Remote Work Advice from the Social Media Experts, Part 3 — Tech, Environment, & Mental Preparation

Michelle HeathersDecember 20, 2021Tips

Switching gears to remote work is more challenging than just setting up a new office space or making sure your bandwidth can accommodate all those Zoom calls to coordinate your upcoming social media campaigns! A big part of finding success in remote work is having the right outlook for working in a nontraditional environment, whether it be for a short period of time or if you're working remotely indefinitely.

Our BrandGlue team considers ourselves to be experts when it comes to working remotely (we’ve been at it for over a decade!), so we are sharing our best tips and tricks to create your own remote work oasis. We know in the social media world that you’re busy enough as it is without having to do a Google search for remote work best practices, so check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for advice on the technology and work environment we recommend for successful remote work. Additionally, keep reading as we take a look at the mental preparation that goes into this new hybrid work frontier.

Take a Hike, Literally!

Remote work has many benefits, but one of the downsides is that when there’s no watercooler or work colleague around the corner, most remote employees wind up sitting at their desks an awful lot. This can have a negative impact not only on a person's physical health but also their mental wellbeing. One quick remedy is to just get up and take a walk!

“When things get stressful, when you get overwhelmed, or even bored (it happens), go on a short walk around your neighborhood. Focus on things far off in the distance and give your eyes a break from looking at screens all day. Take a breather,” shares our Creative Director, Joey Ponce.

Feeling the Zoom fatigue and it’s only a Tuesday? Taking a break is oftentimes the quick cure to get you refocused and ready to take on a busy social media content calendar. “Get outside. Ride a bike, go for a walk, or read a book. Just do something outdoors. Staring at a screen all day can wear you down and the real world will always be better than the virtual one,” our Senior Strategist, Rai Masuda, advises.

Find Ways to Unplug

While an overwhelming number of workers want to keep the option to work remotely, one of the biggest struggles the new remote workforce faces is how to unplug from work. 27% of workers in a recent Buffer report said that they didn’t know how to officially end their workday.

Our advice? Create a schedule that you can really stick with! If you start to weave work into your evenings and weekends and really blur the lines, then you'll most likely get burnt out. There are seasons or weeks or days that will be intense, we all have those. But generally speaking, I recommend sticking to a schedule and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Any job that, outside of a few intense times here and there, doesn't allow you to do this is rarely worth it.

Our Account Director Hannah Lushin recommends being firm with yourself to avoid the dreaded burnout, sharing to “set strict office hours for yourself. Without a formal commute, it can be easy to start work earlier than you usually would and/or work late - which I've found is the fast-track to burnout.”

But when you don’t have a commute, a coworker to grab coffee with, or any of those more regular activities presented with traditional office life, how do you create consistency ? These things can still be a part of a work from home (WFH) routine, they just have to be done purposefully. Make them happen if they were very meaningful to your work week pre-WFH!

“Give yourself a few scheduled 15-20 minute breaks every day to check up on your favorite sports team, read the news, or check on the stock market, or whatever you're into. When that time is up, refocus yourself to stay productive throughout the day,” says Zach Welch, our VP of Client Services.

Get Inside Your Own Head

When it comes down to it, trust your gut. If after a while remote work just doesn’t sit right, think critically about yourself and how you function best. Know yourself — this is my #1 tip. If remote work is here to stay at your job yet you're super extroverted and don't really love it, then I'd recommend finding a new gig! Sometimes this isn't possible or practical though, in which case you'll need to work to find other outlets to be with people (or work from a coffee shop, etc).

Remote work, just like any new part of a job, can be challenging at first. The key is to keep working at it to get it right. “With the exception of my first job out of college, I have worked remotely ever since, which is about 12 years. It has become second nature to me. I will say that not everyone is cut out for it. It takes a lot of self-discipline to work remotely. So depending on your personality, you just have to find a system that works for you, to keep you productive,” Zach Welch shares.

At the end of the day, creating an effective remote work environment takes a bit of work. But the benefits far outweigh the challenges if a person is diligent in obtaining the right technology, creating a productive environment, and keeping their mental wellbeing a top priority.

We hope this series on remote work has helped you -- if so, please tell us how!

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