Studying at university during the COVID-19 pandemic had been, at times, quite challenging. Everyone was forced to stay home and adapt very quickly to the lockdowns, not knowing when the end was in sight. Trying to focus my mind on my course whilst going through such a highly anxious and life-changing experience was stressful. I was apprehensive about carrying out my studies. I didn’t want the home learning to affect my grades. I wanted to have a fair chance, just like previous graduates had before me. However, I’m glad I chose to stay studying during my second year. Through times of watching cases rise and panic from the news, my work gave me something to work towards, kept me busy and kept me engaged. And that little longer in bed was also nothing to complain about!
Towards the end of my second year, an opportunity for an internship at Aurora Agency came along. A new global strategic creative collective led by women. I knew this would benefit me in so many ways in my future. Being able to shadow and learn from a team with so much knowledge and experience under their belt.
I was extremely nervous to start my role in the company, as there are unfortunate stories of interns starting off and not getting a lot out of their experience. But with Aurora, I got far from that. The team made my transition into the working world comfortable and welcoming. I felt important. With Aurora being a marketing agency, I witness and scope all parts of the marketing process. From the behind the scenes planning of social media, copywriting of a post, writing a blog, getting involved in workshops, to the other end. The fashioning of a brand from the bottom up, designing the look and the feel of a brand, the building of a website and populating that. After all of this, experiencing clients and successful people in a vast range of industries. How they communicate and hold themselves, and grow my connections. The list is endless, and I get to experience all of this to see what interests me and my strengths and weaknesses.
The current Covid situation has not affected my recent experience with entering my placement year very much. Aurora was founded in the pandemic’s peak, with the whole team working from home, so working from home would have been the same outcome regardless for me.
The pandemic undoubtedly made it more daunting as I had got used to the few human interactions I had during the lockdown. Still, the flexible working schedule at Aurora has so many benefits for the team.
For myself, a flexible working schedule improves my retention and makes work less stressful. For the agency, flexible working means a better all round result from the staff. Flexible working also is more eco-friendly! The team doesn’t have to drive into work every day, which is always a bonus. It’s a smart way to work, and it really does benefit the employees and the company.
The work produced by Aurora is a prime example of what amazing things can be achieved through a flexible work schedule.
I think it’s important to know how to get the most out of home working. Many companies are seeing its value, and more and more employees have been remote working since the pandemic. I try my best to keep up with these things, which I feel have a great benefit.
My 4 Top tips for hybrid working…..
Staying in schedule.
Having clear guidelines for myself for what hours I work means I always get the regular time off in the evenings. I can call it a day when I finish at 5, and I still get to maintain that work-life balance.
Managing my time.
Every morning I update my to-do lists, so that I can tick off bits throughout the day. I tend to get my least favourite tasks out the way first. I give myself set times where I aim to take my break away from my laptop to get food and reboot. I try to aim for these times each day. However, the beauty of flexible working is that these times can change to suit me. There’s no pressure!
Socialising with the team.
The aurora team is great for keeping in touch. We are a global team, with staff working across the world over in Canada, working from different time zones. This enables the team to be globally connected.We keep in contact by group chats, email and discuss work over google meet. We interact with each other every day. This is important to make sure everyone’s involved and feels a part of the group. Working from home without socialising can cause a disconnect and a feeling of isolation, so it’s essential for us to stay involved as much as possible.
Changing the scenery.
For me, I tend to get bored having one space dedicated for my work. I like to switch it up now and then and work in different rooms in the house. If this isn’t possible for other home-working employees, finding somewhere outside the home like a cafe is just as great. A change of scenery can give you that little refresh you need.