Q&A with the ZeroBounce Team: How We’ve Adapted to Working from Home

Author: Paul Leslie

October 13, 2020
Q&A with the ZeroBounce Team: How We’ve Adapted to Working from Home

Are you reading this in your pajamas? You’re not alone.

Seven months into the pandemic, 42% of Americans are working from home. It’s one of the things that has defined working in 2020 – and will possibly be prevalent throughout the next year.

At ZeroBounce, we were already working from home one day a week. As we transitioned to working remotely all the time, video conferencing and an increasingly “virtual” everything have saved the day. With email – and email verification – being even more important during the pandemic, ZeroBounce has never been busier.

We’ve kept going full speed ahead, giving you the same great service and even launching new tools.

How has everyone adapted and managed to stay so productive?

Many ZeroBouncers reported how much they miss colleagues. But a lot of them said that cutting out commutes saves time and allows them to dive right into work every day, leaving more hours and less mileage.

With a team scattered everywhere, it was interesting to learn about the commonalities and differences in working from home.

Let’s see what everyone had to say.

zerobounce team

Bhavna Saxena, Enterprise Success Manager: “I feel safer at home.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I have adapted to remote work because I’ve been given every tool I need to have higher levels of engagement with my clients and higher productivity with ZeroBounce. I do prefer it because it gives me a more flexible lifestyle.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

My lighting setup helps. I have lots of fairy lights and salt lamps which keep me motivated and productive. Our boss keeps us proactive by scheduling daily stand-up calls. 

What distracts you the most? 

To be honest, nothing distracts me. During the pandemic, I feel safer at home.

The best part about working remotely: 

I can better serve our clients as I can schedule calls and meetings when it’s most convenient for them. Also, naps are a serious option. 😉

What do you miss the most about the office? 

Office food. 😊

Elvis Cernjul, Chief Information Officer: “Stand up and walk around for a few minutes.

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I have adapted to remote work, but being in the IT field for so long, it really was not a stretch. It’s somewhat common for IT to either have a distributed workforce or to have a work from home policy. I prefer working from home as it gives me an extra 60-90 minutes of work each day thanks to not having a commute.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Set aside a workspace that is solely used for work, if possible. It helps minimize distractions and contributes to a work-related mindset.

What distracts you the most?

Being an empty nester, I rarely have any distractions unless the dog barks or needs to go outside for business-related purposes. In either case, if I’m not on a conference call, it actually helps remind me to stand up and walk around for a few minutes.

The best part about working remotely:

First, the ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand without the noise of an office space. Second, avoiding a long commute.

What do you miss the most about the office?

The social interaction with fellow workers. Video and instant messaging can never replace being in the same room with others.

how to adapt to remote work

Robert Balanescu, Customer Support: “You can’t replace face to face interaction.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

For me it was a very smooth transition. Those of us on the Customer Support team already worked from home about three weeks of each month.

The only thing missing is the socializing during that one week I spent at the office, but I am happy that we keep in touch as a team. I can’t say I prefer working from home, but I love that we have the option.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

The constant flow of customers. Our company is growing and I am fortunate enough to feel that first hand. We’re constantly in contact with our customers. To me, it’s the best motivation to be productive.

What distracts you the most?

It has to be my phone. One text message can easily lead to 15 minutes of scrolling social media or browsing YouTube.

The best part about working remotely:

The nature of the work I do allows me to do some chores while still keeping my eye on the laptop and it does wonders for my schedule. This frees up the rest of my day.

What do you miss the most about the office?

The socializing. As much as we communicate using other channels, you can’t replace face to face interaction. 

Laura Comsa, Customer Success Specialist: “Our customers keep me energetic.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I adapted very quickly. I can’t say that I prefer it, but sometimes it’s a good thing.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

If it’s a busy day, then there is no need for tricks. Our customers keep me energetic. If it is a slow day, then I have my music to keep me going and productive.

What distracts you the most?

I will say that my bed distracts me most, and sometimes the fridge! 😊

The best part about working remotely:

I get to spend more time in my pajamas. 😊 And I don’t waste time getting ready in the morning, or in traffic.

What do you miss the most about the office?

What I miss the most about office life are my colleagues. I miss chatting with them or going on a coffee break with them. 

productivity tips

Noel Lastrella, Senior Front-End Developer: “For people with kids I think it’s been very tough.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

You have to experiment and make some sacrifices to make things work for everyone in the family and at work. Lots of playing it by ear.

I think it’s easier for professionals without kids, but for people with kids, I think it’s been very tough. Getting kids to be productive and distracted has been an exercise in adapting new techniques as well as coordinating with the significant other. 

Setting aside hard schedules for work, family, and mealtimes is a must. Enforcing them is also a must to keep everyone sane.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Making hard time limits and schedules. Getting people to respect them is difficult. Setting dedicated alone, me time. Being stuck with the same people all the time can be super stressful.

What distracts you the most?

Children.

The best part about working remotely:

Being with family.

What do you miss the most about office life?

Being away from family.

Iris Iordanoiu, Customer Success Specialist: “I eat healthier and also save money.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

The transition period to working remotely at all times was tough. I do not prefer working entirely online because of the lack of direct interaction with my colleagues. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Maintaining daily routines. The first important thing I do in the morning is changing from home clothes to work clothes. Another one would be to work in a separate, quiet room dedicated to work so I can have a separation between work and free hours. 

What distracts you the most?

My pets. Sometimes it’s funny when my cat wants attention, meows or jumps in front of my webcam just when I have an important meeting. 

The best part about working remotely:

Having more spare time by avoiding traffic. I get to cook my meals, meaning I eat healthier and also save money. Speaking of pets, I think the best part for them is that I spend more time with them. 

What do you miss the most about the office?

I definitely miss the interaction with my colleagues. Our launch was always an opportunity to socialize, laugh, or find out something new. It’s easier to work with people that motivate me. Working as a team makes me more efficient and keeps me focused.

being productive with pets

Liviu Tanase, Chief Executive Officer: “Acting as if I were in the office works best.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I have adapted, but I still would prefer to go to the office. It creates bonds, more synergies and also provides balance.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

It took a while, but acting as if I were in the office works best. You can do any number of mental tricks to accomplish that. Plus, we’ve been so busy at ZeroBounce in the past few months – it’s easy to stay productive when you have to.

What distracts you the most? 

The small things, like the dog wanting to play.

The best part about working remotely: 

I’ve worked remotely before, so I am used to it. Being around my wife and our dog gives me joy.

What do you miss the most about the office? 

Human interaction and great brainstorming meetings.

Check out these work from home tips from Harvard Business Review:

Corina Leslie, PR Manager: “I purposefully allow myself to be distracted.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I’ve been remote for many years now, even before I joined ZeroBounce. I remember adapting quickly. It’s nice that I can start working right away and make the most of every minute. Plus, the type of work I do is more creative, so being in my quiet and cozy home is 10 times better than being in an office. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Other than the massive amount of content we have to create? 😊 And the never-ending tasks in my notebook? Exercise. An intense cardio workout helps me get back on track when I start losing steam.

What distracts you the most?

The amazing content my peers publish online. I’m so grateful to all the brilliant marketers out there who share their knowledge, I’ve learned so much from them. There’s always a new article or newsletter I want to read! Major FOMO here. Also, wasting time on social media sounds so good! Or just lying on the floor, doing absolutely nothing for 10 minutes. 

Sometimes I purposefully allow myself to be distracted, though. Doing nothing and unplugging your brain is vital to your creativity and wellbeing. 

The best part about working remotely:

Being able to write on my porch all day! The silence and fresh air. Spending time with my neighbor’s dog – he’s my shadow and takes me out for regular walks. 

What do you miss the most about office life?

Nothing. Although I very much regret having never met my colleagues who work in our three offices around the world. Liviu promised we’ll all get together in Bali one day!

working from home tips

Brian Minick, Chief Operating Officer: “I got to see so much more of my daughter.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I’ve just adapted. 😊

I found a cozy space, set my equipment up and am making it work. To be honest, I don’t prefer it. I do like the ability to do a few more things on the personal side in-between bits and pieces of work. I can throw a load of laundry in, or not let a package sit at the front door. In general, I like the office better. I don’t think I’m less productive at home, but I have a better feel for each team member when we can see each other in person.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

Headphones/music. It keeps distractions down. Also, getting up and making coffee at the same time. Keeping a schedule.

What distracts you the most? 

My wife and I work in the same room in the house. So I would probably say her, and she would probably say me. 😊

The best part about working remotely: 

Being around my family more. I got to see so much more of my daughter. Even if it’s just hearing little things, it makes me happy.

What do you miss the most about the office? 

The people. You spend a lot of time with your co-workers and they become family. Work to me has never just been about success as a worker or money. It’s about relationships, both inside and outside of the office. Luckily, we are so equipped with great tools today that some of this gets mitigated, but there is no replacement for face to face relationships.

Christian Izaguirre, Software Developer: “They horseplay every so often and I have to break it up.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

It took a while for the whole house to develop a new routine out of the blue, especially for my little boys, ages 4 and 2. We had to find our groove, but everyone has been handling the remote work very well. I prefer working from home, and maybe even a little more if the kids were in school.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Taking a quick 5-minute break to play with the family. It gets it out of my system and gives me a huge smile while behind my desk.

What distracts you the most?

My boys. They horseplay every so often and I have to break it up. Or they argue over things and I have to help resolve the dispute.

The best part about working remotely:

Not having to commute to the office and eating lunch with my family.

What do you miss the most about the office?

The peace and quiet.

remote work productivity

Cezar Mitrenca, Customer Support Team Leader: “I miss talking face to face with my colleagues.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I’ve adapted really well to the remote work, but I kinda miss the office since I saw my colleagues every day. And now I work more than usual because the lines between work and free time have gotten blurry.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Having my phone near me makes me more productive since I can see when new emails come in. 

What distracts you the most?

My cats distract me, sometimes they want to step on my keyboard.

The best thing about working from home:

I have more spare time and I wake up full of energy. 

What do you miss the most about the office?

I miss talking face to face with my colleagues. 

Austin Helm, Enterprise Success Manager: “I love remote work.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I love remote work. It has enabled me to come up with an optimal routine for myself, and save money.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I don’t have a trick. I just know I need to get my stuff done and that is motivation enough for me to be productive. 

What distracts you the most?

House chores.

The best part about working remotely:

The fact that my schedule completely belongs to me makes it much easier to be productive. I have my computer open from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I just get more done. 

What do you miss the most about the office?

I miss the social interaction. 

advice for remote work

Catalin Neagu, Customer Support Specialist: “I can work outside, enjoying the sunshine.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

Working from home is great for me because I can do many other things and work at the same time. If I have to choose between working from home or the office, I’d choose the first option.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I have to drink my coffee before starting my shift. That really keeps my head up. Also, taking a good break is essential to get refreshed.

What distracts you the most?

It’s the bed, of course. 😊

The best part about working remotely:

The best part about working remotely is that I can work outside, enjoying the sunshine.

What do you miss the most about the office?

I miss my colleagues and all the great conversations we had at the office.

Crina Maria Mitrenca, Customer Support Specialist: “Working from home is a great way to save time.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I have adapted easily. Working from home is comfortable. So far, I can say that I’d rather work this way.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

The stress of being a beginner keeps you really alert and productive.

What distracts you the most? 

From time to time, my pets want me to feed them. 😊

The best part about working remotely: 

Staying in your comfy clothes, even your pajamas. The time you save by not going to the office. Eating healthier rather than just grabbing something on your way to the office. For me, working from home is a great way to save time.

What do you miss the most about the office?

By nature I am sociable, so I miss the people and the good vibe that everyone from our team has.

remote team

Anca Vasile, Customer Support Trainer: “I’m always connected to work devices.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I’ve adapted very easily and quickly. Yes, I like it, it’s giving me a sensation of freedom.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I’m a responsible person, so even if I’m working from home, I put my work first. If I have some spare time, I use it to do things around the house, but I’m always connected to work devices.

What distracts you the most?

Unfortunately, Instagram but I’m doing my best to reduce the amount of time spent on it. Of course, on sunny, warm days I find it difficult to remain in the house when it would be nice to go to the pool.

The best part about working remotely:

There is more than one best part. First of all, it allows me to do things for myself. Also, I’m not losing three hours on the road going to the office and back home, and I’m saving money.

What do you miss the most about the office?
The interaction with my colleagues. 

Dan Straton, Customer Success Specialist: “I listen to classical music during my shift.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I was already working from home most of the time. Yes, I love it. I saved so much time and money by working from my home office. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I listen to classical music during my shift. This is the only thing that makes me work harder and better. 

What distracts you the most?

I have no distractions. I just focus on my work, doing my best to help our clients.

The best part about working remotely:

The best part is that I can do so much extra stuff with the saved time. I started some online courses, I read more, I exercise more, and so on.  

What do you miss the most about the office?

I really don’t miss office life. Because we work in shifts, it’s impossible to have a workday at the office with all of my colleagues at ZeroBounce. Most of the time I don’t get to work with them. We interact more online.

how to stay productive

Raluca Popa, Customer Support Specialist: “You can easily turn into a hermit.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

Being more of an introvert, I’ve adapted easily. For me, working from home is ideal. It’s more intimate and quieter, so that’s a plus.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I’m not sure there are any tricks, and if there are, I don’t feel like I need any. When you love what you do, you focus on your work and your background disappears. 

What distracts you the most?

I’m not easily distracted when I work. Few things will manage to interrupt me – except for my dog. No one could resist him!

The best thing about working from home:

The feeling of being in your favorite pajamas. Also, I never miss a package delivery, I can order things anytime, and let’s face it, there’s no place like home.

What do you miss about the office?

Being around my colleagues. Working from home, you can easily turn into a hermit. You never get that certain feeling when you leave the office after a productive day. 

Radu Pasarica, SMTP Deliverability Specialist: “A few sets of push-ups will always do the trick.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

Remote work has always been a must for me. I can focus more on work and side hustles rather than wondering what route I should take to avoid traffic. Besides saving time and gas money, it’s great to spend more time with loved ones and my hyperactive cat.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Lots of coffee and loud ambient music.

What distracts you the most?

Our cat, Cookie, either chasing flies or meowing for pettings and love.

The best part about working remotely:

A few sets of push-ups will always do the trick when I feel exhausted or unfocused.

What do you miss the most about office life?

Spending lunch breaks with the crew and sharing war stories. 

working out at home

Robert Fundulea, Customer Support Specialist: “Social media can be an inescapable trap.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

Doing remote work is a great challenge, but I think it’s important to test everyone’s teamwork, commitment and perseverance.However, I prefer going to the office because of the social benefit.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Focus, balance and discipline are very important to achieve productivity. What keeps me productive is having a clear timeline for my projects and tasks.

What distracts you the most?

I would say social media can be an inescapable trap if you don’t pay attention to the matters at hand.

The best thing about working from home:

You can balance your professional and personal life more easily.

What do you miss the most about the office?

The social part of being on a team, including the extra communication that lets us build a better work experience.

Jesse Yu, Senior Software Engineer: “I miss our pizza party…”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

We were already working remotely once a week before COVID-19. I do like it since I have a long commute to the office.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Stick to your schedule.

What distracts you the most?

I need to prepare lunch by myself now.

The best part about working remotely:

Avoiding the long commute.

What do you miss the most about the office?

I miss our pizza party…

missing office life

Narcis Parmac, Customer Support Specialist: “Getting the job done is the best way to keep motivated.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I adapted very well and in no time. Yes, I do prefer working from home since I’m saving time and money.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

Getting the job done is always the best way to keep myself motivated.

What distracts you the most?

City Hall workers in the area because most of the time they’re so loud.

The best part about working remotely:

I don’t have to spend two hours daily commuting.

What do you miss the most about the office?

I didn’t get the chance to meet most of my colleagues face to face, and I am looking forward to it once the pandemic is over.

working spaces

Maririta Kaplanian, Customer Support Specialist: “I can work from anywhere I want.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I’ve always been comfortable working remotely since I used to run my own business consulting office. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

I guess the comfort of my home makes me stay productive.

What distracts you the most?

I’m used to being multifunctional and concentrating on several things at the same time. But there is one thing that gets me out of my productivity – my little neighbor. She’s two years old and comes to visit my little brother. 

The best part about working remotely:

I can work from anywhere I want. If I feel I want to work from my favorite rooftop restaurant, I just book a table and enjoy my 8-hour shift from there.

What do you miss the most about the office?

Meeting my colleagues. We used to talk a lot and entertain ourselves during work. Who said work can’t be fun? 

Valentin Stoicescu, DevOps Manager: “I’m working more hours, but I enjoy every minute of the day.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

I was quite happy when we started working from home. However, it proved to be a bit challenging at first. I needed to create a routine. The fun part was incorporating cooking into my work schedule. The benefit was that I got to eat a lot healthier than before. Yes, I love working from home.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

What I love about this company is that everyone is collaborating and communicating so much. The downside is that the messaging apps are on fire from all of the notifications.

The one trick that got me focused was setting Skype/slack on “do not disturb” during specific hours, so I can focus only on the tasks at hand.

What distracts you the most?

The constant information flow on any particular day: messages, emails and so on.

The best part about working remotely:

The feeling of being free. It’s just a feeling because I’m working more hours, and am staying connected more but I enjoy every minute of the day. Also, working at a company like ZeroBounce means having colleagues all over the world. Somehow it has me more connected to some of them.

What do you miss the most about office life?

I do miss the coffee machine and going to lunch with my colleagues.

how to eat healthy at home

Vlad Stoian, Customer Support Team Leader: “It’s not for everyone.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?

Due to my previous position on the support team, I was working from home about three weeks a month, so the transition has been seamless. I prefer it as I get to control my environment a lot more.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home:

It’s true that it’s not for everyone. An essential concept to keep in mind is that, although we are at home, during certain hours of the day there must be a switch in our mind. We must go from thinking of our surroundings as our place of comfort to our work environment. 

Distractions are always present when working from home, and blocking them out completely is difficult. However, it can help to have some music to keep you motivated, but not too distracted.

What distracts you the most?

Nothing – there’s always something to do. A few small breaks to do some exercises work wonders when you feel you’re growing roots at your desk. 

The best part about working remotely:

I’m in control of my own environment. When I’m hungry I get to cook and eat good home-cooked meals instead of ordering food. Working from home is great for keeping an eye on what you eat.

What do you miss the most about the office?

Nothing.

Chris Gallego, Enterprise Success Manager: “I miss having a Friday lunch with my colleagues.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?  

Yes, and I prefer it. I can work with my schedule to fit the demands of my clients.

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

Taking a lunch break.

What distracts you the most? 

I don’t get distracted.

The best part about working remotely:  

Not having to deal with traffic. It’s a great advantage.

What do you miss the most about office life? 

I miss having a Friday lunch with my colleagues. Those were great.

social media temptation

Andrei Ion, Customer Support Specialist: “I feel much more connected to my work.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it?  

I’ve always wanted to work from home. My desk is very comfortable and I just feel much more connected to my work. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

I try to cut off distractions like social media, games, or Netflix.

What distracts you the most? 

All the things above. Sources of instant dopamine which we’ve all become susceptible to. At least I’m aware of these distractions, and that’s the first step to eliminating them.

The best part about working remotely:  

Working by ‘yourself,’ no commute. It means not wasting two hours a day. That’s about 50 hours a month, 24 days a year just on my commute. I’m gaining almost a full month of vacation just by cutting my commute.

What do you miss the most about office life? 

It’s nice interacting with colleagues, but that’s about it.

Ciprian Vlad, Enterprise Success Manager: “I save time, energy, and money.”

How have you adapted to remote work? Do you prefer it? 

I have adapted to remote work very well and I prefer it this way. Why? Well, let’s just say that I don’t miss the traffic. I save time, energy, and money. 

The one trick that keeps you productive while working from home: 

Two things are helping me a lot. One is that I have a very clear schedule that I follow, and the second one would be that I have set up a special office so I can work from home. I really like it!

What distracts you the most?  

I have two kids, and they’re schooling from home. 😊

The best part about working remotely: 

It allows me to be more productive and also have more time with my family.

What do you miss the most about office life? 

I miss getting in touch with my colleagues, although we try to make up for it with Skype and phone calls.

zerobounce team

We’re together, apart

Looking through all of these responses, it seemed everyone has adjusted very well. It’s nice to learn how important the people of ZeroBounce are to one another. When asked what was missed most about the office, “colleagues” came up again and again.

I’d like to think I’ve adapted very well. The peace of working from home eliminates many of the distractions in an office. Apart from that, you can’t underestimate the amount of money saved on gasoline and other auto expenses.

What helps me to say productive is scheduling my work in blocks. One hour dedicated to this, then one hour dedicated to something else to keep things fresh.

I was relieved to read that others feel at times you can get a bit too comfortable being at home. So, I’m looking forward to when cafes open up, as I’ve found them to be an unbeatable environment for getting work done.

 I haven’t had the opportunity to work from home until now and I enjoy it. So, maybe I do miss having a desk, but what’s not to love about saving money and time?