Working Remote Across the Globe: Ford Employees Find Balance and Focus During Unprecedented Times

As we continue to adapt to the changing conditions around the world due to the coronavirus, Ford employees are continuing to adjust to doing their jobs at home. For each of us, that looks different – whether it be bringing home equipment to do the job, juggling children at the same time, or sharing a work space with a spouse or family member.

For Fabian Pulido, who has worked for Ford Motor Company for three years as an FCSD South America Direct Markets Manager, working from home brings a host of changes, including finding a way to share work space with his wife.

“We live in a town close to Bogota, Colombia, and we can only go out one time per week for essential items, so we are in the apartment almost 100 percent of the time,” Pulido said. “We don’t have a lot of space, so when we have meetings at the same time, it’s been an issue we’ve had to figure out.”

Pulido said initially, it was difficult to stay focused on work with the distractions of being at home, but he and his wife have since made agreements and adjustments to their work hours and space. They’re taking coffee breaks together, because the feel of social interaction is something he misses most about being in the office.

“Breaks to talk to my coworkers and partners at work are an essential part of my day,” he said. “My team has been taking these breaks virtually, but the social environment is not the same behind a screen.”

Equipment has also been a challenge for Pulido, who is used to using multiple screens at his desk.

“I don’t have an appropriate desk at home, so it limits my ability to set up a space to view my work on multiple screens,” he said. “I’m currently using my dining room table as a desk and I dug out an old computer in order to have a dual screen for my job.”

Through it all, Pulido has found that there are some positives that have come out of this experience. He typically spends two hours a day commuting to and from work, so he says he is winning time staying at home. He’s taken advantage of that time to find new hobbies, one of which is cooking. Previously, he says he would be more apt to order a meal for delivery but has learned that he does enjoy being in the kitchen.

“I am trying to focus on the extra time home in a positive way, and in addition to cooking, I’ve set a new goal for myself – to learn another language, Portuguese,” Pulido said. “I’ve also added new books I want to read to my list. These are all things I’ve wanted to do for a while but never executed.”

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Ford@Home: Tips for working from home

The Ford @Home team recognizes these are challenging times for everyone. Each employee has his or her own set of struggles and hurdles to overcome in this unprecedented environment.  Here are some suggestions on how you can take care of yourself and those around you:

Be patient and kind to each other

Take time to find the right balance

Establish a daily routine and schedule

Build empathy for your colleagues, knowing we all have different challenges yet are giving it our best