Most professionals get an opportunity to work from home significantly late in their career. However, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory work from home requirements, our interns have got this opportunity right at the beginning. When fun at first, it can soon turn tough.
In a new series titled “Views from the Mill”(ennials), we asked the youngest members of the PRecious Communications team to share one challenge and key learning from their work from home experience.
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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going
As a student, everyone wants to learn new skills and gain experience through their internships. In addition to that, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we get to experience a side of business many never do – working from home.
Still making my foray in the field of PR, I sometimes require guidance from colleagues and seniors. Working on proposals and releases leaves little room for error. In addition, the time-constraints that come along with these tasks force quick decision-making. However, remote working means that I could not walk up to my ever-present mentors for a quick brainstorming session or to clear doubts.
However, every challenge brings with it an opportunity. This one taught me the importance of an often under-estimated skill – resourcefulness. Knowing how to handle yourself and make your own decisions when you do not have your mentors around you is not only a good career lesson but a life one.
Contributed by Aniket Gupta, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
It’s All in the Desk
Work and home used to be two separate places, but now working from home has had me combine them into a single space.
At the start, working from home felt like the first week of my internship. It took me more than a full hour to complete my regular media monitoring. Emails took longer to craft, and I made a lot of mistakes. I was less productive and effective. I didn’t understand why – I had the laptop in front of me, my headphones on, and my setup was just like how it usually is in the office. But my focus was still not the same.
I realised I had everything set up the same way except for one thing – a desk. I had been working seated on the floor with the laptop on my lap. Not a great setup if the goal is to be productive. Since I did not have a proper workspace, I purchased a desk to create a “mini-office”. Now, with a dedicated workspace, my level of focus and productivity is almost as high as in the office. For others, it may be all in the mind, but for me, it’s all on the desk.
Contributed by Azrin Bin Hamdan, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Take Breaks and Make Time for Yourself
What was once touted as a millennial hype, remote working has become our new reality since the implementation of lockdown measures to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.
There are still pockets of resistance against remote work. This is primarily because of the fear that employees may slack if not for regular oversight. Despite the glamour that seems to come with working remotely, it has taught me that it is difficult to switch off when both work and personal life are parked under the same roof.
With expectations that you are always on – because you should constantly be at your home office – I’ve learnt that it is equally crucial to schedule their time and plan time off for self-care particularly during this time.
Contributed by Brendan Lim – Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Achieve the Right Work-Rest Balance
While the flexibility of remote work can be excellent, the challenge comes when you find yourself becoming too comfortable. This happens when we get distracted easily without other coworkers around to hold you accountable for your productivity. It may just be a little tougher to motivate yourself when you are not around colleagues.
I find the concept of self-discipline especially crucial to maximising the work-from-home potential. Self-discipline means doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. The solution was to work for two hours without distraction, followed by a short break of 10 minutes. This process gets repeated throughout the day, and I find myself getting used to working from home while increasing my productivity each day.
Despite that lonely feeling, I remind myself that everyone is in this together. I find that over-communicating with the team is very useful. Setting aside some time for virtual team bonding like playing hangman together over a video call has made working from home a much livelier process.
Contributed by Jazin Wee, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Keep Your Nose to the Grindstone
For many of us, working from home has become the new norm these days. Being new to the work-from-home process, I am always haunted by the struggle of staying on task and being productive despite the numerous distractions at home.
However, as all of us know, humans are quick to adapt. To adjust to the new normal, I eliminated distractions by creating a defined work schedule with a clear and realistic timeline for each task. Also, establishing a dedicated space that acts as a hub for work was essential to stay focussed and motivated.
This challenge has hence made me realise that it is crucial to have strong willpower and determination. A positive attitude to fight procrastination has enabled me to steer clear of all potential distractions effectively.
Contributed by Julina Tay, Client Coordinator at PRecious Communications
Find Your Inner Motivation
It is typical human nature, you want something you cannot have, and when you do get it, you realise it’s not what you thought it would be. This is quite apt for the work from home situation.
In the beginning, one feels like there is all the freedom in the world. But that’s when complacency sets in. I found myself to be less productive when working from home. This challenge has made me realise that eventually in my career, I will not always have someone else who will push me to get work done.
Through adversity comes strength. I finally found that inner motivation that drives me to deliver high-quality work on time, every time.
Contributed by Rahul Mehta, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications