My remote working experience at Microsoft

Janagan R

Reposted from Medium with permission

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Similarly, to all businesses in the past several months, Microsoft also went through a transition phase because of COVID-19 (C-19). I was about three months into my internship as a Product Marketing Manager (PMM) for Microsoft when the transition to fully remote work started. My role as a PMM consisted of face-to-face interactions for partner meetings, daily connects with my team and working collaboratively with my team to build campaigns that drive marketing. Previously, I would wake up around 6AM, grab some coffee at my local Tim Hortons, and start my hour-long commute to work. From daily follow-ups with my team to meeting new people across the company, I definitely miss the face-to-face interactions. When news broke that we had to work from home, I proactively took measures to smoothly transition into the new working lifestyle.

Given the unique situation presented by C-19, I wanted to reflect on my internship experience thus far. I think we can all agree that C-19 has impacted all our everyday lives and routines. Although I was only three months into my internship when remote working was announced, I wanted to proactively take measures to make sure that I can still maximize my internship experience.

Over the last few months of remote work, I believe that I’ve made several adjustments that pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but also helped me grow more as a professional. This was done through virtual communication, managing work/life balance and productivity.

Digital/Virtual Communication

The lack of communication was one of the biggest misnomers approaching the transition to remote work. Ironically, I felt that I was communicating with my team as much as before through Microsoft Teams, which is a workplace communications tool that drives connectivity and collaboration. From weekly syncs, to video calls, and presentations, Microsoft Teams made it easy to do everything that I would have needed to do in person. Other interns and I also took the initiative to set up coffee chats, which was an opportunity for us to connect with each other and share the projects that we were working on. I found this very beneficial as it taught me about the different roles and projects taking place in the company.

How do you stay productive?

One aspect I would like to highlight is sleep. It is extremely easy to lose track of your sleep schedule when working from home, which affects productivity. During the first week of remote work, I found myself sleeping late, but still waking up early. Following this, I committed to going to sleep at 11PM to make sure I would have enough sleep to have a productive day.

Another technique that I highly recommend is to have a schedule for all my tasks. Every night, I make a list of tasks that can be fulfilled the following day. On weekends, I make tasks that can be fulfilled for the following week. By doing this, you are always able to prioritize and stay focused on your tasks, which enables you to remain productive throughout each of the workdays. An example of some tasks that I made for myself includes building my first app using Microsoft’s PowerApps tool and obtaining my Power Platform Fundamentals Certification. One of my goals is to leverage my expertise in PowerApps to design an app that helps interns transition into their role at Microsoft. Another goal of mine before my internship ends is to obtain all my fundamentals certifications.

My experience at Microsoft

So far, my experience at Microsoft has been tremendous. The best part is the fact that I am treated like a full-time employee opposed to being “just an intern”. Being accountable for high impact work pushes me to put my best foot forward and give it my all when working on my tasks. Remote work has also empowered me to remain accountable for delivering excellent work and demonstrate my work ethic without supervision.

In my 6 months thus far, I have met new people, made more friends, and challenged myself to take on any new opportunities that come my way. I look forward to the last few weeks here and appreciate the supportive work environment and culture my team at Microsoft has provided to further empower me.

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