How to Successfully Work Remotely

WFH. These three letters allow employees to move from the desk-bound constraints of a 9-to-5 office and give them the freedom to work from the comfort of their own home, a coffee shop, a collaborative working space or anywhere in between.

In recent years, the option to work elsewhere has seen a surge in popularity. According to a survey by AfterCollege, 68% of millennial job seekers say an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers. Furthermore, a survey from OwlLabs found that employees who work from home at least once a month are 24% more likely to feel happy and productive at work, resulting in 25% less employee turnover than their non-remote work offering counterparts.

Here at Dittoe PR, we offer the opportunity for our team members to work from home a half-day each week. Whether that’s a morning where getting out of bed just isn’t going to happen, or an afternoon where a change of scenery is crucial, this perk encourages us to take some time and work from wherever makes us happy.

Wherever you choose to set up shop, consider these four tips for the most productive outcome:

Dress for success.
Trust me, I know how incredibly tempting it is to throw on pajamas or sweatpants when you’re working from home. However, when you wear pajama pants to bed and sweatpants to lounge on a Saturday afternoon, you’re not in the right frame of mind to physically work.

Mind follows body! Separate your work outfits from your weekend outfits, and dress for the job you have. If you’re in clothes you’d go to work in, you’ll be less inclined to lay down on the couch or zone out for an hour or two.

Set up a workspace.
Similar to dressing for success, it can be tempting to wake up in bed, open up your work laptop and stay there until night falls. There’s a reason our employers keep us upright facing a screen at the office. Get out of bed (it’s harder than it sounds), situate a new desk space and work in that location. Find a place just uncomfortable enough to keep you focused.

Establish clear boundaries between your workspace and your home life. This separation reduces unintended stress and will provide you with enough energy to not only finish your work but keep you from hating your bed or couch when your day is done. No one wants that! 

Reduce distractions.
Sure, your office has its fair share of distractions. When you’re at home or elsewhere, however, those distractions are heightened. Think about it, if you’re at home, what else is there? Dishes to be cleaned, a comfortable couch with Netflix calling your name, Instagram notifications on your phone, that leaky faucet you swore you’d get fixed…the list goes on.

In short, multitasking doesn’t work. The American Psychological Association found that switching between tasks results in a 40% loss of productivity, especially when those tasks involve combining your actual work with scrolling through your Twitter feed. Treat your home – or wherever you choose to work from – as your own office when working remotely. You wouldn’t turn on Game of Thrones in the middle of a meeting, would you? Okay, don’t answer that.

Make a to-do list.
Even if you’re not a fan of the coveted to-do list, making one for your day at home will ensure you stay on track. Utilize Dittoe PR’s favorite list-making app Todoist, or simply put pen to paper with all the tasks needed for the day. As always with to-do lists, if you aren’t able to cross everything off, that’s okay! It’ll still help to keep you on track and remember what needs to be done the following day.

Schedule a few breaks, too. You don’t want to experience burnout at home of all places. If you plan your to-do list hour-by-hour, incorporate brief 15-minute breaks to allow your mind to recharge. Go outside, take a walk, walk your cat, walk your turtle, follow your hamster in its little ball, anything to boost your energy levels in between tasks.

When you spend your time wisely and efficiently, it’ll be like you never left the office. Now you’re ready to go forth and WFH, WFCS (work from coffee shop) or WFWYLHD (work from wherever your little heart desires)!

Interested in a career that lets you work remotely each week? We’re always accepting applications for consideration. Send your resume, cover letter and three writing samples to Ashley Eggert at ashley@dittoepr.com.  

Building a Better Workplace: Dittoe PR’s New Guiding Values and Vision

Now more than ever, company culture is highlighted across all areas of business and is often a huge driver in new business, talent acquisition, company morale, employee retention and more. Dittoe Public Relations has always held company culture in high regard, constantly seeking new ways to evolve and improve perks, policies and day-to-day morale for its employees.

 

Recently, we invited Katara McCarty, an organizational coach, speaker and author, to lead us on a six-month journey toward building a stronger company culture through unified personal and professional development. We dove right in by creating a fresh set of core values that define who we are and the principles that direct the way we do business as well as a vision statement that guides our internal decision-making.

 

After crowdsourcing responses to a select set of questions about Dittoe PR’s culture, the team collectively crafted four core values – or mantras – that we firmly believe in and practice daily to support each other, our clients and Dittoe PR as a system.

 

Cultivate Happy

At no surprise to our team, “happy” was one of the most common words to describe our company culture. Thus, having it prominently in the name of this value was key. Being a part of Dittoe PR is a special kind of job in that it’s “not just a job” at all (another common description). We have fun, work with passion and purpose, and value work-life balance. Cultivating happy is and always will be a top priority.

 

We’ve Got Your Back

Descriptors like “support,” “encouragement,” “respect” and “teamwork” were common themes throughout our collaborative brainstorming session for core values. Grouped together, we created “We’ve Got Your Back,” because truthfully, we do. From personal and professional triumphs or hardships, our team is always there for each other. Similarly, this value speaks volumes to how we treat our clients, because we’ve got their backs too.

 

Here We Grow

Dittoe PR has always held personal and professional growth in high regard. We firmly believe that our premier PR agency can only grow if our people grow too. That’s why we’re always investing in our employees – through professional development opportunities, mentorship programs, new client opportunities and more. Together, we can go farther.

 

Exceed Expectations

Internally and on behalf of our clients, we’re all in. Our team doesn’t just aim to meet client expectations, we strive to exceed them in any way possible. This is one of our greatest strengths, in fact. We are efficient and agile in our day-to-day operations, and through results-driven and solutions-oriented work, we go above and beyond.

 

Once our core values were established, we created a fresh vision statement that speaks to what Dittoe PR strives to accomplish and achieve as a unit. Together, we chose a vision that reflects our goals and objectives for our clients and our business. In every scenario, our team acts as storytellers on behalf of our clients. With that top of mind, our vision is to “proactively shape narratives that influence behavior and invoke change” every single day. Through media relations, content creation, award and speaking opportunities, social media management and so much more, we are telling stories that influence change … with passion and purpose.

 

By collaborating at all levels and implementing meaningful, company-wide values and a vision statement, we are set up to sustain our already strong company culture.

 

Think you’d make a great addition to our team? Check out our careers page to learn more about positions and contact Greta Snell, Director of Accounts, at greta [at] dittoepr.com to inquire about open positions and submit your materials.

You Can’t Outsource Public Relations

There’s no such thing as outsourcing PR. If your business decided to wash its hands of everything related to PR in favor of the external counsel provided by an agency, then you’re probably getting little more in return than a handful of Mad Lib-style press releases replete with industry jargon and corporate buzzwords (i.e. revolutionary, innovative, synergy, etc.).

Clients pay the PR agency for the benefit of that agency’s experience, ability to “get ink” and aptitude for cultivating mutually beneficial relationships. But that doesn’t mean that clients can simply hand the agency the keys to the car and say, “we’ll see you at the end of the quarter.”

Although it might seem counter-intuitive,employing the talents of an agency actually increases the client’s responsibility to PR processes. When you choose to work with a PR agency, you are not delegating a task or business function; you’re committing yourself to a collaborative relationship. Ultimately, the success of the PR campaign hinges on the quality of that relationship.

The client-agency relationship is inherently symbiotic. The client relies on the agency’s ability to provide perspective that is difficult or even impossible to see from within the company. Conversely, the agency relies on the client to provide an exclusive, panoptical view of their business.

The most successful PR campaigns result from cooperation between a strong in-house team and a talented agency. Now, when it comes to the client-agency relationship, you hear a lot of negative criticism about the head-nodding ways of spineless PR flacks who withhold council and instead let the client tell them exactly what to do. Let’s be clear, “head-nodding” does not denote cooperation. Clients, your PR agency, if it’s worth your money, will give you push-back. If it seems like your demonstrating exemplary PR skills because your agency is constantly telling you how spot-on you are, then there’s something wrong.

So, if you’re looking to outsource your PR because you simply don’t have enough time or resources to handle it in house, then you (and the agency you choose) are doomed from the start. A PR campaign can only be as good as the client-agency relationship from which it was conceived.