Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Tips to Working Remotely

March 25, 2014 2 Comments

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More people now see working remotely as a positive and rewarding way to complete work. A typical misconception is that employees will goof off without supervision. However, in my experiences I have found that working remotely increases productivity because it eliminates office distractions.

During the past two years, I had the opportunity to work for my father’s company, Yerecic Label, remotely from Athens. In this time, I have made many mistakes and learned how to work at my full potential remotely. Here are my six tips to being a great remote worker

  1.  Make sure you are passionate about your job. The key to being successful working remotely is to be self-motivated. If you aren’t passionate about your job and the work you are doing, it is a lot easier to shirk responsibility and goof off.
  2. Set and keep your hours. My first year working for Yerecic Label, I tried to fit my work in around my classes, clubs and other activities. Bad move. Most of the time I ended up doing my work when almost everyone was out of the office. This year, I have carved out set hours that I am working during key work hours. My co-workers know the best times to reach me and I am much more efficient.
  3. Minimize the amount of emails you send for approval and submissions. Managers get dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails each day making it tough to get a quick response or feedback. Combining your submissions or work will make your supervisors’ life easier and it will also help you get quick complete responses. Find your happy place to get work done. Find a place without distractions where you work best. Whether that’s a local coffee shop, library or your kitchen table, work in a place that is going to help you focus and avoid tempting distractions.
  4. Use technology for easy collaboration. There are so many great tools to utilize when working remotely to help group work. Some of my favorites include Google Docs, GoToMeeting, and Skype. Whatever tools you use, try to incorporate video since you can get more discussed in a 5 minute conversation than 20 emails.
  5. If you can, show your face in the office as much as possible. It is easy for your supervisor and co-workers to forget to include you in a relevant project or new company happenings when you aren’t in the office daily. No matter how responsive and connected you are remotely, you can’t replace face-to-face interaction. Some of the best insight and ideas come from simple conversations, so make it a point to get into the office to spark your creativity and connect with your employer!

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Remote work is growing in almost every industry. Working remotely has significant benefits such as a decreased commute time and increased flexibility. Implementing good work practices can help you to the path to success. What tips do you have in your experience from working remotely?

Kristin Yerecic is a senior studying strategic communications and minors in business and economics. You can follow her on Twitter at @yerecick

3 Ways to Deal With Long Work Hours

November 12, 2013 1 Comment

I’ve always been “weird” about time. Despite my implied lack of math skills as a lover of journalism and art, I still wake up during the night and am able to quickly calculate how much time I have left to sleep. I spend time worrying about the time I’ve spent on assignments or whether I’m prioritizing tasks correctly. When traveling, I rush to leave exactly on the hour, packing my belongings hastily and then rarely making any stops in order to get to my destination at exactly the time that Google Maps calculated.Google

Luckily, last summer’s internship with the Ohio State Fair helped me stress less about time and learn the importance of “being present.” Here are three tips my experience left me with:

1. Don’t stress about what you can’t control. Some days you’ll work longer than you expected. Last summer on several occasions, I had to work 16-hour shifts. One day I had to get up at 2:50 a.m. to coordinate a live traffic broadcast.

I never bothered to try and calculate my missed hours of sleep – it wasn’t worth it! I quickly realized that stressing about my hours wouldn’t improve them. Working overtime isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t kill you. Additionally, when you show up to work optimistic and ready to help, your attitude rubs off on others. Why make everyone miserable? Leave your negativity and stress at the door. Your coworkers will thank you.

2. Leave work at work. Leaving your work at work can be tricky and involves some consideration. Is it worth calling your media partner at 10 p.m. when you know they’re out of the office? Should you send out your press release at an ungodly morning hour?

Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)

Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)

If your task isn’t something that absolutely needs to be done by the end of the day, leave it! Write a reminder to finish what you were working on in the morning. Save a draft of the email you were working on and send it when you’re coherent enough to proofread it, and at a time when you know the person who’s on the receiving end will actually read it.

3. Take care of yourself. At school, I’m surrounded by amazing peers who do work that exceeds anything others our age should be capable of. With packed schedules, they find ways to function in an unyielding state of busy and stressed.

I cannot stress (pun intended?) how important it is to take care of yourself! As mentioned previously, losing sleep is an inevitable part of having a full-time job. But a busy lifestyle can’t be a continual excuse to treat your body like a garbage disposal. Similarly, constantly forgetting to eat regular meals, refusing help or foregoing needed rest in order to complete a work related project will never make you a hero.

Discuss your workload with your supervisors, know your expectations and utilize your coworkers. At my internship, my fellow coworkers and I would cover each others shifts to make sure we were taking care of ourselves properly. While our teammates were out working with media crews on grounds, we’d even deliver sunscreen, snacks and water bottles to them via golf cart.

All of these points are far easier said than done, but it’s still important to remember to step back from your work and breathe. Next time you’re in a time crunch, do yourself a favor by not letting your doubts and worries control your life.

-Marissa McDaid is a senior studying strategic communication with specializations in sociology and English. Follow her at @mlmcdaid.

3 Ways to Survive Freshman Year

November 3, 2013 4 Comments

freshmen year 1Whether you were the star athlete, book worm or shy one in high school, it doesn’t matter anymore. You are in college with new people in a different environment, which gives everyone a fresh start. This is the first time that YOU are in charge of your own life. Your parents will not be contacted for any of the mistakes that you make, it is all on you.

With the new academic year (already) upon us it’s nice to have a few tips on making your freshmen year a GREAT one. These three tips are ones that will give you an amazing kick-start:

1. Make friends early. Everyone starts their freshmen year coming in looking for the same things as their peers. Go out and make new friends right from the beginning because all the other freshmen are looking to do the exact same thing. By making friends as early as possible it is almost guaranteed that you will make a few ones that will become your best friends.

Take advantage as early as possible to make good friends. You want to also make sure you make friends that bring you closer to college life rather than straying from it. These friends should be socially connected people who can introduce you to other people. Now, I’m not saying to disconnect yourself from your friends you already had coming into college. Simply try to find OTHER people who have the same major or interests as you.. These friends are the people who you can carry through the four short years you have in college and better impact your college career.

2. Get involved.  It is important to attend class and be a student first. This is SO important because attending class can give you the opportunity to create close relationships with your professors. When you need letters of recommendation or references for an internship or job, these close-knit relationships are easy resources to turn to.

If you have huge lecture classes it is still possible to create these relationships. Sit in the front of the class and they will be sure to notice you. ASK QUESTIONS if you need help! Professors are always happy to help – that’s the reason they’re there. It also puts your foot in the door and shows your strong work ethic.  The university has all the resources needed to help lead you to internships. Join clubs and organizations within the field of your studies to put you ahead.

3. Time management and personal discipline. One of the biggest wake-up calls when you first enter college is that every choice you make is strictly on you. Mommy and daddy will not be called if you miss class, oversleep on a test, or get into trouble. I know it is a scary thought but it is your life now – you are in full control of your decisions.

We all know that it is easy to slack off and be influenced by your friends to do the opposite of what we should be doing. However, time management and personal discipline are two major successors in college and everyone needs to learn how to use these skills to be successful in school. You have to learn to study, work and socialize all at the same time. Learning to balance your schedule to maintain good grades while also rewarding yourself later is the best bet.

The four years of college are said to be the “best time of your life,” right? So live it up while also taking the steps to have a beneficial time to later bring you success after college.

-Melissa Clark is a junior public relations major. Follow her at @clarkieee5.

Effective time management as a college student

December 20, 2010 3 Comments

By Carly Damman                                                                                                                                                                      Associate, ImPRessions Account

If there was one thing every college student wanted more of, it would be time. Juggling school work, extracurricular activities, a social life and perhaps a job can be overwhelming and stressful. With the help of a little technique called time management every college student can rest peacefully at night.

As a freshman wrapping up my first quarter of college, my time management skills helped me succeed. My first quarter as a Bobcat was stressful, exciting and rewarding. The time management skills I acquired in high school allowed for a smooth transition to college life. Here are some ways to help manage your time wisely:

1.       Prioritize: School work always comes first for me. Once I finish my homework for the day I can focus on extracurricular activities or make a trip to Ping. If there are too many tasks for one day, save the least important one for the next day. Having your priorities straight allow you to spend more time on the important things.

2.       Stay organized: After every class session I write down my homework for the night. After I complete that assignment, I cross it off and move on. I use my assignment book to organize my school work, but a planner also works well to plan out your entire day. The most effective strategy for me is to jot down my assignments and plan out the rest of the day in my head. Organization is a key to effective time management.

3.       Take breaks: Sitting in the library for hours on end can lead to poor quality work and less motivation. I usually stay in the library for a maximum of two hours to avoid information overload. Sometimes I will focus on one subject for an hour or so, head to Ping for a workout and then focus on another subject for an hour. Don’t cram. Schedule small study sessions throughout the week.

4.       Sleep, sleep, sleep: Most college students don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important keys to managing your time wisely. Without adequate sleep you perform worse on exams, pay less attention in class and spend more time during the day napping rather than studying. I always make sure to get my 8 hours. My roommate knows that quite time begins at 12:00 a.m. sharp in our dorm room. Without a full night’s rest I am grumpy and have no energy or motivation. Good sleeping habits will lead to more time during the day to accomplish your goals.

Sometimes college students get caught up in social activities and the fun of being on your own, but it’s important to keep in mind the number one reason we all attend college: to receive an education. Keeping your priorities straight and avoiding procrastination will help any student succeed in college. Check out these web sites for more time management tips: 8 Time Management Skills for College Students, Managing your time and College Survival Skills.

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