I’ve been working as a ScoutComms intern for nearly a year, and in that time I’ve transitioned from weekly office days, to bi-weekly office days, and finally to entirely remote along with the rest of the company. Since my transition from in-office to remote happened pretty quickly, I’ve had some experience working from home, from full-time over the summer days to late nights while I was back in school. Segmenting my online time around a class schedule made it easier to plan out my priorities and future planning, but that’s all quickly changed with a fully online workload in addition to schooling. Looking back, the difficulties I had with working online full time share many similarities to doing school and work co-currently. I struggled with segmenting work throughout the day, sometimes forgetting to take breaks or getting wrapped up in a task and continuing to work or read while I had lunch, but would also occasionally forget that I was ‘on the clock’ while I took a 15 min break that would accidentally become an hour. As I’m sure many others are experiencing, being at home makes separating relaxation space and work space difficult, both in terms of being able to truly decompress and stop thinking about work as well as to stay focused – do I really want to be responding to emails or will my dogs pass out if I don’t pet them Right. Now.? These are important questions! Luckily, ScoutComms has been an understanding and accommodating space for ironing out the kinks.
Currently, I’m working on habits that make it easier for me to think of my home as a place that can promote productivity and relaxation by working on some key divisions of time and space. It starts with a general schedule: I try my best to wake up and go to bed around the same time, and every ‘work day’ I get dressed for the day and spend as long as I want making enough coffee to keep me sane. Whether using a percolator to make cafe sua da (vietnamese coffee), my french press, or even grabbing a whisk for some trendy whipped coffee, little things like getting out of my pajamas and making a coffee with some love in it really set me up for a productive day and help to distinguish what a work day versus a weekend is. I also have a designated work spot in the house that is separate enough from everyone else that we don’t have to chat unless we really want to, and I keep real tidy – all of which helps put me in the right mindset to do work and avoid doing the things that distract me most (taking pictures of my dogs looking beautiful, sleeping with their tongues sticking out) – I understand this is quite a luxury.
Although this is a difficult time for many, especially those who do not have the resources to work entirely from home or whose home spaces do not lend themselves to distinguishing a particular work spot that’s separate from lounging/sleeping/etc., there are always little changes that can alter your environment to be more conducive to working and staying on task. I’ve taken to thinking of working remotely as a distinct privilege, for which I am really grateful. From the ability to choose slightly more flexible hours, wear whatever I want, or spend more time reflecting on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, working with ScoutComms has made this experience feel like ‘just another day’ as we continue to engage in a communicative, flexible, and understanding community.