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Working 100% Remote: What's it Like?

Hey y'all, Rachel here! I'm Forward Social’s newest *remote* Social Media Manager.

I hang my hat in Dallas, Texas, but nine times out of 10 you can catch me joining a team meeting from a new city in the United States each week! If you ask me, THAT is the best perk about working remotely, amongst others which I'll talk about later!

Let's back up and talk about how I got here...

My first experience working in corporate America was taking the train two hours into Manhattan, working a full day, riding two hours back, and walking into the house to find my family already finished with dinner. I thought that was normal – a 12-hour work day! I was exhausted, but I did that for the next four years because I thought there was no other way. You know that infamous chair everyone has in their bedroom that just piles up with laundry throughout the week (or month… yikes!)? Yeah, I had two of those because I worked full time in the office, commuted, and of course had to fit in a little fun; I just didn't have enough time.

Then the pandemic happened, the world changed literally overnight, and I got my first taste of working from home. I was told to work from home for a couple of months, then the rest of the year, just start off 2022, and now here I am, 2.5 years later still working from home and THRIVING. The only difference now is that my office isn't just in the confines of my Dallas apartment, it's on the beaches of San Diego, a cabin in Colorado, my best friend's apartment in NYC, and everywhere in between.

I remember when I was told to work remotely; I was thrilled to be at home and work side-by-side with my lovely roommate, but at the same time I was terrified that I wouldn't be productive and be too distracted. Most importantly, I thrived off of building relationships in person. How on Earth was I going to be successful via Zoom? And those hallway and water cooler conversations where most of the work gets done – gone! I really looked forward to going back to the office… until I mastered working remotely from across North America and couldn't even picture stepping foot in the office again.

Now I'm productive in other ways. Yes, I have a full eight-hour work day, but I can do multiple loads of laundry throughout the day. Even better, I can fold it AND put it away. I can get a workout in during my lunch hour and not worry about being smelly sitting in my work cube. I can meal prep, pop dinner in the oven while I take a call, and are you ready for this?... I can put on a nice top, do my hair, wear pajama bottoms, and STILL be business professional.

I've traded in my cube mates (who I miss dearly!) for random strangers in coffee shops who turned out to be some of the brightest, unique, most intelligent individuals. These once random strangers have challenged me to think outside the box, spurred my creativity, and truly impacted my professional career.

A lot of folks say work-from-home can stymie productivity, and trust me, I once thought that! Some people believe that efficiency is somewhat lost due to the comfort that remote work provides. But from my experience, this is not necessarily true. Comfort doesn’t hinder productivity, but failing to master the basics does.

So with that said, check back in soon to hear some of my “basics” for staying productive while working remotely!

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