Welcome to the second article of our Insider series: Meet the Team. Today, we’re getting to know Reymar Ocero, our UI/UX Lead Consultant. He’s been with SyncApps by Cazoomi for a few years now, and he’s had an impressive growth with the company. But we’ll let him tell you more about that.
Q: Hey, Reymar! Please introduce yourself.
A: Hi there, I’m Reymar, the guy responsible for the Cazoomi visual brand identity and the way our solution looks and feels. I started my career at Cazoomi in 2016.
I was hired as a Graphics Lead, which means I was responsible for creating banners, campaign ads design, and any other design element needed on a page. Later on, after a year or so with the company, it was time for me to start developing a new skill set. I studied WordPress, Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, and other design frameworks.
Ever since I started working here, the opportunity to grow and develop new skills was one of the most important “selling points”. I know a lot of companies say that they encourage their employees to grow and even move horizontally within the company, but I know this rarely happens. So I was stoked when I realized Cazoomi was one of those rare places that actually encourages people to grow and thrive.
Thanks to this new skill set, my role became that of UX/UI consultant, which gives me the opportunity to manage the Cazoomi UX/UI team.
Pro tip — these are some of the tools that I use on a daily basis. They make my life easier and I believe and UI/UX consultant will find them useful:
Q: How has work changed for you since the pandemic started?
A: Before the pandemic started I usually worked outside especially when I felt bored with staying at home. This also helps me come up with new ideas, boost my creativity, and enhance my productivity. Truth be told, we are lucky. Here, in the Philippines, nature is amazing everywhere you go. You don’t have to hike for miles to meet a gorgeous spot. You’ll be greeted by stunning nature as soon as you step foot outside of your home.
The pandemic-induced restrictions made that harder. I still like to go for short walks to reconnect with nature and to nurture my creativity. But it’s been harder than before, I have to admit that.
Luckily, here at Cazoomi, we were accustomed to working remotely even before the pandemic, so the changes were minor. I just had to find new ways to get my creative juices flowing.
I do that by spending more time with my family. I’ve been able to connect with them more and be more present in the day-to-day life of everyone I care about. So for me, the pandemic hasn’t been all bad. There’s a silver lining in everything if your mindset allows you to see it. Or, in the words of the immortal Leonard Cohen: “There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.”
Q: Do you feel like working from home even more than before has negatively impacted your work-life balance?
A: No, not really. Actually, this pandemic is like an eye-opener for me. It has shown me the real value of caring for yourself and for your needs — now that I’ve had more time to focus on them. Plus, it helps me manage my time better, save money (bye-bye commute!), and do house chores :).
This pandemic does not really affect my work-life balance since when I started working here our setup is mostly online. My resources and tools are cloud-based so adjusting to working from home all of the time was as seamless as our integrations :). I do miss our in-person staff meetings, but I’m sure we’ll be able to put them back on the calendar soon!
Better yet, our 4-day work week setup has taught me how to prioritize what really matters every week. This gives me more time to bond with my family and focus on my hobbies.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: During work breaks, I always love to watch movies on Netflix, sometimes I play games on my mobile. Also, I love reading articles from the Medium app, especially articles about design and conspiracies 😊. Yes, we all have guilty pleasures!
For physical activities, lately, I have been biking around Cagayan De Oro. The scenery is amazing — you don’t have to take my word for it, just check out one of the photos I snapped during my tours.
It’s incredible how disconnecting from work can help you put things into perspective and come up with new ideas just when you were done brainstorming them.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring UI/UX Consultants?
A: Be consistent with what you are doing now and don’t expect magic overnight. As our adviser always says: “progress, not perfection”. Don’t compete with others, compete with yourself. If you get a little better every day, you will be perfect someday. Rushing into it will just turn you superfluous.
Find a great company that helps you grow and build your career. Most importantly, love your job and have a passion for it. You don’t get tired if you have this kind of mindset.
Always learn something new and don’t get discouraged if you fail. Failure is a part of learning — a big part of it!
Q: Do you have any tips to help our readers overcome the crisis while working remotely?
A: Keep in touch with your team to stay up to date. Just because you don’t see each other every day doesn’t mean that you can’t work together. Some of the things we do at Cazoomi to strengthen our team and help each other:
- A good Zoom call is ideal even if it is not work-related. It helps you reset your mind.
- Always manage your time and be wary of time-eaters. There’s always some distraction or another when you work from home, so try to create a space that’s exclusively dedicated to working. Remember that the sooner you’re done working, the sooner you can focus on your hobbies, so when you procrastinate you’re essentially stealing your own time.
- Take 30-minute breaks every 3 hours but don’t spend them in front of your computer. Do a bit of stretching, go for a walk, or spend a few minutes with your family.
- Stay healthy and exercise.
- Enjoy your life, don’t be hard on yourself. If you feel tired then take some rest and don’t force yourself into overdrive. You may feel like it helps you achieve more, but the quality of your work will suffer.