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  • Morula Health

Home is the New Office

Updated: Apr 9

Home is the New Office: A Look into the Remote Medical Writing Workplace


Remote Working


Changing Work Environments 


Remember what office life was like before the shift to remote working? We'd all make our way to work, chat with our coworkers, get things done, and then head home to relax. Those were the days…


However, in recent times, many companies have implemented the trend of remote (or hybrid) work. It's a more flexible approach that lets people fit their work around their lives in a healthier way, and it lets companies tap into talent that may not be in their immediate area.


Win-win, right?


Not exactly, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for some. While remote working does have its benefits, some people have found it to be isolating. Missing out on that in-person interaction can make it tough to develop relationships with coworkers. It’s a trade-off, but one that has enabled so many of us to find a healthier balance.


Our Approach 


At Morula Health, we have always envisioned our team working virtually. We're sure you'll agree that our full-time employees get the best of both worlds with 3 days in the office, and 2 days from home. It's the perfect balance of collaboration and a break from the commute. You might have noticed we just mentioned full-time employees! Well, that’s because all our consultant Medical Writers are remote from all around the world. It's what keeps our team fresh and diverse, with talent from different corners of the globe. We know for a fact that the best Medical Writer for many of you wouldn’t be within a 25-mile commutable radius of our London branch. The Medical Writer with 30 years of experience writing CSRs for notable Oncology drugs like yours, probably isn’t going to be in a commutable radius of your offices on the East Coast. Their home setup allows us to assign this person to your project and deliver expert services to you, no matter where we all are.

We spoke candidly with our Medical Writers recently about working remotely, and their insights based on years of working as remote consultant Medical Writers are below:

LH: "What are the best parts of being a remote Medical Writer?" 


M: "I would say the flexibility to work on my own schedule as well as wherever I am."

D: "There are many benefits to being a remote Medical Writer such as not having a commute, the ability to be more flexible in personal and family life and be able to multi-task when needed. Working from home allows you to work from your own comfortable environment or any environment (depending on tasks) and being able to focus on finishing work and avoid time on distracting office obligations."

R: "The most enjoyable part of the job is in that it allows you more creativity and freedom than many other jobs."

P: "I think it is the flexibility to take on interesting projects and that we don’t have to commute."

LH: "It sounds like you all enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with being remote. We agree and it also benefits our clients greatly as it allows you all to adapt to meet timelines. For example, I know you all have intense weeks and sometimes work weekends to get things done on time but then you also have the flexibility to take time off during periods of review."

M: "Yes definitely. It's also nice to have a sense of being one's own boss - especially as a woman, this is a very empowering feeling.

LH: "I agree! It is even more empowering when you know 86% of our Medical Writers are female. Being able to be your own boss and pick the projects you want to work on that suit your lifestyle is a fantastic opportunity, and we want to help make that possible and ensure we have the right fit for you, us, and our clients." 


LH: "What are the most challenging parts of being a remote Medical Writer?"

 

M: "I think the hardest part is having to be tech-savvy and having to navigate the ins and outs of individual clients' systems without a tech support system next door. Things like having multiple emails, passwords, and computers to manage can sometimes feel like juggling many identities at once. It can be very busy and complicated to manage on your own."

D: "It is harder to set boundaries between work and personal life and you can get dragged in to working too many hours meaning it is more difficult to develop personal relationships with other colleagues and network. There is also no office support structure and people may feel isolated or forgotten, especially when people consider remote workers as lower or a different status to office workers. It is also more difficult to reach higher positions of responsibility and climb career ladders."

LH: "We understand these challenges. As you know, we have our Project Managers who are your key points of contact, provide you with support and check in with you regularly. We also try to foster a community between you all, for example through newsletters, as we know it can be isolating for you to be across the world from us and your client. Hopefully, this is helping to mitigate these issues!" 

 

LH: "Do you think it makes a difference to how Medical Writers work if they are remote compared to an office?" 


M: "Absolutely. Some people claim to work better in an office because they have fewer distractions. Others, like myself, feel more productive at home because it can feel like you're more in control of your work-life balance. Being able to be productive and self-motivating is key when working from home, however."

LH: "It is good to hear you are more productive at home! We always want to make sure we are providing productive services and making the most of our time." 

D: "Once a Medical Writer is experienced, I don’t think there is much difference. If the Medical Writer is able and allowed to have enough calls/interactions with teams and perhaps occasional F2F interactions if necessary, I don’t see the reason not to be remote. COVID times have also proved this, although the long-term impact is unclear."

P: "Yes, you have to make that extra effort to collaborate and ask questions versus asking your colleague at the next desk. I think it’s got easier as more people have started to work virtually. I already had quite a bit of writing experience before I started working remotely – I’m not sure how easy it would be for writers just starting out."

LH: "I completely agree with you both. As you know, we have a strong focus on our Medical Writers being client-facing and engaged with the client, whether that be calls or emails/messages, as this helps to build a rapport and will ultimately lead to better communication and outcomes."   


Tips for Remote Working  


LH: "What tips do you have for other remote Medical Writers?" 


M: "Focus on enjoying the parts that are enjoyable about the job more than the parts that frustrate you, and you'll always feel like you're winning."

D: "Consider gaining some experience in an office or lab/medical environment, including with the stakeholders who are not Medical Writers (eg, directly with physicians and scientists). Make sure to set up your own discrete office space that makes you comfortable and optimizes your working capacity. Remote working in medical writing usually requires more attention and concentration than other remote working (it will be hard to just work from the beach or from shared spaces)."

P: "Knowing when to ask for clarification and help: you don’t want to bombard the client with questions that are too obvious, but on the other hand you can battle on alone for too long, when a short phone call might have been better."

LH: "Those are all great tips! Thank you."   


LH: "Does Morula Health do anything to improve your remote working environment?" 


P: "Morula Health are great at managing projects and being the contact point where there are questions or issues. They are good at ensuring the projects are well-defined and that expectations are clear for all sides. Morula has a great welcome package and are obviously used to working with writers on complex writing projects."


If you have any questions about the way we work or would like some more information, please get in touch – info@morulahealth.com 

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