The Women of Freedom
To celebrate Women's History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), we want to highlight a few of the incredible women at Freedom Mortgage. As a hybrid company with many working remotely, we asked each woman what her motivation was when working from home. Read on to discover their answers – and get inspired!
Sherri Mallory: Vice President Servicing, Employee Engagement
Why? “Listening to music is what keeps me going throughout my workday. It has the same effect, whether it’s an old Motown hit or an inspirational urban contemporary gospel selection. Of course, those who know me best will tell you that a good midday line dance is always a great motivator! My dog, Jaxon may argue he’s not as excited since he has become not only my work buddy but my daytime dance partner. I always say ‘there’s a song for everything and finding that song is what puts a smile on my face and stimulates my creativity.”
Deborah Lemieux: Senior Vice President, Internal Business Control Unit (IBCU)
Motivator: Sticking to a routine
Why: “I stay driven when working from home by keeping active and following an efficient schedule. I begin my day working out on my Hydrow rower or doing Pilates and participating in challenges – such as the ‘squat’ challenge. I made it to over 400 squats per day! My scheduling of tasks keeps me focused on my work goals while balancing the other parts of my life.
The combination of exercise and getting out in the fresh air to walk my dog Petunia guarantees my day starts off in a productive way. I then take a few minutes of peace to enjoy a cup of decaf on my balcony in Coral Gables and realize how lucky I am to have those minutes to breathe, rather than sit in traffic. I am fortunate to have the freedom to use that extra time (that would otherwise be wasted) for my work goals and self-care.”
Viktoryia Lipka: Project Manager, Video Production
Motivators: Staying hydrated, hitting the gym, and podcasts
Why? “Staying hydrated is key, but when I’m not in meetings, listening to podcasts is a way to keep me entertained and focused on work. Could be anything from celebrity interviews to true crime and real-life stories. I also try to go for at least one walk during the day to get out of the house and relax. Going to the gym before work helps me wake up, feel refreshed, and get ready for the day ahead. I’m able to be more productive with my work and have a positive attitude throughout the day!”
Lindsey Craig: Manager, IT Communications
Motivator: Healthy cooking, organization, home design/décor, and music
Why? “The ability to work in a space where I feel comfortable and at peace fuels me. Being able to cook healthy meals, grab a hot cup of coffee when I need one, and have a calming environment to work has made all the difference in my productivity.”
Kenya Shorter: Manager, Events, and Merchandise
Motivator: Organization and motivational media
Why? “Staying organized helps to keep me motivated while working from home. At the end of each day, I create a list of tasks/projects I plan to accomplish the next day. This helps me stay in control and on top of my workload without feeling overwhelmed. As a result, I create a nice work/life balance.
I love to start my workday listening to something motivational. This can be a positive YouTube video, podcast, or song. In doing so, I’m encouraged and inspired to continue doing my best as I begin my workday.”
Kristin Moses Murray: Vice President
Motivator: Early mornings, staying current in the news, and work-life balance
Why? “I am an early bird, so I am motivated to get started first thing. I put on a pot of coffee and like to get some work done before anyone in my house is even awake. That’s my quiet, alone, downtime without interruption of emails or children. Having that jump on the day is my motivation. I feel like I am already ahead of the game. During the day, I also take time to give myself a break because I do start so early; I use that break to keep current on the news. I like to be aware of what’s happening locally and in the world. Also, as a communicator, I always like to read articles and posts to get ideas for my own writing.
I get so much enjoyment and laughs from our pet cats throughout the day. They are a fun little stress breaker and pick-me-up. They have also crashed plenty of Zooms over the past two years. I am a working mom, so I take advantage of working from home and make sure the laundry is always done and the fridge is stocked. There is no better break than a quick trip to the supermarket!”
Alexia Paglia: Social Media Marketing Specialist
Why? “My motivation when working from home is listening to music. Working from home alone every day can be quiet when I'm not in meetings, so having music on helps me get into the right mindset and spark creativity while creating content for our social media channels.
I always start my day by either making a cup of coffee at home or grabbing my favorite cold brew from Starbucks. Whether I'm in the car on my way to get coffee or once I sit down at my desk for the workday, I always have one of my favorite artists or playlists on. Whether it's pop, hip-hop, or country, I'm constantly jamming out throughout the day to help boost my mood and keep me energized.”
Nicole Silverstein: Associate Director, Marketing
Motivator: Alone time
Why? “Starting my day before anyone gets up and the demands of the day settle in is what I look forward to in the morning. It allows me to be selective in what I do to get my mindset ready for the workday. Some days it’s a hot cup of coffee and reading a few chapters of a great book, other days it’s a workout on the treadmill while watching British murder mystery shows! Taking some time to myself in the morning allows me to better dedicate my energy to work.”
Ellen Longo: Vice President of Public Relations
Motivator: Video meetings, staying active, and podcasts
Why? “Meetings with video ON motivate me because it’s an opportunity to connect with someone outside of my household. Monitoring news sites and checking social media can spark new ideas or offer a new perspective on something that I may be working on. When I wake up, I usually do some light stretches then drink some water. Then I listen to a couple of podcasts to get the day’s headlines. Afterward, I review my “to do” list (prepared the night before) and start my day.”
Jenna Mustafa: Junior Program Manager, Talent Management Department
Motivators: Staying active and her support system (including her cat!)
Why? “When working from home, I’m motivated by a few different things! Living in South Florida, I like to make use of the good weather in a few ways – working with the windows open, going on bike rides, and my daily walks during lunch! I have recently gotten into attempting a new recipe at least once a week, whether that’s a new dinner recipe or dessert recipe, I’m always looking for something new to try!
Every day, I want to prepare myself to be in control of my day since I have such a short commute to my desk. I am motivated to work from home with my support system – my family members that are also working from home, and my furry feline (orange tabby). Being able to have the time to make breakfast, go on a walk or spend additional time with my family is a great way to kickstart the day with a positive attitude and be productive throughout the entire day!”
Megan Donnelly: Wholesale Marketing Director
Motivator: Daily exercise and a healthy lifestyle
Why? "Daily exercise and meal prepping has 1000% played a role in my productivity when working from home. I need to move my body at least once a day, whether it’s Crossfit, Yoga, Pilates, or even just a walk outside to keep me motivated, my energy levels up, and help me avoid the afternoon ‘slump’. Additionally, I like to plan my meals for the week ahead of time. Knowing exactly what I am going to eat on a daily basis helps keep my body properly fueled and my energy levels high. Also, slotting time in my day to be screen-free, where I am completely away from my phone, computer, and TV. We are surrounded by distractions 24/7 – taking a step back and to just ‘be’ (even if it is only for 5 minutes!) really makes a difference.
Exercise and diet really contribute to my overall mental health, obviously affecting my productivity and energy at work as well. It’s important to take care of yourself (mentally and physically!) if you want to perform well in all aspects of your life."