How a hesitant remote worker makes it work (remotely): A Conversation with Digital Marketer Yasmine

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  • 06 min. reading
  • Digital Marketing

In the wake of Covid times, companies learned to adapt rapidly to a new norm in the workplace : the rise of remote working. We’ve all read about the pros and cons, yadda yadda yadda, so today we are giving you actual tips by diving head first into the life of Yasmine, a digital marketeer at Google who’s been working remotely for over a year now.


As we discussed the topic of finding happiness at work, Yasmine’s experience as a marketer for Google unfolded as an inspiring story about overcoming the hurdles one encounters in a work from home job. Initially unsure about working from home, she is now a confident remote marketeer, delivering projects for the tech giant. So, how can you balance high responsibilities and private life when your office also happens to be your home?


DO keep your desk clear

“I prefer to have only what I need to work in front of me and nothing else” says Yasmine, who works for Google from the comfort of her childhood bedroom. When she works, she means business, and a cluttered desk is the last thing she needs to get in the zone. Starting the day with a clear desk helps to start with a clear mind as well. Ridding your desk of knick knacks is therefore a great way to avoid unwanted distractions, which it is particularly efficient if you struggle with short attention span or adhd. Don’t know where to start? Follow Yasmine’s lead with just a laptop, a notebook, some water and a healthy snack if you feel like one. Pro tip : tidying your desk every evening is also an easy way to signal to your brain that the day is over. Think of it as a sort of “closing shift”.


DON’T work more than you need to

Building on the idea of a closing shift, the way you end your day is just as important as the way you start it. “At 5pm, I turn off my computer and I go outside, at least for an hour,” says Yasmine. It might sound easy enough to do but you might be surprised, particularly when it is too hot and humid outside to handle, or in the colder months when all you feel like doing is to stay cosy under a warm blanket.

For the young marketeer, this past Belgian summer it was indeed a bit hard to find motivation “I had lost the habit a little but I picked it back up in September”. She explains that it is all about finding incentives: “I go to fitness, do some shopping, see some friends…” Having a buddy system is not a bad idea at all to keep you accountable, so feel free to text a friend, go to an art class together, even grocery shopping is fine. As long as you get some fresh air and a clear boundary between work and personal time, your brain will thank you.


DO plan your snacks in advance

Working from home, it might be tempting to eat a little more than you would while working in an office. After all, the kitchen is. right. there. It does take a lot of willpower to not wander near the snacks drawer, especially when there’s no one around and you’re feeling peckish after a long meeting. So here’s an idea :  plan your snacks in advance, and stick to them. Being mindful about your choices in the morning helps avoid an orgy of cake and biscuits at 3pm which is certain to leave you feeling sluggish for that late afternoon’s brainstorm session. As for Yasmine’s take on the subject? “I don’t snack much” she chuckles. Well, that’s one surefire way to keep her desk clear!


DO prepare a schedule

The good thing about working from home is the opportunity to organise your day as you please. Remote working often goes hand in hand with flexible working hours, so if you used to dread the 7 am morning commute, remember that nothing forces you to be behind your desk that early when you work from home. Yasmine recognized that she is at the top of her game early in the day, so she keeps the high intensity work for the morning. 

Keeping your deadlines in mind of course, you really are free to arrange your working hours as you wish. What’s more, there is no shame in admitting you don’t like working the typical hours : we’d argue it is actually quite healthy to get to know yourself better in order to harness your potential for the best outcome. So, whether you’re a night owl or a morning person like Yasmine, get yourself a daily planner and get the best out of your working hours.


DON’T hesitate to open up about emotional health

This is probably the most important tip in this list : when working remote, the power of a good relationship with your manager and colleagues is key. When discussing her current job Yasmine recalls the following:

“The first thing they told me about the position was that it can get lonely”. And she wholeheartedly agrees. Those feelings are indeed quite common, and often brought up in arguments against remote working. But one needn’t be so cookie cutter about the matter. It is true that not knowing anyone and having no proper team to speak of (or to), Yasmine did in fact quickly start to feel alone. 

However, by immediately discussing the issue with her manager, she nipped the issue in the bud : after a dinner with fellow remote workers from neighbouring teams, she was finally able to put a face on the e-mails she had been receiving. As an Ariad employee, Yasmine also has another team and office access within the Ariad network, offering a further sense of community. Ideally, companies would be proactive toward this potential need, but more often than not, you will have to speak up first. Which is why a positive, genuine relationship between managers and remote workers is so crucial to make remote working, well, work. 




On the topic of emotional health, here’s another tip, this time for people managing a remote team :


DO praise your team whenever you have the chance

One thing which is missing from an in-office experience? Early career learning-by-seeing, such as understanding others’ work experiences, and how your work is perceived. For Yasmine, getting frequent feedback for her work was a tremendous confidence boost : “At first, In preliminary meetings before a big project, I would be more quiet, […] I would always check in with a manager to see if my work was good before sending it to a client.” When she realised that others believed in her the same way her manager did, she quickly noticed the impact of positive feedback on her assertiveness, a skill she’s always been keen on developing.


Working remote, one might miss out on praise and compliments for a job well done that often come in informal settings such as the coffee corner or a morning commute with a colleague. Therefore, it is good practice to keep track of positive things people say about your team when they’re not in the room. This way you can sprinkle the compliments in your team meetings or 1 to 1, the way Yasmine’s managers do. 

When speaking of feedback, we have a tendency to equate it to criticism (some more constructive than other) which explains why giving second hand praise instead feels so refreshing in comparison. As Yasmine puts it beautifully “behind your back, people can say all sorts of things. To think they chose to say something nice is heartwarming”. We couldn’t have said it better.

Will Yasmine ever work in a traditional office ? Only the future can tell. Her first hand experience as a remote worker will in any case be invaluable in shaping the workplace of tomorrow. For now, we feel confident she will keep up the good work balancing high responsibilities and personal development, and keep actively making remote working work for her.


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