My Experiences And Tips From My Remote Co-Op Work At Sway Advertising

In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, it's no surprise that since the pandemic, the shift towards remote work has become a permanent fixture, especially in industries that heavily rely on technology.  I remember my first day at Sway, beginning a new job without stepping out of my house was a new experience. As someone who had previously only worked in traditional in-person settings, with the slight remote days here and there, I was excited and apprehensive about how remote work would unfold.  As a co-op student, these positions are designed to foster skill growth, real-life application of classroom knowledge, and valuable experiences. Working remotely may seem like it has its challenges when you want to learn from experienced professionals, but that's far from the truth. A student can grow just as much, if not more, by working remotely.

Learning Experiences:

Being part of an entirely remote agency has opened up many learning experiences. For one, I can connect with professionals from different time zones and learn from them, such as Sway's, one employee living in Vancouver, BC. Furthermore, I have been given the opportunity on multiple occasions to sit in and observe meetings with clients who are located across various places, including the United States. These immersive experiences have taught me to listen attentively to Sway's clients' needs, adapt to their unique preferences, and craft deliverables that align with their expectations.

Company Culture While Working Remote:

Undeniably, the dynamics of company culture undergo a transformation in remote work compared to an in-person environment. Working in person, you can physically see everyone's thoughts, faces and body language, but working remotely, you only see their faces on little screens, which could make someone feel disconnected.  However, Sway has tackled this challenge of disconnection by cultivating an engaging and connected atmosphere. Our daily check-ins provide a platform for each employee to share their daily tasks. Additionally, we use this opportunity to recap our weekend plans or activities, bridging the isolation gap and allowing us to connect personally.  Sway is comprised of a tight-knit group of employees living near each other, they often get together and have team bonding events after work. Recently, we went to mini golf, where I connected with everyone outside of work.

Tips For Working Remotely:

As a student who is navigating remote work, I've learned several valuable tips and practices; here are a few:

1. Have A Defined Workspace

Having a designated spot where you can sit comfortably without distractions is essential to completing all your work on time. As tempting as it is, don't work from your bed – this will make for a tiring and long workday!

2.Have A Routine

Your morning routine may look slightly different since you don't have to commute to an office. I like waking up an hour before work to enjoy breakfast and a few minutes of relaxation before the workday. At Sway, we enjoy flexible start and end times between 8 and 9 and 4 and 5, respectively. However, I recommend maintaining a consistent work start time to foster a sense of routine and consistency.

3. Clear And Concise Communication

Clear and concise communication is critical while working remotely. Make sure that when you have questions about something, you are being as straightforward as possible so there is no miscommunication. For complex topics, I find it easiest to ask for a brief call so that you can easily understand or explain it.

4.Have Strong Discipline

One of the most critical factors in working remotely is having strong discipline. Since nobody is looming over you to ensure you stay on track, becoming distracted is very easy. Sway addresses this by utilizing ClickUp, a task management software, where they upload and organize every employee's task. This software helps me stay on track by providing estimated task durations and due dates, ensuring a clear roadmap of completion.  Since this is my first time working fully remote in a co-op position, it took a bit to adjust, but with the help of my co-workers at Sway, I felt warmly welcomed into the team, and the adjustment period was made significantly easier.  Working remotely as a co-op student holds many advantages, and I encourage you to try it!Email for co-op and employment opportunities.