Working Remotely For a Rapidly Growing Agency

Space. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but what happens when that space describes your work? For the past 1.5 years, I have been fortunate enough to work remotely for OH as a Social Media Account Executive, and let me tell you – what you’ve probably heard about the “work from home life” is not the full truth.

Sure, I get to feel comfortable during working hours since my office is just a short walk to my desk, and I may or may not have worn a facemask while writing a social media report, but the lessons I’ve learned while working remotely have greatly impacted my work ethic for the long run.

What are the secrets to successfully working from home while maintaining productivity and ultimately still feeling like part of the agency? When your team is multiple states away, there are a few tips to get creative.

Over-communication is key, and just short of stalking people is okay.

As a remote team member, if I don’t make myself visible, there’s a good chance people may forget that I’m even there. When it comes to virtual communication, I make sure to be 100% available during the workday, whether it’s via email, Skype, text, you name it. If my team needs to contact me, it’s not as simple as walking over to my desk, and I’ve had to be constantly aware of that fact. On the flipside, I do whatever I can to make sure I’m part of the conversation, even if I’m not actually there. If you’ve worked with me, you can most likely attest to the multiple Skype messages, calls, and texts I have sent to make sure I am working collaboratively and effectively.

Don’t ever take a comfortable work environment for granted.

Working from home sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but what happens when you get too comfortable? I’ve had many conversations with co-workers about how the work-from-home life is not for them – they would be too distracted to actually get things done. Luckily, I’ve always had the mindset that “this is a privilege, so I better make sure my team knows that it’s worth it.” Working remotely will test your ability to focus and be productive, but as long as you truly understand the fact that others are depending on you to be successful, then this shift can be a breeze.

It’s okay to have a life, too.

At the beginning of my remote career, I found myself continuing to work through lunch, and throughout the night because, well – I was at home already! The feeling of obsession started to creep in, and I often realized that I hadn’t left the house at all for 24 hours…yikes. Once I knew that, I also knew how important it was to take time for myself, whether it meant taking my lunch outside, or forcing myself to put the laptop away after my work was done. Giving yourself permission to sign off when your coworkers do will keep you productive during work hours while ensuring you don’t end up burning yourself out.

The idea of working from home can seem ideal but also daunting. For those looking to kickstart their remote career, I have one piece of advice:

Do it, but make sure there is an open line of communication, trust, and expectations in place when you’re making this shift.

I’ve been lucky to have all of these during my time out of the office, which makes the visits back to my team something to truly look forward to.