Working from home is very prevalent in the marketing industry. In fact, Brand Recruitment recorded that marketing professionals ranked flexible working as the most important benefit to them in their annual Marketing Salary Survey in 2018. And it’s no surprise that many businesses are seeing the obvious benefits it has to managing work:life balance.
In some cases, all a person needs is their laptop and a mobile phone. There are some common misconceptions when it comes to remote working however, including an assumption that it gives workers an opportunity to slack off. Research shows that marketers can be at their most productive when given the opportunity to manage their own timetable and productivity, in the comfort of their own home.
For most people, working at home allows them to strike a healthy work/ life balance but sometimes it is easy to lose focus, find distractions and struggle to find motivation.
This article looks at how a marketing professional can work to the best of their abilities while away from the office.
Set up a productive workstation
If you are going to be productive, then you need to create a productive environment.
You need to set up a workstation that almost feels like you are in the office and has all the necessary tools in order to do your job effectively.
Use a desk if you have one and avoid being within earshot of a TV. Attempting to work from the comfort of your bed is also not an option.
Make simple adjustments to create a formal, office feel, such as a waste paper bin & filing space.
Make sure you are well stocked in terms of office supplies e.g. Printer ink and paper, pens, notepads and sticky pads, to-do lists, and any other helpful resources.
Once your workstation is fully up and running, it’s time to plan your day.
Creating a to-do list which contains each task you need to complete, as well as the time you plan on having it completed by is an easy way to set yourself deadlines and push yourself. It can also help you visualise what work needs to be done and how much of it should be completed by the close of play.
Motivation levels can drop when you are not working to a clock, so breaking up your day with individual deadlines can help avoid procrastination.
The word ‘distraction’ has cropped up a few times in this article so far but in order to successfully work from home, you need to avoid them as much as possible.
Leaving the television on for a little background noise can be extremely counter productive, a catchy jingle, a funny joke or some breaking news can easily pull you away from what you should be doing. An easy way to avoid this unnecessary distraction is to simply turn the TV off!
Turn off non-work related social media notifications on your phone, or deactivate them completely during working hours. Mute Whatsapp conversations and try to keep your mobile out of reach. If you struggle to avoid those temptations then maybe set up a standard handset to make & receive work-related calls and leave the mobile phone in another room.
Work normal hours
Working remotely and working flexible hours are two different things. You are being paid to work, so when possible try to work your contracted hours. This way you will also be on the same schedule as your colleagues if you need to get in touch with them.
Getting into the habit of starting slightly later or having an early finish is a sure fire way to reduce productivity, which could lead to the privilege of working from home being taken away.
Not having to commute to and from work is a huge bonus in itself.
Break up your day
Working non-stop at your computer is not healthy, so make sure you take breaks, just like you would in an office environment. It is important to break up your day to keep your mind and eyes fresh.
Regular breaks and a set time for lunch are a must, eating at your desk, while working doesn’t count. A quick walk in the fresh air or just sitting in the garden for ten minutes can be enough to refocus yourself and boost productivity and happiness at work.
Communication is key
One issue a marketer may face when working remotely is a lack of collaboration with colleagues and other departments. It is important to make sure you are staying on top of things, keep people up-to-date with your progress, ask for updates when possible, and attend conference calls.
Reply to emails quickly, notify colleagues when you are ready to share documents and occasionally just drop the office a quick call to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
Sharing your daily to-do list with your boss can be a good way to maintain trust levels and show them that you are keen to do some work.
Mix it up
Although your typical working day should be well-structured, disciplined and as close to an office environment as possible, there is nothing to stop you occasionally opting for a change of scenery.working from
Take your laptop to a quiet coffee shop, or the local library for a few hours as a different environment can help you look at things from a different angle and potentially spark fresh ideas. Some companies also offer co-working spaces for employees who work from home, to give you the option to work away from your house.
Doing this can also limit distractions and annoyances you may find at home such as unexpected visitors or the neighbour’s dog barking.
Try to do more
Show your boss that they made the right decision in allowing you to work from home and be more productive than ever.
If you complete your planned tasks ahead of schedule, then make a start on tomorrow’s tasks. Commit to doing more than you usually would if you were stuck in the office, this way you will be ready for any deadline and may complete more work than initially expected. Justify why working from home was the correct choice.
If you try to stick to the core principles above then working remotely can help get the best out of your skillset. Not everyone is suited to an office environment and some are better working in a semi-isolated environment where they can self manage.
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