How To Gain Confidence and Advance Your Career in a Virtual Workplace

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many offices to go remote, Her Campus Media had employees working across the country. While you could definitely say we’ve got the whole WFH situation pretty figured out, it’s still an adjustment from working in an office. I know this firsthand — when I made the jump to virtual work (well before COVID-19), I questioned whether I would make friends, or find success at the same rate as I thought I could IRL. So, I’m here with advice from my seven brilliant and remote colleagues to say you can and you will succeed while working from home. Read on for tips and advice on how to maximize productivity and learn to ~love~ working remotely. 

On following a morning routine…

“It's all about a morning routine. Treat your mornings like you would if you were getting ready to head to an office IRL. Wash your face (my go-to is this Neutrogena face wash with salicylic acid to help me prevent breakouts), eat breakfast, and change out of your pajamas. When you get in the mindset that you're ‘going to work’ - even if that means just to your desk or the kitchen table - you will be more productive during the workday.”  - Maddie Hiatt, Social Media Editor

On managing a team remotely …

“I've found it fun and morale-boosting to incorporate IRL interactions with my remote team via an old fashioned mechanism: snail mail! Whether it's a postcard, a small ‘WFH’ themed care package, or something else, the act of physically receiving and interacting with something tangible is so refreshing in a time of virtual work! For example, I sent a DIY craft kit to each member of our design team recently and we all hopped on a video call to do the activity together. It was a quick brain break and a way for everyone to stretch their ‘maker’ muscles again.” - Annie Wang, Co-founder, CPO, Creative Director

On setting the scene…

“Set the mood! Like anything else, the atmosphere is everything. For me, it's important that my workspace has natural light, is quiet, and is clutter-free. And although tempting at times, I resist the urge to get too comfortable on my couch or bed!”  - Joanna Palumbo, Vice President, Sales Planning and Strategy

On utilizing natural light...

“When you're working from home, make sure the location of your workspace has you set up for success. If possible, sit near a window with the window behind your computer, not behind your back. Not only will you get a mood boost from looking outside during the day, the natural lighting will dramatically improve others' abilities to see your face clearly on video calls. Elevate your webcam to eye level for a more natural conversational experience!” - Windsor Western, Co-Founder, President, Publisher

On team communication…

“When you work from home, it's easy to feel like you or your coworkers are MIA if you can't see each other. A useful tactic is to start the day with a report out where everyone on your team sends a quick blurb about what they're working on for the day. Being clear about what you’re working on helps everyone know your schedule and where you might overlap and need to be in touch.  And sometimes you will need to grab an iced coffee, so be transparent and send the group a chat saying you’ll brb! Also, don't forget to moisturize before putting on your mask or face covering when you go out because this protects the skin barrier from maskne.” - Gina Escandon, Beauty & Culture Editor

On taking breaks…

“Allow yourself to take breaks throughout the day. While at home it's easy to stare at your computer, and sometimes drift to the wall, for hours on end. Run out to the store and pick up lunch, empty the dishwasher, take a Tik Tok break, etc. It's so easy to lose track of the time and burn yourself out when you're alone every day, without anyone to call your name or ask you directly to take a look at something, etc. It's important to make sure you get everything done that you need to, of course, but you have to take care of yourself in the process!” - Samantha Burke, Associate Lifestyle Editor

On building relationships with coworkers…

“I think it's so important to explore all of the social/cultural opportunities your company provides. For example, I have loved being a part of the Her Campus Book Club! It gives me an opportunity to hang out (virtually!) with my coworkers once a month and bond over a shared love (or hatred) of a book. Plus, it forces me to read.” - Maggie Scenna, New Business Marketing Manager