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October 24, 2019

3 min

Jade Fernandez

Work-Life Balance: Working Remotely at Method

When someone proudly states, “I’m a teacher!” the image that immediately comes to mind include walls lined with brightly decorated bulletin boards, class sets of books arranged on a corner bookshelf, and thirty pairs of eyes and ears listening and watching an excited adult at the front of the room animatedly teaching a lesson. Like always, Method breaks this mold. When a teacher proudly states, “I’m a Method teacher!” a typical workday may include a math class with 20 students that morning, some one-on-one meetings with homeroom students, and wrapping up the day with a staff meeting – perhaps in fuzzy socks.

Students are attracted to Method because of the flexibility it provides, and the same is the case for its staff. In a recent staff survey, the #1 reason our staff enjoys working at Method was overwhelmingly its flexibility. While many managers shirk the idea of a remote work policy, Method’s staff has found that the option allows them simply to get more done. One Method teacher states, “Flexibility offers productivity improvement.” Contrary to common misconception, working from home increases productivity. Following a two-year study, Stanford determined that “work-from-home employees work a true full-shift (or more) versus being late to the office or leaving early multiple times a week and found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home.”

Maybe I’m biased, but Method’s staff is the hardest working staff I know, and while some might think that the attraction to working from home might be the freedom to eat potato chips during the work day - on your couch and free from judgment, Method’s staff show that their attraction to this flexibility is all about being able to serve their students and bettering themselves as teachers. “I find that I am able to regain energy in the time that I am working alone so that I have more energy to invest in the interactions that I do have with colleagues and students.”

Now, while there are so many advantages to working remote, it’s still a skillset that requires practice. Here are some tips provided directly from Method teachers.

  1. Know thyself. Some people thrive in a remote work environment, while others need the face-to-face interaction. Others need a mix of working remote and in office. Test out your options and find the ratio of office and remote work that works best for you.
  1. Schedule work hours. It can be easy to allow work to bleed into home life, and home to bleed into work life when working remote. Distractions seek us out wherever we are – whether its “water cooler talk” in the office or the pile of laundry that’s speaking to you from the hallway. When used effectively, a flexible schedule can make work time more intentional and effective for the staff member. A Method teacher says, “Working remotely gives me the freedom to design my life, both inside and outside of work.” Stay true to the schedule you design – the meetings, deadlines, the quiet work time, and the home time that you put on your calendar.
  1. Overcommunicate. With new communication tools and apps, it becomes easier than ever to communicate with your colleagues. Slack, email, and Trello allows you to present new ideas, keep an ear to the ground of what’s happening within the organization, and update colleagues on progress toward ongoing projects.
  1. Don’t be an island. Collaboration can still happen even while working from home. Method creates small teams of veterans and new teachers and works intentionally to find ways to build a community of educators even with our teaching staff widespread throughout the state.


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