In Japanese, there’s a word, hikikomori, which refers to a person who never leaves their house. When Gabby, my lead, asked me to write a blog about what it’s like to work at Good Commerce, this was the first word that came to mind.
Let me set the scene: My alarm goes off at 8 a.m. I hit snooze. My backup alarm goes off at 8:03. I hit snooze. My backup backup alarm goes off at 8:05. I hit snooze. I’m granted a merciful 5 additional minutes of snooze time until the first alarm goes off again, and I haul myself out of bed and into my apartment’s bathroom.
After freshening up, I return to my bedroom. My bedroom, my sanctuary, my low-key office. The blinds are drawn and dusty - I have no idea if it’s raining or sunny outside today. I have been calling the days I work from my bed my “bed days”, but it seems like most days are bed days lately—work from bed.
I proceed to open my laptop, check my work phone, answer emails, check in on projects, review copy, send off reports, and maybe have a quick huddle or two. All the while still in my PJs. Unless I have a client meeting, of course.
At this point, you may be wondering if “work from bed” is some kind of coping mechanism. Reader, let me tell you: I relish work from bed. Work from bed is, strictly, what it’s all about.
The true beauty of working from home is freedom, and freedom is something that the leadership at Good Commerce understands immensely. The way I prefer to work is optimized for coziness, but of course, there’s the option to work from a cafe, grab lunch somewhere in the neighbourhood, run for coffee, and so on.
I’m not confined to a cubicle. I don’t have to spend hours every week commuting. I can spend time with my pet bird during the day. I can take a quick break to stare at my fish tank to re-energize my brain. Almost everyone on the team has a dog, and I’m sure dog owners everywhere can relate to the struggle of finding care during the day.
Kattina and Ashley have little kids at home, in addition to pets. Whenever their kids are present for a team sync, or I hear laughter in the background of a Google Meet, I’m reminded of how my mom started her own company to care for me when I was a baby.
The point is: Working from home is great.
But it’s not all hikikomori shut in-ism for me. Our team is mostly based in Vancouver, which presents opportunities for collaboration and teamwork in person.
One of my fondest memories at Good Commerce was when Gabby and I were working on our first RFPs. We spent a few consecutive days at Gabby’s apartment, poring over papers with highlighters in our hands and Sheets on our computers, the deadline an ever-looming presence.
Millie, Gabby’s exuberant and adorable bernedoodle, not understanding the weight of deadlines, proved to be a majorly cute distraction throughout the day. She’s definitely a highlight of the collaborative process!
Even when we don’t get the chance to meet up and team up in person, we’re still a cohesive team. We’re not isolated in our home offices, cafes, or (in my case) beds. I know that whenever I need support or have a question, I can count on my colleagues to have my back. We put our heads together to solve problems, brainstorm new marketing opportunities for our clients, and check in with each other.
The work is fast-paced, with exciting projects coming in the door on a bi-monthly basis, if not more frequently. There is truly never a dull moment at Good Commerce.
Working here combines the best of both worlds: the freedom and comfort of working from home with the teamwork and collaboration that come with being part of a dedicated team. It's a balance that works, and it's what makes every day at this little agency an opportunity to thrive.