If you’ve never worked remotely, here are a few things you need to think about when starting a remote internship.
#1: Get Ready In The Morning Just Like You’re Going To The Office
The first thought that comes to mind when someone says they are working remotely is a disheveled person in sweats. Maybe some people can make this work, but most people need to get ready in the morning as if they were going into the office. This means, following a normal routine of showering, grooming, etc. By doing this, you’ll tackle your workday more purposefully and confidently.
#2: Set Up A Designated Work Space
If you work off of a laptop all over your house or apartment, it can be easy for your personal life to get all mixed up with work life. I’d encourage you to create a designated room or location in your home for working. This will create a clear boundary for when you work and when you are done for the day.
#3: Use Web Cams And Mute Your Phone
It can be really helpful mentally to see the people you’re working with, and this is where web cams come in handy. During all team meetings or one-on-one calls, you should be using your webcam. This will also hold you all accountable to each other by keeping you focused. If people can see what you’re doing, you’ll be less likely to multi-task when you should be paying attention. Don’t forget to turn off your webcam if you need to do something private. There are far too many horror stories popping up on social media showing people going to the bathroom with their webcam on. It’s okay to excuse yourself from a call and go to the bathroom rather than taking your device with you :-).
Another thing to think about with your webcam is what’s in the background. Make sure you don’t have something embarrassing in the background that people in the meeting may see.
In addition to using web cams, don’t forget to mute your mic/phone when not talking. All of the background noise can be distracting to the call. So, if you aren’t talking, you should be muted.
#4: Set Ground Rules With Your Family And Others Around You
When you’re at home nearly 24x7, you are extremely accessible to your family members or roommates. This makes it easy for people to drop into your home office throughout the day. Setting ground rules will ensure this doesn’t get out of control. It’s hard to get into a flow state while working, but it’s easy to get knocked out of one with constant interruptions.
#5: Take Frequent Breaks
Just as it’s terrible to sit at your computer for 8+ hours straight while in the office, the same is true while working remotely. You need to set reminders to get up and do some sort of physical activity on a recurring basis. Ideally, you’d be going outside for a quick walk or even workout a couple times per day. At the very least, try to get away from your computer for five minutes once every hour.
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The Bottom Line
To be successful with a remote internship, you need to create structure with your environment and schedule.
Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of tech industry knowledge. Ryan has his BBA and MBA from the University of Iowa. Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.