Rolling Remote With Marissa Taffer

Marissa Taffer and her dog, Charlie | Photo submitted by Marissa Taffer

Like many of us during these pandemic times, life looks a little different than normal for Marissa Taffer at the moment. She owns and runs a consulting practice focused on business development, project management, and content creation with clients in New York and partners in Prague. But right now she’s getting extra familiar with her home work space in Philadelphia, since COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are still in effect.

Though Marissa hasn’t always worked from home full-time, it’s something she’s been increasing in the past few years. She started working remotely one day a week about five years ago, which turned into full-time in 2018 when she started her business.

She might be in her home more often than usual, but she’s got good company in her dog, Charlie. “He is a therapy dog but due to COVID-19 he is not allowed to go on any visits right now,” Marissa told Remoter. “He also thinks he’s the mayor of a little shop in our neighborhood so he has to take a walk there every day for a cookie and to visit his ladies. We had to cut every day down to once in a while due to stay at home orders, but he is happiest on the days we are able to have a visit.”

Quick-fire profile

How many years have you worked remotely? 5 years

Where are you based? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Where do you spend most of your remote work hours? At home exclusively right now thanks to COVID-19, but otherwise coffee shops and restaurants

Are you most productive in the morning or at night? Morning

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Marissa’s home office setup and decor

What type of desk do you use? I work from my couch with my pup a ton. The ‘productivity experts’ say this is not great, but it works just fine for us!

What type of chair do you use while at work? “We’re all about the couch or sometimes even my bed!” Marissa told Remoter.

What features do you like most about your work space? When COVID-19 pushed everyone to WFH setups, Marissa established a few separate work spaces in her home. One is a desk in her living room with a second monitor for QA. In her bedroom she also has a “secretary” style desk that closes up completely. “I can put any papers/files/materials in there when I want to end my workday and that at least mentally helps me transition out of work mode,” she said.

Do you share your work space with anyone? Tell us about them! “My dog [Charlie]; he’s the senior vice president of my company.”

Charlie the dog looks at the camera while wearing a bowtie
Charlie | Photo submitted by Marissa Taffer

Remote work pros and cons: Marissa’s take

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

Pros: Schedule flexibility, better work-life balance, and better work culture

Cons: Struggles with clear communication, feeling less connected with colleagues, and fluctuation in income as a self-employed person

Working from home tips and tricks

What software technologies do you use on a regular basis? Asana (she’s a certified pro with the project management tool), Slack, and GSuite

What habit allows you to be more productive during the day? Walking my dog, having regularly scheduled check-ins with clients, connecting with peers

What are the 3 items you can’t live without while working remotely? (If you have a brand you love, please name them!) 1. My Nespresso machine (I got it on sale and had a gift card at the beginning of this year – who knew I would need it so badly!) 2. My Lululemon Align Pants 3. My roof deck to relax when I am done working for the day.

Answers have been lightly edited and links were added.

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