Thoughts and Advice from Employers Remote Internship Toolkit
What are some expectations that you will have of interns?
- Students are expected to be resourceful, self-motivated, have a willingness to learn and ask questions. Being new to a team and not having face to face interaction or hands on work can be very challenging, but this is a great time for students to show their ability to get the job done when no one is watching!
- Resourceful: Students should be able to find answers when management is not around.
- Self-Motivated/Willingness to Learn: No one will be around to push you. You have to want to learn!
- Ask questions: If you are confused on an assignment or task, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. We would prefer you ask for help and complete the task correctly rather than not ask and have to redo it.
- Alyssa McCoy, Arthrex, Inc.
When working from home it’s important to figure out what works best for you - this will take time and adjustment. We’ve gathered some tips that will set you up for success and help keep you productive.
- Setting up your "office” space - You’ll want to set up a workspace that will separate you from “home”. This will create a productive environment and allow you to feel like you’re in the office. Whether you have a separate room for your office or it’s in your bedroom, consider everything needed to mimic your desk at work. This includes setting up a proper desk with a monitor keyboard, and mouse.
- Plan, Plan, Plan - Creating a schedule for yourself will be extremely helpful - it’s easy to work longer days when you’re at home. Plan your day out to have a beginning and end by using your calendar to block out time for when you won’t be “in office” anymore. This also applies to blocking out time for short breaks or meals.
- Take a break - Make sure you are considering different methods for short breaks into your workday. It’s easy to not get up from your workstation when at home. You’ll want to get up to take a short walk, eat lunch away from your desk, or just take a mental break. Remember to carve out this time and put it in your calendar.
- Health + Wellness - When thinking about ‘taking a break’, remember to take time to think about your health + wellness. This can be overlooked sometimes, but taking small breaks to be active and give yourself a refresher is a great way to stay productive. This can be taking the time to go on a short walk, a workout, meditate, anything that will refresh you.
- Layal Alqtaishat, Veeva Systems
On the plus side, remote workers tend to be more productive than office workers by a fairly significant margin. One study shows that remote workers do about 1.4 additional days of work per month relative to their office peers, which would mean nearly a week of added productivity over the course of an internship. Obviously there are tradeoffs for all of that added productivity. Remote workers have a difficult time unplugging and creating separation between work and regular life, which leads to additional work hours on a daily basis. A consequence of this inability to unplug is that remote workers are significantly more likely to experience loneliness and the anxiety or depression that comes with it. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to capitalize on the productive work environment of a home office while mitigating against the loneliness that comes with it.
- Set Goals: Start every day by laying out your priorities for that day so that you have a sense for where you want to go. These goals could be tactical things that you need to accomplish, or they could be a mindset that you want to embody. If you find that your list of goals is always tactical, take the time to identify a separate word for the day that helps you to stay centered and focused. Checking those goals off your list and sticking to your predetermined mindset will help you to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day and give you space to stop working at a reasonable hour.
- Schedule Your Day: Try to have your days resemble your normal life as best you can. Take lunch when you would normally take lunch. Workout when you would normally work out. Maintain a sleep schedule that feels normal. Keeping your schedule tight will give you a sense of normalcy and allow you to fall into a comfortable rhythm without working more than you need to.
- Minimize Distractions: Create a workspace for yourself that is specifically for work. Avoid working in spaces that are typically reserved for other activities like eating, watching TV, or sleeping. Try working in bursts- something like 40 minutes on followed by 10 minutes off- so that you can maintain your focus for the long-haul. Given that everything we do revolves around technology, especially in a remote internship, try to minimize tech usage during your breaks so that you can come back to work feeling refreshed.
- Stay Connected: The most important step towards minimizing the feeling of isolation is maintaining a connection with your family, friends, and classmates. Studies have shown that a sense of belonging can enhance persistence in the face of even impossible tasks, so belonging is extra important right now. Take advantage of your company's chat tool if they have one. Set up a weekly Zoom call with your friends. Call your parents before you start work in the morning. Chat in your section GroupMe over lunch. Do what you can to avoid feeling the sense of loneliness that often comes with remote work.
- Kyle Mumma, (T'13 Daytime MBA '18), Founder & CEO of NextPlay