Starbucks, Soho Works and WeWork coworking spaces are all contributors to and supporters of the boom in working remotely. The luxury of staying on the payroll whether you’re a freelancer, or have a flexible full-time job, while still being able to submit your fifth and final draft in your PJ’s sounds good to anyone, right?
My name is Connor and I am a college student and remote intern for Creative Circle. When given the opportunity to continue helping out on marketing projects while studying abroad in London, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Getting paid to do work you love in a new city is a broke college kids’ dream, right? Yes… well, here’s what I’ve experienced:
Procrastination. It’s similar to when your English professor would assign a last-minute reflection essay your freshman year of college. You knew you had the whole weekend to complete it, but you still manage to hold off until post Sunday supper and into your Monday morning lecture to wrap it up. Bottom line: prepare for procrastination. I’m still in the phase of acclimating to remote work life and I am far from finding the cure to procrastination (just ask my supervisor), but I will say that having and keeping a detailed planner hugely helps.
Finding a workplace. Everyone loves the “hipster” neighborhood cafés and posting a Snapchat of your MacBook next to your latte – that has a design more intricate than that company logo you were supposed to be working on. When mapping out which café to set up camp at make sure of a few things:
- First, there must be Wi-Fi, good Wi-Fi. How is one expected to complete any project without Internet access (or internet access that feels slower than Monday morning)? Bottom line: find good Wi-Fi. Although Irving Farm has some of the best coffee in New York City, they don’t have Wi-Fi – yes, Starbucks is always a conventional option, but safe bet.
- Second, make sure the environment is right. Working in a café with an obscenely loud espresso machine makes focusing impossible. Furthermore, make sure the café has windows… an inspiring environment is key.
- Lastly, although uncommon, make sure your café doesn’t have a time limit. There’s nothing worse than really being in the zone when working on a project and having the barista ask you to leave because “you ordered one cup of coffee four hours ago.”
Communication. Although you will come to find that you’re wrapping up a project at 11:25 p.m. on a Tuesday night (see Procrastination) try your best to keep your supervisor up to date on how things are going. When working remotely, keeping in touch with your employer is essential. As a remote employee, you’re out of sight, but you should never be out of mind! Try to get into the habit of sending a brief email to your supervisor each time you work remotely. Not sure what to include in the email? Keep it simple. Include the projects you are working on or just let your supervisor know how things are going in general. Working remotely is a huge privilege so the least you could do is keep your employer in the know!
I am far from mastering the art of working remotely, but I still hope that my experience will provide some insight to those struggling or just getting started in working remotely. Buy a planner, find a workplace (with good Wi-Fi), keep in contact and always live creative!
Connor is a Creative Circle intern and college senior. Based in New York, Connor is working toward a public relations and advertising major with a minor in real estate and a dream of starting his own travel company. Outside of the classroom, he can be found trying out new restaurants or checking out a current art exhibit.