I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. All of us in the marketing, public relations, communications world – we’re really lucky.
Sure – we’re lucky because our jobs are exciting. We get to wear many different hats and we never quite know which one we’ll need at any given moment.
We’re lucky because our work is just as much team-dependent as it is individual-based. We spend a lot of time writing and thinking and doing by ourselves, but we spend just as much time brainstorming with a colleague, proofreading someone else’s work or helping one another put out fires during crises.
But a physical-something that makes us lucky to have the jobs we do? We get to do it from anywhere.
Unlike most doctors, engineers, attorneys, etc., we have the ability to our job any time and from anywhere we want. While there has been much discussion in the working world about whether working remotely is a good thing – I’m here to tell you that yes—yes, it is.
Of course, everyone has different preferences when it comes to an ideal working environment – but I think we can all agree that working remotely offers several benefits (even if you prefer to be in the office).
1. Feeling more empowered and trusted: When you work from home, your boss might feel a ping of concern. Will you actually do work? How productive will you be? Will she be able to get a hold of you if needed? While there are certainly distractions that can arise in a home environment (like, for instance, an adorable pup), we can’t ignore the distractions that a workplace offers (like, for instance, an incredibly long conversation with a colleague about your weekend…or the cookies someone brought in…or the five-minute walk to the bathroom).
Regardless of your environment, your boss and your team are depending on you to get your work done. When you are in the workplace, you do your best to avoid and/or minimize the things that take you away from actual work. Being at home is no different, other than having a new-found feeling of freedom and enhanced commitment to your team and your deadlines, thanks to the level trust that’s offered.
2. Having more flexibility in your schedule: Since I began working at Sabo PR, there have been two days that I have had doctor’s appointments on the other side of the state. Sure, I could take those days off, but what a bummer it is to have to waste a vacation day in order to attend a doctor’s appointment.
Instead, I was provided with flexibility and the opportunity to work remotely. I traveled to the other side of the state after work on the day before, and was able to pluck away at my to-do list the next day, as if I was in the office. Not to mention, I was able to use my lunch break as the time spent at my doctor’s appointment. Happy boss, happy clients, happy doctors—what a concept.
3. Changing up your scenery: When you work in a creative industry, it’s easy to hit a lull. And when that happens, I have found that there is nothing more motivating than having the ability to change your scenery. Sometimes all it takes is an afternoon in a coffee shop to kiss writer’s block goodbye.
4. Eliminating your commute: This is perhaps the most obvious. Nothing is more frustrating than starting your day off sitting in traffic, making you late for work. When you work remotely, you have the ability to avoid your commute completely. Better yet, you can spend the 20 minutes, half-hour or 45 minutes that you usually spend in the car, getting a kick start on your tasks for the day.
5. Understanding the importance of communication: You would think that it would be harder to communicate with your team since you aren’t sitting in the same room as them as usual. News flash – it’s not. When you are working remotely, you understand the importance of being responsive and efficient with your communication.
Technology certainly helps make this task easier, with email, text and phone, as well as instant messaging and Skype, you can be just as connected to your colleague’s miles away than when you are sitting next to them at the office.
At SPR, we have the ability to work remotely when the situation calls for it: bad weather, doctor’s appointments, etc. However, most of us here spend more than half of our time on-site with clients, which means working “remotely” from our team. And while a different type of “remote,” many of these benefits still ring true.
Have I told you how lucky we are?