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Meet Nicole LaMarca – A Remote Researcher Scaling Up a Better Planet

I believe the remote ecosystem thrives on diversity. Not only a variety of roles and responsibilities, but of cultures, causes, and companies focused on changing the world for the better. Organizations are finding value in flexibility and creating customized work roles for the right candidate. Nicole LaMarca of Knology just happens to be one of those candidates.

Through her environmental research and background in animal behavior and human psychology, Nicole is well-positioned to tackle the topic of conservational advocacy – working to change the landscape of how organizations do business when it comes to helping support a healthy and flourishing biosphere.

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Let’s hear from Nicole on the subject of remote work, and her journey so far…

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up in your current role with Knology?

I was working on my master’s degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation at Hunter College in NYC. One of my professors, who worked at Knology, a New York based non-profit social science think tank, was recruiting students for internships. I thought it sounded intriguing since it combined my undergraduate focus of Psychology and Human Behavior with my graduate focus of Conservation Sciences – so I applied and was selected for an internship. I joined the office as it was growing – the company just opened our San Diego office in Oceanside, CA.

I grew into my current role as a Project Manager and Researcher as the office was growing and changing. I ended up in San Diego because the lead for the Oceanside office moved on to another opportunity. My bosses already knew that after graduation, I was exploring the idea of moving to California, so I was able to take over our California presence.

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2. Being an environmental researcher, in your opinion, what are organizations not doing that they could do to create a healthier planet?

Regardless of the sector, service, or product, any organization can review how their work can mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re a community-based organization, you can ask what parts of your community are vulnerable and work towards resilience. I feel there are lots of organizations working on this at the municipal level across the United States. I believe community organizations should have a seat at the table and collaborate in these efforts!

For example, if you make a product, you could investigate the carbon emissions of your supply chain and consider if there are better options. Climate change is a multidimensional issue and we all have a stake in helping our planet thrive.

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3. Knology prides itself on cooperation and collaboration within a multi-stakeholder ecosystem. How do you and your team maintain effective and transparent internal communication?

Internal communication is important to us. Our offices are based in California and New York. We have additional team members spread across the US. We use Slack for informal communication, and whenever possible, video during our internal calls. Whether they’re one-on-one or with the whole team, I can’t recommend video enough! When you can’t be in the same room, video can help build trust and rapport with your team. Having good audio equipment is important too! If you can’t hear each other, communication is impossible.

4. How has being a member of Downtown Works helped you grow as a professional?

Working at Downtown Works has been helpful for keeping me motivated and focused on my work. I like being in a productive and aesthetic environment surrounded by kind people. It provides a sense of community and has helped me to communicate more effectively about the work that I do – specifically, with people who are unfamiliar with the field that I’m in.

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5. Do you have any productivity hacks that you can share with our readers?

Personally, I find that in order to feel productive in any aspect of my life, I need to feel like I have balance. For me, that means in addition to work, making time to do other things that make me happy. I spend time with friends, my dog, the great outdoors (mostly rock climbing), painting, reading, etc. Moving to San Diego from NYC has improved that sense of balance for me, along with my quality of life, and ultimately my productivity!

6. What is one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to transition from an office environment to remote work?

I think remote work looks very different for different kinds of people. Remote work requires self-discipline – a skill I’m constantly honing. I try to manage my time wisely and create a structure for myself. Getting outdoors and being active in the morning helps me be more productive throughout the day. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, any remote meetings that can be done through video conferencing is a plus!

7. Where can readers find you and your company on social if they want to know more?

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter where we share research updates at knology.org.

We’d love to hear from folks! Here’s where you can find us:

Twitter: @KnologyResearch 

LinkedIn:   Knology Research

 

 

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