or tea? I have both depending on the day

Liz’s home office setup and decor

What type of chair do you use while at work?

I move around the house so chairs change.

What features do you like most about your work space?

I can see the beautiful outdoors from wherever I choose to sit.

Do you share your work space with anyone? Tell us about them!

I share my space with two cats (Simon and Sydney) who each like to visit me during the day. If my voice starts to get a little loud or I start to sound irritated, Simon will get vocal to make me aware and calm me down. He  would prefer if I could figure out a way to hold him all day while working. My colleagues know him as he likes to give his opinions during meetings sometimes. Sydney comes by to get attention, especially if she feels like I am not in a meeting.

Remote work pros and cons: Liz’s take

What are the biggest pros and cons of remote work for you?

Pros: Frankly, the ability to do a quick 5-minute chore between my meetings.

Cons: Not having the ability to meet your colleagues and learn who they are face-to-face. Often there are misunderstandings because you don’t understand the person. Then you meet once face-to-face and you “get” them.

Liz in her bright home workspace | Submitted by Elizabeth Fretz

Working from home tips and tricks

What software technologies do you use on a regular basis?

Skype, Webex

What habit allows you to be more productive during the day?

I get dressed each day (I don’t work in my pajamas). I lead a team of people that all live in a different state; I empower them to take initiatives and run with their ideas.

What are the 3 items you can’t live without while working remotely? (If you have a brand you love, please name them!)

  1. Wireless headset
  2. TV or music in the background to help me focus and get me out of my head
  3. My cats, who are not really gear, but help remind me to take a few minutes to myself and breathe

Answers have been lightly edited and links were added.

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