This summer, I have had the privilege to work remotely from my home in Vancouver. Everyone has been super accommodating in making sure I feel included and have the same access to resources. However, before the summer started, I did not anticipate exactly how remote I would be. At the end of May, I was off to Europe for two weeks, spending one week in Oxford for my sister’s graduation and one week in Paris. I was working the first week, so I was able to appreciate a lot of Oxford’s libraries while doing my work.
Here are some of the things I learned throughout that time:
Make an effort to attend the meetings that fall in your time zone
It is very easy to feel isolated when working abroad, so try to collaborate with others when you are able to. The time difference for me and my team members in Calgary was 7 hours, so most of the time I was only able to attend the daily stand-up meeting. Even this short meeting however, helped me to feel part of the team when I was so far away.
However, this does not mean that you must be available all the time (work-life balance is important!). One evening, my sister was invited to Canada House (in London) for a Platinum Jubilee celebration where we met The Governor General of Canada. To attend this event, I had to log off almost straight after the stand-up for that day to catch our train, but ensured that I was set for the next workday.
Try to stay organized and keep communications succinct
Since I could not be in regular communication with the rest of the team, it helped to send clear messages or questions to those that were helping me with my tasks. Although it delayed some things on my end, I was given a more open-ended task, so there were always things that I could be thinking of and planning out. My task was also ongoing, so there were no upcoming deadlines for me while I was away.
Let everyone know that you will be out of the country
Before leaving, I made sure that all my Arcurve access was approved, but I did not let our client know. As a result, I had trouble logging into my email. Luckily, I did not require external access for my tasks, so the repercussions were minimal, though I would keep a note of this for next time.
Overall, it was an incredible experience, and I am so thankful for all the flexibility I had with Arcurve and my team!
My last piece of advice: if you are thinking of travelling abroad this summer just make sure you are at the airport early!
Thanks for reading! To keep up with the adventures of other interns, please check out the rest of our Student Feed and Blog.