Over the Fall semester of 2021, I had the opportunity to work for a Toronto-based tech start-up called Caddle as a Marketing and Data Insights Intern. I found the job posting on LinkedIn and applied immediately as the position entailed everything I hoped to do. However, it was the flexibility in my working hours and location that enticed me to accept the offer. Being based in Burnaby, BC meant that my day started almost 3-4 hours later than my co-workers. However, this was never an issue, as the entire team had excellent communication skills and we were able to coordinate with ease. I believe communication or rather sometimes over-communication is the key to having clear responsibilities and not feeling lost when you work from home.
My work spanned around two departments - Marketing and Data Analytics. This allowed me to gain quite a bit of experience in a short period. However, working across different teams can sometimes feel like you’re balancing too many things at once and don’t know how to prioritize your work. To solve this I would check in with my supervisor by letting her know what I have on my plate, how I’m planning to prioritize it, and if there are any urgent deadlines. This would always help me balance my responsibilities and complete the tasks efficiently.
Since my hours varied from my co-workers and I was also working from home, the hours spent working sometimes seemed like a blur. I couldn’t track where my time was being spent and if I worked over or under 8 hours. Some days I would work from 9-5 pm but others days I would be sitting at my desk till 7 pm. Not that the work was excessive but the distractions that came with working from home led me to slow down. A solution that I came up with was tracking my time using an online time tracker which also provided weekly reports with how much time I spent per project, breaks, and in meetings.
Lastly, every Thursday morning my supervisor and I would start the day by having a “work session” where we would work together on our projects while engaging in light-hearted conversations that did not involve work. At first, I didn’t understand the need to have those sessions, since we had a call every Friday morning for an “End of the Week” update. But, as time went by I realized it essentially helped me connect better with my supervisor and feel involved in the organization since I never really got to meet anyone in person.
The working from home model might be here to stay and I believe it’s best if we learn early on what the best practices are to be more efficient.
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