HE INTERNATIONAL WORKING DIARIES – PART 1
Back in September, we announced our Marketing Manager was going entirely remotely, and internationally, for 12 months as she travelled the world with her partner. In our first blog post, we discussed why we wanted to take this step as an agency, what we anticipated and what our fears were.
It’s been an interesting first month, and here’s how Natasha, our Marketing Manager, has found it so far!
I took the first two weeks of my official remote working position as a holiday so I could acclimatise, have a bit of a break and “come back to work” refreshed and rejuvenated. Leilani and I have agreed that I will work my hours in and around my plans and travelling, but I still want the team to feel supported whilst I’m away, so I had checked in with my emails and made progress on a couple of tasks during that time.
My main concern about working entirely remotely was the time difference (I don’t want to send our account managers emails at 3 o clock in the morning, or chase my team at 8 o clock at night!) so when I first booted up my system in mid-November, I kept my clock on UK time. (Technically I was logging in at 7 am, and as a non-morning person, this THRILLS me.)
As soon as I open up all my systems and tools, it surprises me that, despite the view of the palm trees and street dogs of Koh Samet, I slip straight back into my working ways. I catch up with the team about client care, follow up some new exciting projects LR Legal are currently working on and run some analysis on our social channels.
On the following Wednesday, I have calls with Leilani and one of our account managers, scheduled nicely at 4 pm and 5 pm respectively for me, which gives me time to go out and get breakfast, explore a bit of Chiang Mai and head back. I learnt quickly that day that this is a good idea unless you accidentally give yourself food poisoning by eating somewhere new! So instead of the casual plans I had, me and my nausea head back to rest before starting work at 3 pm. As it’s only 8 am in the UK when I log in, the time difference is actually my friend!
Leilani and I have our first skype call (from the not so glamorous view of my hotel room) and it goes surprisingly well. It feels like we’re having the same weekly catch up we always do, and it’s lovely to hear from her as I’ve been out of the office for 3 weeks and don’t tell them, but I miss my team. Apart from some buffering, we spend an hour hashing out ideas, agreeing on upcoming plans and catching up about projects. It’s a productive hour with clear outcomes and tasks – just how I like it.
This first month has been a learning curve for me in time management and availability, but I have realised that working from home 1-2 days a week since being at LR Legal, has actually set me up for working entirely remotely. It’s still me and my laptop, just working with the team from a slightly more exotic location! And my concerns about the time difference and access to good Wi-Fi could not have been more unfounded. I have better WiFi here than I do from home, and actually being 7 hours in front makes me look like the early bird I always wished I was. So far, so good! But the next instalment will be Leilani’s – so I’ll reserve judgement until we hear from her!