Improving your remote working – Guidance
Remote working has become more and more popular these years, especially during the pandemic (in 2020, in case you read this blog in 3030). And, you may have the possibility of working from home, or maybe an internship remotely. In any case, here, we have some advice for you to be more effective for your next remote working experience!
1 Get your remote office
- Try to allocate a specific place in your house to work. Ideally, somewhere calm that you can leave at the end of your workday. Avoid working in the middle of your living room or even worse, in your bed.
- While working from home make sure to finish off on time. Just because you are working from home, it doesn’t mean that you’re available 24/7!
2 Stay organised
- Working from home, without someone telling you what to do, when to do it, can be difficult. Establish your strategy and plan your daily schedule: Breaks, deep working sessions, allocate time for your tasks and projects, and do not forget to exercise!
- Prioritize your tasks: the fewer switches in a day, the more effective you’ll be. Better to start with the more urgent and high demanding tasks. Fix yourself daily or weekly goals on longer projects to keep continuing rather than hurrying in the last week.
3 Stay focused
- Deep working can also be a good way to stay focused! Let your colleagues know that you will not be reachable for an hour or two. That you’ll check their messages after, to avoid being distracted. This is also a great way to let others know what you’re focusing on. Doing so, they know where you are in your work.
- Do not wait to ask for help or express your struggles. The earlier the better, this principle works as much when you’re in the office as at home.
4 Stay connected
- Especially with your coworkers, not only for work matters but also for social interactions. Chatting with your coworkers is also part of the experience! It will definitely help you to not feel isolated.
- Communication is not only sending emails. It’s necessary to replicate in-person communication even when there are thousands of kilometers between you and colleagues, try Whatsapp, Zoom,Skype. Why not have a lunch break together on skype?
5 Keep Networking
- Join Webinars & online events
- Have weekly meetings with your teammates
- Search for online/real events outside of work (Meetup.com) that can be related to your career objectives, acquiring knowledge, … Or, just joining people with some common interests like drawing, movies, or language exchange meetings!
The experience of our PP interns!
How has been your experience as a remote intern so far?
“When I started I didn’t know what was expected of me, but I have to say that so far it has been a great experience! Even though you have to be very independent and plan your daily schedule very well, working remotely also allows you to be less stressed and to be able to interact and work with people placed in different countries. That’s a side of the remote working that I love!“
What was the most challenging part of your remote internship?
“The most challenging part of my remote internship is loneliness, even if I like working in autonomy I think that as a human we all need to have real interactions and it might be hard sometimes because you are alone. Even though we communicate a lot with my colleagues and people I’m working with, I think it’s not the same as having face-to-face interactions with them and you can’t see them.“
“One of the most challenging things about being a remote intern was, for me, being located in Mexico when the rest of the team were in Asia or Europe, so sometimes in the afternoon, if I didn’t know how to do something or I had a lot of questions then I couldn’t ask. So I would ask them but I had to wait until the next day for them to reply because it was really late for them. And even though sometimes they would just go out of their schedule and reply to me at 12 or 1am, it would not always be the case so my work was slowed down a little bit but during the time we were on the same schedule, the morning for me and the evening for them, they were always asking me if I needed any more help. They were great, it was just the afternoon period that I had to kind of like learn how to do things by myself sometimes. But other than that, they were amazing.“
What is the main advantage of your remote internship?
“One of the main advantages of working from home is that you get a better life balance, it’s a great opportunity to blend your personal and professional life as I’m living with my family, I can spend more time with them whether it’s for breakfast or lunch. I see them more often which is something really nice! Another great advantage is that you don’t have to spend time on transportation or being stuck in traffic – you don’t need to think about it anymore. There’s no stress and you are saving your money and your time as well. You can get extra time sleeping in the morning, or having more time for breakfast“
“One of the advantages of working remotely, for me, was definitely that I didn’t have to wake 1h30 earlier to get to work. If people know Mexico City, it’s the city with the most traffic in the world! It would take me an hour to get to work. No gas expenses, no car expenses, so definitely that expense went down. Then I was able to sleep a little bit longer and be more ready to start working. I was also able to just pause every like one to two hours to walk around, grab a coffee, grab a snack and then get back to work. And I was able to get a schedule, that I was always starting at 9 in the morning, around 2pm I would eat lunch and then do exercise and then get back to work. Because that lunch and exercise period was 2h30 so I was able to clear my mind and by the time I got back to work, I was ready to start again and it’s been great for me. I love working remotely, and I would definitely want to work remotely again.“
Do you think working from home helped you develop different skills from office working?
“I’d say autonomy and organisation. Because, there is no one behind you to remind you what you should be doing every single time, basically. You’re not in the office. So yeah…
Maybe also confidence because after sending 10 questions to your mentors you may not want to bother them with simple things so you just end up searching for answers or trying your own way and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But it doesn’t matter because if it doesn’t work then you just learn so it’s nice too.“
What is your advice for future interns?
“One thing that I learned while working from home and that I’d like to give as advice for future interns is that you don’t need to be afraid to ask questions. This is very important because communication is crucial in working remotely; there needs to be very good communication between colleagues to work efficiently.
If you are new in a company, it’s normal that you don’t know many things, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice, to ask for suggestions, to ask questions, because people are willing to help and they really want you to fit well into the company. So never be afraid to introduce yourself and reach out when you need it. No need to struggle, you just need to ask, like if you were there on-place. They may be busy sometimes or not able to answer your questions at first, but just be patient and you’ll see that your job is going to be way easier.“
Will you look for other remote working opportunities?
“Definitely yes! I’m graduating in Foreign Languages and International Trade, so I was and will be looking for internships abroad basically. But, with the current pandemic, it was almost impossible to find as it was almost impossible to travel. So, remote internships are, in my opinion, the easiest way now to get a job with a foreign company, to work with people from other countries. So yes!
And also, it’s really convenient, I’m living in the countryside so I don’t have to commute to the nearest city every day. I used to commute to go to uni and it almost took me three hours per day so working from home is really nice!“