Our internship experience with the ODM Group have been very unexpected. With plans made for what was supposed to be a 5 month overseas internship program, we arrived at Saigon, Vietnam on 9th of March. It was a 4 hour flight from Singapore, and there were 3 of us.
Once we settled with our temporary accommodations, we were soon ready to live the expat life. We even managed to secure an apartment which was directly above the office! With Covid 19 becoming more uncertain at that time, we definitely did not expect to end our journey so soon.
On the 14th of March, Vietnam and many other countries were starting to close their borders. This made it harder for people like us to work abroad, therefore we only had a limited amount of time working in the HCMC office.
So we had to cancel plans made for Vietnam and scheduled a flight back to Singapore.
We were very sad to not be able to work in Vietnam, but we were definitely grateful to have spent some time there.
Therefore, with additional training - we managed to arrange a remote working schedule for the 3 of us while we were working directly from home. Today, we will list down several tips and tricks you need for remote working.
Tip #1 : Create a Daily - Hour Schedule
A quote that is popularly attributed to Benjamin Franklin - he says ; failure to plan is planning to fail.
With so many things to do for work, the smartest thing you should do is learn how to organize your time. When working remotely, having a schedule helps you keep track of your working progress and routine. The image above is how a typical work schedule should look like, highlighting the different tasks that make up your day.
Tip #2 : Clocking in your hours
Additional to the working schedule, interns working remotely should also practice clocking in the hours for work. This helps distinguish the real time and hours spent on doing specific tasks in your schedule.
Moreover, it also helps management monitor the hours spent on working with projects and helps them identify which projects should be given priority in the future.
In ODM, we use a computer program called 'Clockify' which helps track your hours according to project category and project title.
Tip #3 : Condusive working environment
Its so easy to get distracted when working from home! This should already be obvious to most people, but having a clean and tidy desk could significantly improve your productivity rate!
At home, I usually only have 1 laptop turned on for work. I also have a mini dashboard that stores my written notes whenever I need them to. I avoid using long cables and ty to keep my desk as minimal as possible.
Tip #4 : Establish personal boundaries with people at home
When working from home, it is inevitable to have some of your household members hovering around you to check on you, or even initiating conversations while you're busy doing your tasks. Our suggestion is to establish some ground rules with people at home. This will avoid any misunderstandings in the future and also minimize the amount of distractions at home. Let them know you have some priorities to attend to if the conversation is not so urgent. Don't worry! We're sure they'll understand.
Tip #5 : Exercise or stretch during your break
When you've been occupied at home and not giving your body enough attention, a short stretching/exercise session is much needed! We recommend reading : 21 Stretches for Beginners to learn more how you can help relax your body to save yourselves from aching.
Tip #6 : Overcommunicate
Working from home can be very lonely at times. Which is why it is important to overcommunicate with your colleagues, more than you would have when working in a physical office. This helps keep track with your progress and help you understand what everyone else is working on.
In ODM, the interns schedule 2 meeting calls with the management team every day. The meeting call in the morning is very important, because that is when we discuss the items on our agenda list for the day. In the afternoon, we have another meeting call to discuss about our progress for the day.
These are all done via skype where it is easier to share our screen and speak live.
Throughout the day, it is also normal to have impromptu calls and messages with the management in case we have any questions and doubts regarding our projects.
In a nutshell ...
Working from home is becoming a norm for a lot of corporate companies, across all industries. We hope that these tips and tricks for remote working will assist you in your work, and hopefully make your work life much more balanced and productive.
If you're looking to work with us, feel free to contact us here! Otherwise, you could also check out our marketing case studies on our online magazine to learn more.