I started looking into remote work options when I married my husband - who was an active-duty Army officer at the time.
I was moving from Louisville, KY to Colorado at the time with many more moves in our future, and I knew in order to really establish a career and advance within one position, I needed it to travel with me wherever the Army took us.
Luckily, the opportunities for remote work in marketing are pretty vast—and always growing.
Honestly, when I found a position with my current company Boldly it was not a difficult transition for me to leave office jobs behind.
I am a natural introvert, and I focus better in my own environment — so I found remote work very conducive to my preferred work style.
The company has a very inclusive culture, so even though I am working on my own, I never feel 'alone.'
I've been working remotely with Boldly for five years now, been promoted and genuinely enjoy what I'm doing — so it's literally a dream realized.
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My favorite focus right now is leading our recruitment efforts. Because all of our positions are W2 positions with flexible schedules as well as 100 percent remote, we're a dream company for a lot of people — especially my fellow military spouses.
I love working with our military partners to help people find our company and enjoy flexible work options that let them live their life the way they want to and still build a rewarding career.
We've found that for many people, remote work is not a 'want' it's a 'need.'
I have hundreds of examples for this, but the one that touches my heart most is a member of our team who sought to work for us so she could be more available to her two special needs children.
With a more flexible schedule, she can make it to their therapy appointments and be home with them more often, while still contributing financially to her family.
My company believes that's the way it should be.
If you hire great people whom you trust, and give them the autonomy to do their jobs in a way that works best for them, they will give you their best. And my team is truly the best.
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Working with Boldly, I have the opportunity to structure my day in a way that works best for me (flexibility for the win!) The leadership of the company realizes that in order for team members to be able to do their best work, their schedule has to be set around times that are most productive for them.
For me, that's the mornings. I feel most energized, most creative, and most motivated early in the day.
I start around 7:30 am after I drop my two kiddos off at school. I settle into my home office with a cup of coffee and whatever Spotify playlist matches my mood for the morning (Mondays is normally peaceful piano, while Fridays are usually Top 20 hits.
And I'm not going to lie, if I'm going to be on a webinar or Facebook live which I often do, I listen to a little hip hop beforehand to pump me up! :))
I try to schedule my meetings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings—that way I have large chunks of work blocks on Mondays, Thursdays and Friday afternoons to delve deep into involved tasks or writing projects.
I usually take a short lunch break to walk the dog around the neighborhood or go for a quick run. That helps me stay energized for my afternoon, which I normally wrap up by 3:30 pm to pick up the kiddos.
It's so nice to spend the afternoons with them and beat the 5 pm pick up rush — probably one of my favorite parts about my job/schedule!
I do leave my Slack notifications on until around 5 pm in case anything urgent pops up, but after that, I try to be really diligent about staying offline.
When you can work from anywhere, I think it's important to be intentional about drawing the line when it's time to unplug.
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My go-to workspace is my home office. It's tailored to my exact preferences, so it's really the ideal place to work.
However, if we have something loud going on at the house (for example, we're remodeling our basement, or my kids are home for a sick-day, and the babysitter comes over) I'll go to the coworking space in my neighborhood and get a day pass. However, if I don't have any meetings that day, I'll work from Starbucks.
It's fun to switch it up. Although my cozy chair and consistently-72-degree-home-office will always have my heart.
There are endless snacks, I can play the music as loud as I want, I can hop on calls without a second thought, and no one is hogging the wifi bandwidth. I also invested in a nice Nespresso machine, which I regularly visit...probably too regularly.
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Since our entire team at Boldly is remote, using Slack and the Google suite helps keep life easy. Honestly, I'd be lost without those two tools.
But the glory of remote work, in my opinion, is that you don't have to use online tools to keep you productive.
Sometimes the answer to productivity is the old-fashioned one: Get out and take a walk outside when you're feeling tired or distracted and reset.
No human can sit at a desk for eight straight hours completely focused and highly-productive. The more companies can accept and embrace this truth, the happier and more productive their teams will become.
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I’m a very structured person, and I thrive on routines, so work blocks are my BFF. I love looking at my day and designating specific chunks of time to certain things.
Here’s an inside look at how I typically set up my day with work blocks:
This can vary if I have meetings, but generally, the rule is that I do my creative work in the mornings, and save my less-creative work or my more administrative tasks for the afternoon when I’m feeling less invigorated:
8:30 am - 11 am: Creative work
11:30 am: Break and lunch
1 pm - 3:30 pm: Work block for less-creative tasks
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Where do I even start? Remote work has made me happier, healthier, and more productive than I ever was in an office job (I wrote an in-depth story about this for SWAAY magazine).
But perhaps more than that, I love remote work because it is giving people the ability to better their lives, spend more time with their children and spouse, focus on their health, workout, spend time traveling, and work on their own terms.
It thrives on trust between employer and employee and provides an opportunity for adults to be treated like adults in their jobs where they can be responsible for getting their work done without having a boss literally breathing down their neck.
Personally, it has given me the opportunity to build a career I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to build.
For others on my team at Boldly, it’s given them the ability to help care for their elderly parents, to attend their children’s school plays and baseball games, to volunteer, to live in the country without a terrible commute and to save their vacation time for actual vacations.
Essentially, it allows you to have a career and a life—which, sadly, can be a rarity in this day and age.
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I don’t like the fact that remote-work is still sometimes viewed as ‘less-than’ by people who aren’t familiar with the concept.
It’s 2019, and still, when I tell people I work from home, I get a sideways look; an automatic assumption that I must work for a multi-level-marketing company or am a starving freelancer.
I wish more people could understand how incredibly easy and efficient technology has made working from home, and that there are legitimate, amazing companies that realize its benefits and run flawlessly with a fully-remote team.
As of yet, I have not found a downside to remote work. I can counter almost any argument someone might have about the cons, and I’ve made it my mission to do so.
Some people mention feeling isolated or out of the loop in their remote job, and I’d say that is more a cultural problem than a remote work problem. My company, Boldly, is 100 percent remote and recently won two awards for team happiness and fulfillment (Great Places to Work and When Work Works).
If you have a company who is dedicated to solving any of the challenges remote work brings, you’ll find any negatives seem to melt away. I’ve seen it work. I only advocate for things I believe in - and remote work is always close to the top of the list.
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Give yourself some structure. Don't wake up every day and wing it. You'll end up overworked, exhausted, and unorganized.
In an office, the structure is somewhat provided for you. However, in remote work, it's really up to you to set yourself up for success.
Also, look for companies who already have a tried and true remote work culture. It will make a big difference in your day to day.
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At RemoteHabits we're always trying to improve our interviews, what question should we have asked Audrey?
Audrey Fairbrother is the marketing manager for Boldly. Boldly is a premium subscription staffing company that connects demanding founders and executives with ridiculously talented remote staff. M-F, you can find Audrey working from her home office in Denver, Colorado. If it's a Saturday or Sunday, you can find Audrey in the Rocky Mountains doing something outdoorsy with her husband, 3-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son.
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