“At this point in my life, I can actually say, work is my ‘quiet place,’” says Lorraine Cardillo, one of Edoc Services’ standout transcriptionists when we interviewed her about how she thrives with remote working/living. “Sound boring? It’s not. Unusual? That it is. But a brief story of how I got here will make it clearer,” says Lorraine.
“I’ve always been industrious, but there was always a little too much ‘noise’ around me when I really wanted to focus. Especially during my 20 years at the University of Miami School of Medicine, I was so busy and focused, but my work was so important that they decided to give me 4 walls and a door! Yes! My own office! For a copyeditor/writer, this was the final piece of the puzzle that worked so well for me. Listening, writing, reading, editing is done best, for me, in a quiet place,” she says.
Now, fast forward 30 years, says Lorraine, and she’s happily at work “in the best of all possible workplaces”—that is, her home office. “Working remotely certainly has its challenges, but once you get into a groove, and consider the alternatives, there is no better place to work,” she says, which is part of why she’s such an advocate for remote working.
Keep reading our Q&A with Lorraine to see how she starts her day and her top tips for others who may be new to remote working and living.
Q: Are you a morning person or an evening person?
I am a morning person…a crack of dawn person…if I’m lying in bed and the sun has risen, I must have expired!
Q: Do you have a morning routine? If so, can you share what that looks like?
I do not like “routines” per se, but there’s a gentle movement, some morning wrinkle ritual, and then over to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and 2 kittens that can’t seem to figure out what they want to do, but I have my goal in sight. This is the beauty of working remotely…maybe it was 15 minutes earlier, or 15 minutes later, but once I sit down at my desk, I am all in.
Q: Do you have any tips or advice for people who are just starting remote work that you can share?
The challenges to working at home confront you when you first start working remotely. The phone/the text alerts, the doorbell. The biggest challenge for me, at first, was to sit still. You can go pull the laundry out of the dryer, straighten out the kitchen, oh and look, there’s a refrigerator right here, let me get a snack, or a drink, something different than the 2 drinks already on my desk…but that’s where you lose your focus. So stay the course. Have what you need at your desk, before you start working.
In transcription, we face the challenge of the dictators. Some are articulate, some are repetitive, to some English is a 2nd language, some dictate while the kids are playing/screaming in the other room and you actually “heard” whose ‘turn it is’.
Block it out. There are no headsets, no voice canceling thingamajigs, no ear buds that make the audio we hear perfect, but with a little, and sometimes a lot, of effort, we can arrange whatever we need to just focus on the report AND the dictator.
My greatest challenge was sacrificing production for accuracy. Whatever that looks like for each of us, individually, it is what sets us on track to submit outstanding work, knowing the QA team is there when you just can’t get it, and knowing how to research with available resources at your fingertips.
Q: What is something that might surprise others to learn about you?
In 3rd grade, I was President of the “Look It Up Club”. Mind you…we didn’t have computers back then, but our goal was to research in dictionaries and encyclopedias (our only 2 choices) what we needed before we took the easy way out and asked a question. It taught us to give informed answers, not make stuff up, learn.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and our access to information is nearly limitless. My point is, yes there are 691 licensed nursing homes in Florida, and probably thousands of ALFs…but an engaged transcriptionist can Google the info, sharpen your listening skills, know how to pinpoint your research, and you do not have to leave a BLANK.
Q: What do enjoy about your job right now?
Edoc Service has a heart. I can truly say, I love this company. Many transcription companies make you feel like you’re just someone out there in the universe sending a document through to the grand Wizard of Oz. Those companies never worked for me, because you must feel supported to some extent, when working from home. I never feel out of touch with some of my coworkers or my manager.
At the end of the day, if you haven’t spoken to anyone but ‘communicated’ through some emails, it’s as good as having your private office where you do your best work where you can focus on what you’re sending on behalf of your employer to a client, and how good it feels to know you’ve done your best work.
Working remotely (possibly in your PJs), affords one the luxury of earning a living without having to fill your car up with gas for a month. Working remotely, especially in the current social climate, allows us to work while remaining focused and relaxed, and not crossing paths with the stuff that knocks you off the track.
Embrace working from home…it is a privilege. But work as if your boss is standing right over your shoulder waiting for what’s coming out of your printer in part created by your fingers! He/She/They aren’t there, but you do not fail to produce work that meets or exceeds the standards.
Working for a company like Edoc Service absolutely makes you feel needed and cared about. Always a “Have a Great Day” banner atop a page, or the a.m./p.m. updates, words of encouragement/concern/we can do it! The team may be virtual, but it is even tighter working from home for Edoc Service.
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