Lessons Learned from Remote Working

Heidi Otway, APR, CPRC, President + Partner
Working remotely has been a new experience for the team at SalterMitchell PR and unless you're a freelancer, it’s likely new to you too. After five weeks of remote work, our leaders have compiled some of their greatest lessons learned.

Photo of April Salter in nature

"I’ve learned that I have to set time limits on my work and create my own wrap-up ritual for the workday. We are juggling a lot of balls during this time and with no obvious “cues" like people going to lunch or leaving the office at the end of the day, I had no boundaries in the first few weeks of working from home. I would look up and realize it was 8 p.m. and I was still working. I found myself getting irritable and depressed. Now, I focus on an end time, usually 6:30 p.m., and plan to go on a walk or tackle a small project in my garden. Anything that gets me outside and away from my computer. I’ve always worked here and there at night by checking emails, and I am continuing to do that, but setting a clear “wrap-up” time has been important for my mental health.”

- April Salter, Founder and CEO

Rachel working at home with her kids

“Working from home with two toddlers is no walk in the park. My day is filled with client calls, coordinating work schedules with my husband (who is also working from home), making meals, turning on the latest episode of “Paw Patrol," changing diapers, drying tears, kissing owies, and putting in a full eight hour workday. This is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I am managing (I think). The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be honest with myself and what is actually feasible in a single day. I try not to be so hard on myself, I take a lot of deep breaths, and I have a big stiff drink at the end of each day."

Rachel Pratt, Director of Public Relations

Lauren working at home

“I am a creature of habit and a lover of routine. When I'm in the office, I'm in the zone. I'm fueled by my workspace, my colleagues, and the Tayst coffee pods stocked in the kitchen. When I began working from home, I assumed I could continue to follow my normal work schedule. I quickly realized that is not the case. I've learned how important it is to take a break, regroup and resume work once I'm feeling more motivated. Without feeling guilty about it. This experience has shown me how to respond to my mental and emotional needs throughout the day, as opposed to trying to direct them by sticking to a (now outdated) work routine.”

Lauren Toner, Marketing Specialist

Heidi gardening

“Being able to work all day into the night at home was cool until I hit a mental and emotional wall the third week. It took me two days to recover. I quickly realized that I had to set boundaries. My solution was to start a vegetable garden in my backyard. Taking care of my garden is similar to managing our agency and clients. I’m taking care of them, strategizing and problem-solving if there’s an issue, and focusing on each plant’s growth and production. I find myself going outside between Zoom and team calls to check on my garden. It’s so rewarding to see my plants grow and I can’t wait to see the tomatoes, cucumbers, and blueberries sprout. My backyard garden is more than a boundary. It’s my retreat and my special place."

- Heidi Otway, President and Partner

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