Ah, the life of a remote worker – where the dress code includes comfy socks and the commute is just a short stroll to your desk.

Gone are the days of rushing to catch the 8 AM train, replaced by the gentle hum of your laptop firing up.

But don’t be fooled; this isn’t just about swapping office chairs for couch cushions. The shift to remote work brings its own set of plot twists – think managing Instagram campaigns while your cat plots world domination from your keyboard.

In this remote working guide, we’ll navigate the quirky and sometimes chaotic world of remote social media management.

From carving out a perfect workspace that isn’t your kitchen table (unless that’s your vibe) to juggling client calls with your pet’s cameo appearances – we’ve got you covered.

1. Set up a productive workspace

Let’s face it, remote working from the comfort of your home sounds dreamy until you find yourself in a Zoom call, and your cat decides it’s her moment of fame.

As a remote social media manager, creating a workspace that’s less ‘make do’ and more ‘make wonders’ is crucial.

First things first, carve out a nook that’s solely dedicated to work – yes, this means moving out of your cozy bed.

Ergonomic furniture isn’t just a fancy term; it’s your new best friend. Think of a chair that loves your back more than your bed ever could.

And tech tools? Invest in a good laptop, reliable internet, and noise-canceling headphones (for when your neighbor decides to start a rock band).

With the right remote working setup, you can achieve anything
With the right workspace, you can achieve anything. Credit: Arthur Lambillotte / Unsplash

2. Manage your time properly

Remember the time you spent commuting? Well, now you can use it to actually work (or make another cup of coffee).

The key to effective time management when remote working is not to fill every second with tasks but to work smarter.

And while multitasking might seem like your superpower, focusing on one task at a time is the real hero move.

Also, remember to schedule in some ‘you’ time – nobody wants to meet a social media manager whose only social life is their Twitter feed.

Embrace smart tools and techniques

In the world of remote work, especially in social media, smart tools are your best friends. Trello, Asana and ClickUp (which we use and love) are a great starting point, but don’t stop there.

Explore Pomodoro timers or apps like Forest to keep you focused on tasks for set periods. This method, known as the Pomodoro Technique, involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. It’s surprisingly effective in boosting productivity without burning you out.

Using time-tracking tools can also be enlightening. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much time we spend (or waste) on certain tasks. ClickUp has time-tracking built-in, and other tools like RescueTime or Toggl can provide insights into your work habits, helping you optimize your schedule better.

Project management tools like ClickUp can keep you focused and organised.

Start your day by setting realistic goals. What needs to be done today? What can wait? Prioritizing tasks ensures that you’re focusing on what’s truly important. Setting SMART social media goals is an in-demand skill for anyone looking to progress to more senior roles.

It’s tempting to tackle smaller, less important tasks first to feel a sense of accomplishment, but tackling the most critical tasks when your energy is at its peak is a better strategy.

Integrate breaks and personal time

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right? The same goes for social media managers. Integrating breaks into your day is vital. These breaks are not just about stepping away from your work but about rejuvenating yourself. A short walk, a quick yoga session, or just some time away from any screen can do wonders.

Don’t forget to pencil in some ‘you’ time. It could be anything from reading a book to pursuing a hobby or just daydreaming. This time is crucial for your mental health and can greatly improve your productivity and creativity.

When remote working, go for walks as often as possible.
Make sure you get away from your desk a couple times a day. Credit: Camylla Battani / Unsplash

Avoid the trap of overworking

One of the pitfalls of remote work is the tendency to overwork. Without the physical separation of office and home, you might find yourself working longer hours than necessary.

Set clear boundaries for your work hours and stick to them. When your workday is over, step away from your work environment, even if it’s just shutting down your laptop and turning off notifications on your phone.

By managing your time effectively, not only do you enhance your productivity but also maintain a healthy work-life balance. Remember, being productive doesn’t mean being busy every second – it’s about working smart and taking care of yourself.

3. Stay connected with colleagues and clients

We’re now in an era where ‘you’re on mute’ is the catchphrase.

Staying connected with your social media team and clients when remote working is like trying to pet two cats with one hand – challenging but not impossible.

Regular video calls can keep the team spirit alive – just make sure you’re not still in your pajamas. Tools like Slack can keep the communication flowing without clogging your inbox.

Staying in touch with colleages and clients on video can keep you engaged during remote work
Video calls keep you connected with your team. Credit: Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

When it comes to your clients for freelance and contract work, or stakeholders in your company, think of yourself as a digital magician. Keeping them engaged and building trust from a distance requires some wizardry.

Regular updates, clear communication, and being responsive will make your clients feel like they’re in the next room, not in another time zone.

And remember, if a video call freezes in an unflattering pose, just laugh it off – everyone’s been there.

4. Balance remote working with your personal life

Balancing work and personal life when remote working can be a real puzzle, like attempting to describe your job to your grandma over Sunday dinner. When you’re working from home, the distinction between ‘at work’ and ‘at home’ can become a bit hazy.

But here’s a novel concept: When your workday is done, shut down your computer. Yes, really, give it the old power-off treatment.

Aside from the work-life balance benefits, it’s also good for your device. If it’s constantly in sleep mode, it’ll start to slow down over time. Turning it off and on again gives it a refresh of sorts!

Establishing boundaries is important, and you should treat them as preciously as that last piece of chocolate in the box.

It’s tempting to keep checking emails or tackling just one more task, but you need to set a clear endpoint to your remote working day. This not only allows you to recharge and unwind but also maintains the separation between your professional and personal life.

Striking the right balance between work and personal life while remote working requires discipline, but it’s a practice that will pay off in terms of both your productivity and your overall well-being.

5. Keep your skills sharp

In the fast-paced world of social media, if you blink, you might miss an entire trend. (Remember when we were all making banana bread?) Staying sharp means being a lifelong learner. Dive into online courses, webinars, and virtual networking events. They’re not only great for improving your social media manager skills, but also for remembering what other humans look like.

To excel in remote social media jobs, it’s essential to embrace a mix of self-guided learning and structured training. Platforms like edX or LinkedIn Learning offer a ton of courses that range from the basics of social media management to advanced analytics and social media strategy. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for industry-specific webinars – these can be goldmines for the latest practices and emerging tools.

Joining online communities related to social media is another smart move. Whether it’s a LinkedIn group or a dedicated forum, these communities are hubs for sharing experiences, asking questions, and getting feedback on your latest campaign ideas. It’s a bit like having an ever-ready think tank at your fingertips.

Remember, in social media marketing jobs, your growth depends on your ability to adapt and evolve. Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends – your future self will thank you when you’re not trying to make sense of a new platform everyone else has already mastered.

After all, who wants to be the last to catch onto the next TikTok craze?

5. Maintain your creativity and innovation

Staring at the same four walls can make your creativity run as dry as a conversation about the weather. Keeping the creative juices flowing requires stepping out of your comfort zone – even if it’s just stepping into a different room.

Brainstorming sessions can be a hoot, especially when ideas bounce around like a ping-pong ball. And remember, every crazy idea is just an innovative one in disguise. So next time you think of a wacky social media campaign, don’t dismiss it – it might just be the next big thing.

When working remotely, it’s also vital to find inspiration outside your immediate environment. Try taking a walk, exploring a new hobby, or even cooking something exotic. These activities can spark ideas that you can translate into your social media strategies. After all, creativity often strikes when you’re not actively searching for it.

Regularly schedule virtual brainstorming sessions with your team or peers. These sessions are not only great for ideation but also help in maintaining that human connection often missing in remote work. The key is to keep them light, fun, and open-ended – you never know what brilliant idea might come from a casual chat about weekend plans.

Most importantly, keep a record of your ideas, no matter how outlandish they seem at first. Maintaining an idea journal or digital note-taking app can be incredibly useful. When you’re stuck, flip through your past musings. You might just find a gem that’s ready to be polished and presented to the world.

6. Finally: hang in there

Being a social media manager is like being a ringmaster in the digital circus. It’s chaotic, it’s challenging, but boy, is it exciting.

With the right tools, a pinch of humor, and a dash of creativity, you’re not just ready to survive in the social media jungle – you’re ready to thrive.

And remember: when in doubt, there’s always coffee. ☕