COVID 19 has forced many businesses to operate remotely, with the government encouraging employees to work from home if they can, this has led to interns starting their careers working remotely. As a Marketing Intern for Whyy? Change, an SME based in Sheffield, who has spent the past few weeks working from home here are my 5 ways to master a remote internship.
1 – Have an Office like mindset
Firstly, even though you are not in the office it’s important to still feel like you are to ensure that you work as efficiently as you can. This can be as simple as what you wear, choosing to wear a shirt or your normal office attire can help to maintain a routine and help you to approach your workday in a professional way. At Whyy? Change I have always worn a shirt as if I am in the office, this for me has helped create an office like mindset.
2 – Set up your working from home office
Next, using a laptop as your office computer has its perks and drawbacks. A laptop allows you to move freely around your house or flat, however, it can soon become easy to get distracted by your personal life. Creating a designated room that is away from where you sleep, eat and relax can help to create a boundary for when you are working and when you are not. In my case, I was fortunate enough to have an extra monitor, keyboard and mouse to create a more fixed workspace and allow me to concentrate.
3 – Invest in a webcam and technology
Thirdly, coming across professionally and having a good understanding of technology is an essential trait when working remotely. Firstly invest in a webcam, this will enable you to be seen and heard clearly and heard which is hugely important. Especially, when the majority of the communication will be conducted through video calls via platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet. Secondly, investing in a pair of earphones which have a microphone attached to them will further improve your audio quality too! Finally, learning how to use these online video conferencing tools is a guaranteed way to ensure that you come across as being proficient and professional in what you’re doing. At Whyy? Change I’ve been learning how to use Microsoft Teams, having never used it before, I was keen to work out how to use it to help me communicate. For me, investing a webcam and a pair of earphones greatly improved the call quality and made it easier to communicate clearly, whilst cancelling out any background noise.
4 – Take a break – have a KitKat (or just some fresh air)
Moreover, it’s important to remember that when working from home, having breaks and physical exercise is allowed. Sitting and working for 8+ hours straight isn’t good for you; in the office, you wouldn’t be expected to work continuously without stopping or moving so why would you at home? You need to remind yourself to get away from your computer for a couple of minutes each hour to reset yourself and refocus on your tasks ahead. The culture and support at Whyy? Change allows me to feel in control of my time and how I manage myself throughout the day. No one likes to be micromanaged and having the freedom to take breaks when I choose to definitely helps to re-focus myself.
5 – Communication is key
Finally, without communication, a remote internship just wouldn’t work. Communication through any medium is important when working remotely, whether it’s a message on Microsoft Teams, an email or even a video call. Setting up regular meetings with other members of your team help to keep you up to date and keep you sane! Organising regular meetings helped me to work collaboratively with other members of the Whyy? Change team, whilst keeping them updated on any tasks that I had been working on. Communication within an SME is crucial to driving the business forwards.
- Have self-control and stay focused on the task at hand
- Set up regular meetings
- Become a digital guru
- Find time to stop and have a break
So those are my 5 tips to ensuring success whilst working from home and what I have learnt during my remote internship so far. If you enjoyed this blog, why not read another blog by one of our interns on the 5 benefits of working for an SME as an intern.
To read my previous blog on my virtual internship experience click here.