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A Day in the Life of a Remote Worker Finding the Perfect WFH Routine: Meet Kenia from Shield GEO

At Shield, we’re really proud of the team we’ve built. Each person brings unique perspectives, life experiences, and ways of thinking, and yet we share many of the same values making our team connections really special. Through this series, we profile team members so you can get to know the wonderful people behind our service and hopefully learn something new about who it is you’re working alongside. Being a distributed company means we have team members across all corners of the world, and this series gives us a small window into their part of the world. 

This month, we’re profiling Kenia Peña, one of our Account Managers based out of Nicaragua. 

Meet Kenia

Kenia in her office on International Women’s Day

Kenia started as an Associate with Shield in late 2019. She quickly learned the ropes, took on her own clients, and became an Account Manager the following year, and she’s been flourishing in the role ever since. 

While she had previously coordinated projects remotely and picked up many of the skills required to work independently, this was Kenia’s first official remote work role. 

“It’s awesome! I love it,” she says. 

But that doesn’t take away some of the challenges she faced settling into this style of work. 

“I felt like it took me a while to find a balance,” she admits. 

Working from home, particularly with flexible hours, can erode that strong distinction between work time and home time. This is often positive for people because it allows work tasks and home tasks to coexist in a similar timeline, but it certainly has its limitations. 

“If you’re working from home, you take the work with you wherever you go. That’s one of the main differences,” Kenia says.  “If you’re in an office, you shut down the computer. You’ve closed the office — that’s it. But, in this case, it’s different. I could be watching Netflix at 7 pm and have an email come through.”

Over time, Kenia’s learned that just because the email comes through, doesn’t mean she has to check it straight away. 

Hitting the gym at 5am. Ge Kenia!

“When I was working at 6 am, I would usually wake up at 5:30 and the first thing I would do is pick up my phone and see what’s here, what’s there, what’s happening.”  

She’s now switched things up, and starts at 7 am to prioritize going to the gym before work, and has enforced a rule to not look at any emails until she sits at her desk. 

“Setting things to blocks helps. Saying, this is my gym time and then this is my work time. I felt that that’s the way it has worked for me, she says.”

Making these changes to the structure of her day comes really naturally to Kenia — she’s been tweaking things ever since she first started working from home with Shield. 

“I remember at some point during my first month, I was starting around eight, I think, but I felt like I had the full day covered by work,” she says. “At some point, I thought, ‘Okay, you know what, let’s take advantage of remote work and the flexibility of the hours.’”

She then moved her work hours back and started working earlier so she could log off earlier too. 

“I really like starting early,” she says. 

“If I log off at four, I can chat to a friend of mine and say, ‘Hey, let’s go get a coffee.’ We have a custom over here where you just take chairs outside of your home, set them up, and you just talk to your friends and watch everyone pass by. I like to do that.”

Coffee date with friends for coffee and pastries

She’ll also use the time to run errands, play with her niece, or if she didn’t go to the gym in the morning, she’d make sure to prioritize it after work instead. 

Switching up her hours isn’t the only way Kenia’s made changes. She also moved her home office and now spends most mornings at her parent’s house before walking a block over to an office space she’s leasing. 

“I feel that in the morning, they give me that pump of energy, you know, loud parents and things,” she says. “But then if I come to a time in the day that I need to be focused or in silence, [I can go to the office]. So, it’s a perfect mix. It has worked very well for me.”

It’s also meant she can spend more time with her family. 

In the office with her dog, Luca

“I spend more time in their house than mine,” she says. “It’s such a funny thing, I have my own space, but I just love being with them.” 

She also prefers their space for meeting backgrounds. 

“I just like the background — it’s a pale yellow wall. I really like that!”

Although she likes the option to change locations when she needs to. The office space she leases has everything she needs to get through her workday, even enough room for her puppy Luca to run around. 

“It’s very comfy. I bring Luca, and he gets to sleep all day. And I can throw a ball to the wall, and he’ll be running back and forth,” she says. 

“I’m thinking of putting in a sofa bed and TV so I can divide the space a bit. I have a whiteboard where I’m taking notes. So it’s perfect little office space.”

A Day in the Life of Kenia

4:30 a.m.

Wake up, try to get all the motivation I need for the rest of the day. Grab a yogurt, get into the shower, and get ready for the gym!

5:15 a.m.

Arrive at the gym. I would start my warmup and focus on that moment of the day which is my absolute favorite. Time to challenge and overcome myself.

6:40 a.m.

Workout is done. Gotta get back home! Time for a post-workout shower, get ready for the workday and prepare meal #2 (breakfast) Usually a couple of eggs, rice, and beans (locally called GalloPinto) and of course, coffee! Also, time to play with Luca and feed him. He is so fluffy in the mornings.

7:00 a.m.

Open my laptop. Start loading all the apps. I would usually have my meal while I check things. I never got used to devoting a specific moment to have my meals so I would usually eat and work. My first check is Skype to see if there are direct messages from the GM team or any Shield colleague. While the inbox is loading, I would check Slack for company-wide announcements. Once the inbox loads, I start categorizing my emails, deleting those I don’t need, and I would action the high-priority ones.

10:15 a.m.

Quick break. I would fold my laptop and literally walk 1 block from home to get to my office space. This is my quiet space, perfect for concentrating and getting the job done.

11:00 a.m.

Meal #3! A turkey and cheese sandwich with, of course, more coffee 😊

12:30 p.m.

Another 10 min break. I would stand up and walk, maybe call a friend for a quick catch-up?

02:30 p.m.

Meal #4 – Some chicken and salad. And work! Cases, emails, calls.

04:15 p.m.

Logging off, starting to wrap up things and if needed leave reminders in Outlook for the next day. By this point, I would try to leave my inbox as clear as possible. That gives me so much relief!

04:30 p.m.

Out to the street! This time I would go get my 4-year-old niece and sit with her and play on the front porch of the house. If not, I would use this time to go run some errands (ATM, supermarket, etc.)

5:00 p.m.

Be back home 😊 Time for some fruits and peanut butter. At this moment I would catch up with my mom and play with my puppy Luca.

6:30 p.m.

Depending on my mood, I might do a second visit to the gym for some boxing or running on the treadmill or get together with a friend for sushi or a cappuccino. If not, Netflix and chill it is! A good documentary series or a romantic movie is a must.

10-ish

Bedtime zzz. Shutt the lights off and do my best to sleep early. Still training on this one… 

Finding the perfect balance

Sushi dinner date with a friend

For now, Kenia’s really happy with the routine she’s settled into and isn’t looking to switch things up any time soon. 

“I had quite a time struggling and trying to find a balance,” she says. “It took me I don’t know I would say, nine to 10 months honestly to find a perfect routine and say, ‘Okay, this is what works. I feel like I have a balance right now and I really love it.”

But she does want to fit in some study into her day at some point. 

“I’m wanting to pursue the MBA pretty soon. I feel like it’s time now. I mean, not right now, but maybe this year,” she ponders. 

For now, though she’s happy focusing on her wellbeing. 

“Right now I’m in that phase of saying, ‘take care of yourself’. Because I felt like it took me a while to find a balance, so, I don’t think I am willing to change it right now,” she says. 

“I’m sort of sleeping, I’m working, I like my environment, I’m feeling okay, you know, taking care of myself. Everything is working right now. So I’ve been very happy about it.”

— Bree Caggiati

 

Want to know more about Kenia? Visit her profile on Our Team page!

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