opinion

Tips for Navigating a Completely Remote Job in Sexual Wellness

Tips for Navigating a Completely Remote Job in Sexual Wellness

Anyone working in the sexual wellness and pleasure sector has at some point had to deal with issues like bias against the industry, as well as limited marketing and advertising options. This is especially true if you work in PR and communications, like I do. Yet one of the biggest challenges I have faced is by no means unique to the sexual wellness space, but something that is increasingly common across numerous industries: working remotely.

When I first began my career, I rarely worked remotely unless I was traveling or sick. Today, remote work has almost become the norm for many businesses, and increasing numbers of people whose jobs permit it are experiencing it in some form, whether full-time or a hybrid model. Obviously, COVID-19 accelerated this shift, as many companies finally realized that you don’t need to be in the office to work effectively.

Working remotely has forced us to reinvent, through trial and error, our whole approach to maintaining effective communication and nurturing business relationships.

While the benefits are plentiful, working a remote job can also present challenges. For example, it can be harder for junior members of the team to learn from the veterans without proper face-to-face time. Onboarding new team members can be tricky for the same reason. And traditional PR used to rely heavily on in-person meetings, like “desksides” with journalists, to help build relationships and convey messaging.

Sexual wellness in particular is an industry that requires open communication, clear boundaries and sometimes human connection. One of the main challenges of working in sexual wellness PR, whether remote or in person, is the sensitive nature of the subject matter. It has never been easy to start up a conversation with a journalist by showing them a pitch on “The 10 Best Rabbit Vibrators”! We aren’t selling the latest viral product such as a Dyson Airwrap. The products and services we pitch are personal, so establishing trust and credibility with journalists and the public is crucial.

Communicating mainly via email and online meetings requires even more creativity and thoughtfulness when reaching out. Working remotely has forced us to reinvent, through trial and error, our whole approach to maintaining effective communication and nurturing relationships. That goes for internal communications and relationships too. I’m now in my second year of working at Little Leaf Agency as a PR and communications manager, and I’m happy to report that while there are still challenges, I think I have finally mastered the art of working remotely and syncing with my team — which spans two continents, six countries and four time zones.

Despite the advantages of working at home, remote work can add a new twist to the age-old problem of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Sometimes, not having to physically leave the office and go home can blur the lines between work time and “me” time. I have occasionally found myself working well into the evening, or just answering that late-night email from a colleague or client who is eight hours behind. While this is all well-intentioned, it can ultimately lead to burnout.

To overcome this, I began setting strict boundaries and using time-tracking apps such as Clockify to ensure I only work a set number of hours per day. This app is also great for tracking time spent on clients, to make sure we are giving our clients the promised time on their accounts and aren’t overservicing either. That supports a sustainable approach to advocating for sexual wellness — or doing any other job in our industry.

Along with the various challenges have come lots of opportunities to grow. Despite the challenges that remote work has thrown at me, it has made me better at setting boundaries, finding things out myself — sometimes the hard way — and discovering a workflow that best suits me while also making my clients feel valued and cared for. As a result, I am now able to work a lot more efficiently remotely than I would in a 9-to-5 office setting, and embracing the opportunities presented by remote work has led me to become more innovative and dynamic, and ultimately to find my footing within the PR sphere and the sexual wellness industry.

Bryony Lees is the marketing and communications manager for Little Leaf Agency, a PR and communications agency dedicated to helping sexual wellness brands grow across all communication channels, including PR, social media content, influencers, partnerships, affiliate marketing and more.

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