Remote working: a beginner’s guide

For everyone around the world, 2020 is turning into a bit of a rollercoaster ride. For me, the year began full of excitement as I started my new job and career in PR at Resonance. Building on my past experience in content writing and journalism, I threw myself into the world of technology PR.

The first two months went by very smoothly. I was given the opportunity to work on lots of interesting projects including blog and op-ed writing, pitching stories to journalists, and compiling research on new business prospects.

I quickly found myself getting used to my new routine. I became a regular London commuter, discovered the best street-food options nearby, and came to enjoy our regular drinks after work at the amazing free bar at WeWork!

Working in PR, we had all been aware for many weeks about the growing COVID-19 crisis. To the naiveté of many people, myself included, it seemed like it would always remain a distant problem - how times change! In March coronavirus hit the UK hard, forcing Resonance – like lots of other businesses – to shift to a remote working model.

Suddenly, my meetings with new colleagues were all virtual, I had to navigate platforms I hadn’t used before, and I was unsure about where the new measures left me in my role. My managers, however, were quick to reassure me. It says a lot for the sense of community at Resonance that I feel like I have been here for a lot longer.

By making me feel welcome from Day One, I felt part of the team wherever I was – which actually prepared me for the unprecedented disruption created by COVID-19. We all have daily face-to-face chats via Zoom, and even the occasional virtual post-work drink. These little touches keep the team together and have really helped me still feel like a part of the business.

It’s now a over a month into remote working and I’m starting to get to grips with the personal steps I need to take to stay productive, healthy and sane during this strange time. Added to this, I've just passed my probation and become Resnance's newest Account Executive which I'm delighted about. 

For other grads and people in my position, I’ve included some tips that have helped me during self-isolation;

  1. Develop a routine: This has been really key. I try to build structure around my working day to at least give it the ostensible form of normality. This can be as simple as getting up at the same time every day or having an allotted time at lunchtime or in the evening for exercise.

 

  1. Exercising regularly: In my house, we have taken it a step further and produced an exercise schedule with different activities throughout the week. I find that staying active helps me blow off steam and disconnect from the stresses of the world right now.

I particularly love my 5km run around the local area – though it does now involve lots of crossing the road to stay socially distanced! Whether it is hitting a new time, a new distance, or adding in more repetitions to your sets, exercise is a fabulous goal-oriented activity to stay motivated.

 

  1. Working on a skill: Like many, I’m trying to use this time to learn and improve my skillset. I am continuing to write in my spare time about other passions in my life.

At university I studied history and I still love to write about the great events of the past. I recently completed a feature for a history magazine on the Battle of Okinawa in World War II; a story of a clash of nations, brave men, and terrible suffering. Whilst this may seem a million miles from technology, any kind of writing helps you continue refining your technique and expressing yourself in a way that feels fresh, informative and engaging for the reader – qualities I try to the content we deliver at Resonance.

 

  1. Socialising, albeit virtually: Above all, keeping talking to people has really given me valuable perspective during this time. At work, Slack conversations have helped me to preserve the morning chats that are part of the regular eb and flow of being at work. Outside work, scheduling video calls or just chatting online with friends and family is a fabulous way to cut down on the sense of isolation we are all feeling.

In many ways, we are so lucky to live in this time of incredible technology connectivity. We have social media, high-quality video calls, and other communication tools that allows everyone to stay linked together. A pandemic of this scale, perhaps no more than 15 years ago, would have been very different indeed.

 

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