Teacher Shift

Picking Your Workplace Arrangement: On-Site, Remote, or Hybrid

December 06, 2023 Ali Simon & JoDee Scissors Episode 78
Picking Your Workplace Arrangement: On-Site, Remote, or Hybrid
Teacher Shift
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Teacher Shift
Picking Your Workplace Arrangement: On-Site, Remote, or Hybrid
Dec 06, 2023 Episode 78
Ali Simon & JoDee Scissors

On-site. Remote. Hybrid. What do they all mean? Today, Ali and JoDee are talking about these 3 types of work arrangements and how they differ from one another. Together, they’ll discuss what type of arrangement might be right for you coming out of teaching, the positives and negatives of each role, and how all can potentially lead to more flexibility in your life. 

Connect with Ali and JoDee:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teachershift
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teachershift
Teacher Shift LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/teacher-shift
Ali’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisimon/
JoDee’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodeescissors/


Episode Transcriptions

Show Notes Transcript

On-site. Remote. Hybrid. What do they all mean? Today, Ali and JoDee are talking about these 3 types of work arrangements and how they differ from one another. Together, they’ll discuss what type of arrangement might be right for you coming out of teaching, the positives and negatives of each role, and how all can potentially lead to more flexibility in your life. 

Connect with Ali and JoDee:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teachershift
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teachershift
Teacher Shift LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/teacher-shift
Ali’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisimon/
JoDee’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodeescissors/


Episode Transcriptions

Ali  0:06  
Teachers are natural innovators, entertainers and problem solvers. They dream of growing old into the profession, teaching their kids kids. But sometimes career goals shift, and that makes opportunities outside of the classroom seem intangible questioning, who am I if I'm not a teacher? I'm your host, ALi Simon.

JoDee  0:29  
And I'm your co host, JoDee Scissors.

Ali  0:32  
And this is Teacher Shift.

JoDee  0:43  
Every Thursday, we share a curated list of jobs. The list represents on site, hybrid and remote roles. Our intent is to create examples of great job opportunities for people who need specific work arrangements. And of course, ones that are a great fit for teachers. Sometimes, people have a preference, and others are flexible. Either way, the nature of the work, or personal factors may contribute to the decision you ultimately make.

Ali  1:13  
In today's workplace, where and how we work has shifted dramatically, but not really for teachers. When considering a move outside of K to 12 education, you may be unsure of the different options available in other industries and roles. So today, JoDee and I are going to highlight the three main options for working: On site, hybrid, and remote. Let's start off by asking, JoDee, can you define the differences between each of these work arrangements? 

JoDee  1:42  
For sure. So we basically have these three options on our apply Thursday post. And sometimes people aren't sure what those exactly means. So on site is when you're at an office or workspace in order to carry out your professional duties. These hours may be traditional 9-5, or a collective or personalized set of hours determined by an organization. Remote work is when it can be performed from anywhere. And hybrid is a mixture of the on site and remote workspace. This could also be working from home, also known as teleworking.

Ali  2:24  
And one of the things that I know, bothered me or I wasn't really wasn't sure about, I guess it, it stumped me rather, was remote work versus telework. So don't confuse remote work with telework. A teleworker is different from a remote employee, because there's occasionally some in person office attendance required. So basically, if you telework, you're generally living close to the area where the office is, and you may be expected to go into the office sometimes. Another big difference is that a remote worker doesn't have to be located near where the main office is, as long as that job description doesn't say that. Occasionally, I have seen some remote jobs that will say, must live in the Atlanta metro area, or must live in the DC metro area. And that might be because there could be like a bi-annual conference or an annual conference or you know, something that brings you to the area. But just remember that remote work is not telework. And telework is not remote work for those reasons.

JoDee  3:24  
Yeah. And some teachers may already have a connection with teleworking, because some districts allow teachers to telework for grading and reporting. So they might have a chance to work from home, to input grades, to do their grading. And it offers that type of flexibility. So it might be concept familiar, because you know, teachers are traditionally in a brick and mortar setting, but with the advancement of technology, and I guess a deeper understanding of how work can be done when you're not on site at a school on a PD day or professional day, that this is a really good option for teachers.

Ali  4:07  
I actually have rarely heard about that option for teachers. So I'm glad that maybe in your area, it's a little bit more common. In the New Orleans area. I haven't really heard any teachers discussing that. But I have heard about it in other states. So it's nice if they can have you know, even if it's just one day, a quarter where they get to telework on those days. That would be great. But, you know, telework, remote work, hybrid work offers a different level of flexibility than on site work, which is what most teachers encounter. So taking a look at how your job is now JoDee compared to when you were a teacher, what is your work arrangement? And why did you choose to go that route?

JoDee  4:46  
So when I left the classroom, I was initially on site for my job. And then the pandemic changed that. But before I go into that. So the on site was like going to work every day. I leave the house every day. Work finishes at the same time every day. And it was very similar in the way that I would go to school every day. The only difference is that there seemed to be just a slight bit of flexibility because I didn't have 28 kids coming into the classroom at exactly the same time. It was kind of like, I start my workday, and then I'm just responsible for myself and you know, other projects that I have going on with people. And now I, you know, post pandemic... pandemic changed so much for a lot of people. And we've gone to a hybrid model. And I also, you know, obviously, like, I have my own business now. So I have different clients. And I basically have the choice to be fully remote if I wanted, but I do hybrid, because I do like to go into the office and see my people and be able to be a part of a community. And then I traveled to organizations where I can have that extended community. And so it's great because it's flexible. I can establish that digital community, as well as the in person community. Because you know, I work in the digital landscape, so like, I have to be able to practice the skill that I am teaching others in education. So that's really great. And I think that the the other thing with, you know, the hybrid thing is that I'm a parent. And it forces me to get out of the house. So I'm not, when I am remote, I could totally see myself, you know, just staying inside all day, doing work if I, if I didn't have someone to shuffle to school, or a dog to walk. And so it does help that I have those kinds of obligations to get me out of the house when I am remote. But then, you know, like when I am home, I can be just so laser focused. I don't have any interruptions. I can just get my work done. Editing, which is really important. You have to be very focused for that. And then when I'm working on the backend of the website. But you know those on site, things I can I can problem solve pretty quickly when I'm one to one with someone. So ultimately, I'm hybrid, which I think is the answer to your question. And that's basically why I'm in a hybrid work arrangement.

Ali  7:32  
It sounds like when you were first talking about even your in person work arrangement with your first job outside of teaching, it was still more flexible than when you were in the classroom, because you didn't have to be there by you know, the time that students arrived. And you didn't have to stay until the end of the school day or till whenever you were contracted hours, like you could maybe shift your hours a little bit. Like I had a doctor's appointment this morning. And I was able to get up extra early this morning, work for it an hour and a half. That way, when I missed that hour and a half to go to the doctor's appointment, it wasn't a big deal. But I couldn't do that when I was in the classroom. And I was really thinking, Man, I would have had to call this specialist and be like, Do you have any afternoon appointments only after 3:30? And like, it's so hard to get those appointments or you're trying on like, you know, the days that you have off from school, which sometimes offices are closed on federal holidays. So I think that flexibility outside of the classroom, even if it is on site, if you can find an employer that is, you know, okay with that. And I feel like a lot of employers these days are unless you have some sort of like shift work or a job that really requires you. Like some of the roles in my, my field, they might be managing live events all day, and you really can't miss work, right? Because you have to be at the computer all day. 

JoDee  8:51  
Yeah, I think that a lot of it ultimately has to do with culture: Company culture or organization culture. Because, you know, like I, I work for great organizations that really lean into their employees and what they need and what's what best fits their life, not just professionally, but personally as well. And I know that you know, like my husband, he is on site every single day. But he does have flexibility. He has the flexibility to be able to go to appointments, to go out to lunch meetings, to pick up our daughter, to make it to her games that are you know, early afternoon. And so I think what it comes down to is if you're, you know you're considering on site, or hybrid, what kind of culture are you getting into? And it's hard to know if you if you don't know much about the organization. So those are great questions to ask when you are in an interview process. Or if you have a connection, like does your network know something about the company culture? And those are things to that you could examine on LinkedIn. Like, you see someone that works here what Is there a day to day look like? And does it connect with the kind of lifestyle that you want for your career? But what is your work arrangement right now? And why do you have this work arrangement?

Ali  10:13  
So I started my job during the pandemic, literally, during the pandemic. I started in June 2020. And my job was scheduled to be on site in a government building. But because it was June 2020, nobody's reporting to government buildings unless you were considered essential personnel. So like, my husband was still reporting to the Pentagon on a hybrid schedule. But even then, there were not employees there five days a week. So I started remote. That's how my job started. It wasn't supposed to be like that. And everything I learned about my job, I learned remotely. And I did that for the first six months. And then surprise, we found out we were going to be moving to a whole new state. And I was really nervous, honestly, to tell my employer because I knew that there was an expectation that I would either be on site or hybrid with this government agency. But I went ahead and I had the conversation. And my employer went to bat for me and said, you know, Ali's been doing a great job. She's been remote in this role for six months. And anything that's required in person, for example, we have an annual meeting that I helped plan and attend. You know, she'll be traveling to that. But can she stay remote in this role? And it got approved for me to stay remote in the role that I have. And I can just tell you, that was life changing as a military spouse. To be able to move somewhere new, and, you know, I'm dealing with all these things like putting my kids in a new school getting settled in, but I didn't have to look for a new job. And we were talking about flexibility with employers, I really wanted to not take time off completely when I moved. I knew that I could handle something. So instead of just taking a week or two off, I said, Can I just work a reduced schedule for, you know, the next week or two? That way I could be in like all of my key meetings. I didn't have to miss big things. But the other hours were spent, you know, moving, getting my kids settled. So I think you talk about company culture, and what employers are like. Sometimes you just have to have those conversations with your employer. And you might get an outcome that really supports you. Sometimes you don't. And then you'll learn that that might not be the right fit for you. But I'm so appreciative that I had that opportunity and that it really helped my family. And it helped me and I appreciate it. And you know, I'm still remote now, three and a half years later. So working remotely has been great for this season of my life. And in the future, I would be open to hybrid roles, in addition to remote roles. I miss working in person. I miss seeing colleagues. The program that I'm working on now, I finally met almost my entire team at an in person conference earlier this year. And we've been working together for over three years. 

JoDee  13:08  
Wow, what a reunion that must have been. 

Ali  13:11  
Yeah, it was like, it felt like we were old friends, but like we'd never actually seen each other and sometimes like these, you know, we're on zoom right now. People actually don't look exactly how they look in person.

JoDee  13:24  
Remeber how tall people are? 

Ali  13:25  
Oh, the height thing for sure. Is that so and so? Like, is that really her? You're like, Oh, it is her. So you know, you talk about community working in remote and virtual work is really different. And so I don't know if it's good for every personality. I am a big extroverted, it has been hard for me. But then I really savor those opportunities to meet with my team in person and make the most of it. But that's why I think hybrid might be my next move. Because I do value that in person experience. You develop different relationships. It also does get you out of the house, like you were saying, as long as it can be flexible.

JoDee  14:07  
I think that hybrid is like the perfect fit for my personality because I teeter on the introvert extrovert spectrum. Like I can go either way. And even when I was a teacher, you know, it's very social and very stimulating, but like I did, and we've talked about this before that I had to like revert back and just be alone in my planning period. And sometimes I just didn't eat, want to eat with my teammates because I just wanted to be alone and have that quiet space. Because I was in a portable classroom the last six years like I actually had the opportunity to not be disrupted when I was doing my planning or before or after school. I could like no one was interrupting me for anything. And I'm a big, you know, efficiency person. So like, I like to get things done efficiently. When I can just be prioritize that, as a hybrid worker, I know that I can get my work done. And I don't have to feel regret or remorse about what I didn't get done. And I think what comes with that, though, is discipline. When you are working remotely or teleworking perhaps, in an environment that is not your normal work arrangement, you do have to be disciplined. You have to make sure that you are focused. You're you're task driven. You're meeting your deadlines. And I think the one way that keeps me disciplined or the one, I guess, strategy is that I do set deadlines and goals every single week. I use a project management tool, which you might be familiar with, Monday.com. I use it with all of my clients. And every week, I set up what my goals are. And it also helps me manage how many hours I'm working that week. And so do you ever find that you have to have a level of discipline when you're working remotely? 

Ali  16:07  
Yes, I think what was a challenge for me is that I started working remotely during the pandemic, when when the kids were home. So I had two small kids home, like I mentioned. My husband was hybrid going into the Pentagon. So I had to be really disciplined. I wasn't working full time. So it was easier to kind of manage my time and make sure that when I was working, I was working. And then I had to help my kids with virtual learning. So I had to help them with school stuff. And I think that probably helped me become really disciplined, because if I didn't have structure there, then I mean, it would just be a free for all. Like I remember I created this little, such a teacher thing, like a stop sign, like it was a green on one side and red on the other. And I hung it on my door handle. And I was like, Okay, so when it's green, that means mommy's working, but she's not in a meeting. So you can come in, but when I turn it to red, it means that I'm in a meeting and you can't come in. Sometimes it worked. It didn't all the time. 

Well, and you know, like in the classroom that work probably 95% of the time.

Yeah, exactly. So I mean, I did my best. But I think establishing those boundaries, if you do have kids, either at home, or, you know, sometimes kids have sick days, that's really important for me with remote work, because just to explain to my kids that now that they're old enough, they're pretty self sufficient, to have those those boundaries and those rules in place. And I think, you know that getting that structure was important for me, too. I'm still pretty old school. And I do make lists of what...like goals for today. Like, I'm like, what are the three top things I have to do today and like, get those done. But I also use a project management software in my daily job, Asana, which we've also used monday.com, we use Asana. And it is really helpful. So if anybody is interested in using a tool like that, to work with your team, or by yourself, I definitely recommend both of those products. But I think holding yourself accountable. And then the other thing that really helps me and I think you and I are kind of on a similar page is that I want to get the majority, if not all of my work done when my kids are at school. So I make the most of that time. Because if I don't, I will be working after I pick them up from school. I will work an extra hour, two hours till the job gets done. You know, till I work my hours in the day. And so if I'm really laser focused on certain tasks that I can get things done, then that means that the time that I have in the afternoons is, I'm able to cook dinner. I'm able to take my dog for a walk.

JoDee  18:37  
That's such a good point that you bring up. Now that I'm thinking about it. If there are times when I'm not able to get my work done in the timeframe that I want to have it done, I will work in the evening sometimes to set up my day, the way I want it to be the next day. It rarely ever happens. But I did just this week, I had a moment where we had a server down and it delayed everything by four hours. And you know, I went and did all my you know, pickup from the bus and cooked dinner. And then I had to make up some of that time for when the server was down because I had a deadline to meet and I couldn't do it the next day like it needed to be done that day. And I did end up working late but my family was really understanding and they knew that like this doesn't happen often. And I just need to be at my my workspace and with no interruptions so I can focus on this task and you know, they were in a different room, doing whatever, just so I could complete that task.

Ali  19:41  
Yeah, I think you when you work remotely or hybrid, you kind of have to reevaluate every couple of months to. Because sometimes, like I was working on a really intense project, and I was having to work in the evenings and it took a lot of my time and it was becoming a bad habit. I was like I don't like this. It's causing me a lot of stress. And it was like, What can I do to change things? So maybe I should try getting up earlier instead. I'd rather get up earlier. And then I'm just a morning person. So like, that worked out better. I guess my biggest change was when I went from working part time to full time. Because I used to have some extra hours of my day where I could run to the grocery store, or I could, you know, make personal appointments, and it didn't conflict with my work schedule. But when I started working full time, I couldn't do those things anymore. So, you know, it's just constantly reevaluating where you are, professionally. What works best for you and your family. And I just really, again, appreciate and I'm thankful that I have these options of being flexible, because it was very hard when I was a teacher. And I would have to we've talked about this a lot on the podcast, but we'd have to miss things at my kids school. Because, you know, if you want to go to performance at 9am, it means you're you're taking basically a whole day of work off. It's hard to get those like half day subs to cover you. Or some schools who just want you to take a whole day off. Or maybe there was testing and I couldn't take the time off.

JoDee  21:07  
I'm glad we have options too... it really makes it just like whatever stage of life that you're in. I'm thinking about, like if I was a young person, in my 20s ,would I want to be here all day? You know, if I was single, or maybe if I was a particular type of work, like, what would I want in which phase of life and these options give us a chance to tailor to our needs in whatever phase of life that we're in. But something I did want to ask you, before we close out is bringing it back to culture. I think that my clients or collaborators do a really good job of maintaining boundaries in off work hours. So we usually use Slack for communicating or email. But outside of like standard work hours or weekends. Everybody has this kind of understanding that when we're not working, we're not working. And I think part of what I like about that is that there are these kind of like, unwritten boundaries. When I do always have the sSlack on my phone, when I do always have my email on my phone. I'm not getting incoming messages, because there are boundaries. How about you?

Ali  22:30  
Yeah, I had to think about that for a second. I don't think I've ever gotten a work text on a weekend ever, not even really late in the evening. It is, it's this expectation that you work during these hours. In fact, I'm probably the odd person out. I do, like I mentioned get up early. So it's, you know, might be 5:30am Central Time, and I'm sending an email and someone Eastern time getting it like 6:30 Eastern time. What is she doing? But it's, it's on a weekday also. And so hopefully, when they come into the office that their normal time, they're just going to get my email. And also understanding that there are certain hours where you would not send emails, because it's unprofessional. You shouldn't send someone an email at nine o'clock at night. But man, that was not the case in education. If you didn't write back to a parent who had a really big concern within a certain timeframe, or the expectation was set that you right back to them that same day, you're on your phone. You're out there, like texting or typing this message in your browser on your phone, because you're worried about this parent or the assistant principal or whoever. And I would say you hit the nail on the head with boundaries, I mean, the difference in boundaries and the way that they are honored in the workspace that I'm in now and the workspace that you're in now is is different. And I think the first time, I always tell new teachers this, the first time you respond to an email at eight or nine o'clock at night, that's it. People are going to know that you are going to respond to things outside of work hours. 

JoDee  24:03  
The was me. I was that I'm 100% was guilty of doing that. And I really didn't learn the boundaries until later in my career.

Ali  24:12  
I didn't even put my work email on my phone. I would pull it up in the browser if I had to. You know, you could like log in through the browser. But I didn't have it connected because I just I don't know, I guess I knew that but sometimes I would obviously log in. So yeah, I think boundaries have been really essential in keeping a healthy work life balance for me and it sounds like they have for you to. The last thing I wanted to just drop in back to our hybrid, remote, on site is that one of the things that people miss when they leave teaching is the time off. And so you know, taking time off to either visit family or to go to new places. It takes time to travel somewhere. Hybrid and remote can kind of offer you that flexibility, especially like you were talking about maybe younger teachers. They're still single or younger people.

JoDee  25:03  
Or if you're like you're in a new city, like...

Ali  25:05  
Yeah, I have a friend who I know is working remotely today. They're visiting another friend in Denver. They flew there last night. They're working remotely at their friend's house, and they're spending the weekend there, and they're flying home on Sunday. But, you know, as a teacher, we wouldn't be able to do that we'd have to take off the day on Friday, depending on whatever flight is we've taken on Thursday. So they can kind of offer a little bit of a compensation, I guess, for not having that whole summer. Like you can make it work, you can kind of flex if you're able to depending on your role. So I think it's a lot to consider. And just to really understand those roles. Be sure that you understand the difference between remote and telework. Whether the company expects you to ever be in the office. Because if you're, if you're not able to do that, for some reason, you wouldn't want to take a job where you would be expected to go into the office. And I will say a trend that I've noticed in the Apply Thursday listings that I put together, we put together, is less and less totally remote roles. More and more are moving to hybrid. My friends that work in government organizations, they're moving to fuller work weeks, less hybrid time. And so things are changing. I wouldn't say it's going away completely, but it is harder to secure those roles. So just be mindful that we are seeing a lot more applicants for totally remote roles. We try not to post jobs that have 200 applicants or more, even 100 applicants or more.

JoDee  26:33  
Some of the ones that I saw this week, were like 1200 applicants for a remote role. It was, it was crazy. So I'm glad you brought that up. Because sometimes when we're in a transition, it might not be the most immediate work arrangement that we want. But it's a good start. 

Ali  26:51  
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and I think you know, just going into it making an informed decision of what type of work is your ideal situation, but then also what type of work are you open to and applying for those roles. But if you know that on site is just not for you five days a week, then maybe that isn't a place that you should be spending your time applying for jobs. And I hope that this episode, let our listeners take a deeper look into what the different options are for roles. And we are here for you if you have any other questions about these types of roles too. So feel free to send us an email or to send us a DM and really appreciate your time today.

Are you interested in suggesting a topic for Teacher Shift? Being a guest or recommending a guest? Please see the episodes page on our website to make a submission. And if you'd like to write for us, see our blog page. If you liked Teacher Shift, give us a five star rating and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Apple podcasts, Spotify and Amazon music. Today's episode was written and recorded by me, Ali Simon and my co host, JoDee Scissors. Executive produced by Teacher Shift. Produced and edited by Emily Porter. Original Music: Emoji by Tubebackr.