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The Only Tips You Need for Working Remotely Without Going Crazy

I’ve been working from home for the last year and a half, and loving it. Recently I’ve had a lot of people reach out about the best ways to deal with it, as they’ve just gone remote for the first time. They’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content to consume about the topic online, and also totally uncomfortable with their new reality.

So today I’ll reveal the three simple tricks you need to enjoy working from home as much as Zurich and I. But first, get yourself set up with the best virtual marketing team tool, to ensure everyone stays on the same page no matter where you are. And then dive right in to today’s tips!

Discover 3 simple tips to maintain your sanity and productivity while working remotely:

1. Keep a “normal” schedule.

Remember how you used to get up at a certain time to get ready for work, dress a certain way, follow a breakfast routine, and arrive around the same time? Keep doing all those things.

Pro tip: Use your previous commute time to read.

Did you use noise cancelling headphones at the office? Or have two monitors? Set your home work space up the same way.

Pro tip: If you can cut some flowers from right outside your home and throw them in a vase on your desk, it’ll brighten up the space.

Throughout the day, take your typical breaks: to eat lunch away from your computer, to check for the mail and go for a relaxing walk, to go to the bathroom and wash your hands.

Update your team about your whereabouts as you typically would, for example how you used to do when you left for a few hours to visit the dentist. If you’re stepping away from your computer for more than an hour, let them know. You can do this via email and/or put up an away message and/or block the time on your calendar – whatever your previous team norm was.

Pro tip: Update your away status on Slack to ensure no one bothers you while you’re doing critical work.

Then, do the same thing on the other side of your day: Put your computer out of sight, and “leave” work. This helps you create home and work separation which is the most valuable thing to staying healthy and happy.

2. Show your pet on video.

This is less about your pet – who will certainly make everyone smile which is also important – and more about how helpful communication is, especially by video. This study shows that individuals who had 15 minutes to socialize with colleagues had a 20% increase in performance over their peers who didn’t.

Communicate as much as possible by video because it provides all the visual context people need to interpret your directions. Email and Slack lack cues such as facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. When in doubt, rather than sending an email, send a link to a Zoom or WebEx or a Google Hangout or a FaceTime or a Skype. And always turn on your video so everyone can see you, and your adorable pet.

Pro tip: Depending on which tool you use, you can probably also use fun virtual backgrounds to block snoops from checking out your home, as well.

Also, people tend to make up reasons or stories when they don’t hear from you consistently and constantly during a process of change. If you don’t say or explicitly communicate something, no one has absolutely any idea what you’re thinking. So, make a goal of communicating by video to each person that reports to you, every day for at least the first two weeks of everyone being remote.

A few fun ideas for using video to stay connected include coffee pairings: randomly pair colleagues to talk about life, and virtual happy hours: use a video conference to celebrate early Friday evenings with everyone’s favorite drink

Pro tip: You could even get everyone’s drinks to be delivered to them using Drizly. Or you could all buy the same card game and play it together.

3. Blame your non-existent coworker.

If you’re stuck in a small space with a significant other that’s significantly getting on your nerves, try blaming everything bothering you on a fake co-worker – someone like our boi Jerry Gergich.

  • Dishes overflowing in the sink? Damn it Jerry.
  • Video call too loud? Turn it TF down Jerry.
  • Need to use the power outlet? Move Jerry, get out the way. Get out the way.

This makes it easy to express things that are bothering you, while ensuring no one feels attacked because it’s not quite as attached to their ego. And it’ll probably make you laugh. And humor appears to help people’s psychological and physical well-being by helping folks cope with stress.

Bonus!

And here are just a few other ways to best live your life during these times as a marketer:

  1. I think Adam put it best, “Marketing people: folks are scared and confused and eagerly checking email for work updates, emergency services and loved ones. if you’re a mid level copywriter at Yankee Candle please do not update us on how “your team” is “responding to the Covid19 crisis” literally no one cares.” So when your CEO comes to you for messaging help, please do your best to persuade them otherwise – unless you’re in a situation where it’s truly helpful to your customers.
  2. Now onto the fun stuff: There’s an extension called Netflix Party that lets you watch synced up shows and movies with your friends.
  3. One hundred museums have transformed their collections into free coloring book pages. These make for dope marketing graphics by the way.
  4. Take virtual tours of the London Tour Bridge and the Milan Cathedral, as well as through these 12 museums.
  5. Participate in What Should I Draw, where parents tweet their children’s idea, and illustrators (you!) draw it.

I hope these easy steps make working at home during this stressful time a less stressful time for you. Remember to open your windows and door, because the sun and fresh air can help you feel just a little more free. And, you might just realize your calling has always been joining a band.

Up next, discover how to get the most out of Facebook Group marketing and meet your need for being social, while being socially distant.

Would it be too crazy to ask if you’ve learned something new from this article, to please send a $5 tip to my Venmo tip jar? @megsterr.

Or to my Paypal:

Thank you so much.

By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.