It’s no secret that COVID-19 has been the main point of discussion these past few months. It’s unfortunate to see how the virus has affected every area of life. Countries are shutting down, schools are canceling classes, economies are on a downward spiral, and jobs are switching to work-from-home (WFH) opportunities.
The idea of WFH is nothing new and the trend has consistently grown in the workforce. However, it wasn’t fully adopted by many companies who believe employees must be in the office to succeed. Many who have never experienced remote work opportunities may be unfamiliar with how this changes the working landscape.
How COVID-19 Can Change The Workforce
These companies will get a taste of what working remote is like and how this can affect their company. Since we don’t know how long until this pandemic goes away, the WFH option can become the new norm for businesses. There are many successful businesses that operate on fully-remote operations. Zapier, TopTal, ConvertKit, and many other businesses are adopting this model.
However, it’s important to understand that for a fully-remote work operation to be successful, the company needs to trust its employees. In many instances, companies don’t require designated hours to work, because they understand not everyone operates the same. Some are more productive at night and others can function from the moment they wake up. Many of these successful companies allow their employees to work whenever they feel is best, as long as the work is getting done and the quality isn’t affected.
Of course, learning how to operate remotely can be tough at first and there can be a learning curve. This opportunity to WFH can set the foundation for new opportunities once the virus dies down. Companies may incorporate more WFH opportunities or even switch to the remote-option, which eliminates the cost of office expenses. But it’s important to maintain the same level of efficiency as if you were still in the office. If not, you can kiss those dreams of your company WFH goodbye.
Tips for Newly Remote Work Companies
I get it, you’re so used to waking up and getting dressed for work on a daily basis. You’ve probably been dreaming of the day you can work in your pajamas. For the first few days, it’s great, I won’t lie. However, there’s something stimulating and perspective-changing when you get dressed for the day. Your mindset changes from ‘lounging & chill’ to ‘let’s get this day started.’
Now that doesn’t mean, go and put on a suit (if you wear a suit to work) just to work from home. I mean take a shower, take care of your personal hygiene, and get dressed for the day. Put on some jeans, socks, a t-shirt and get to work. Wearing pajamas day in and day out tends to have an effect on your performance. And if you think about it, it makes sense. Since you’re cozy, it will be hard to be as effective as you normally would be.
Cut Out Distractions
Working from home can be a curse disguised as a blessing. Obviously, when you leave your home to work, you are removing all the distractions at home and getting to work. Now that you’re combining work with home-life, you must be disciplined to cut out the distractions.
Washing the dishes, doing your laundry real quick, turning on the TV for ‘background noise,’ working while you’re laying in bed, and much more.
Now, not all distractions can be cut out. You have your children requiring your attention, please do not neglect them.
But it’s important to separate your home-life from your work-life. It helps with your productivity, as well as your mental health. (Trust me, I’ve blended both and I was never able to disconnect from work because of it).
Set up a designated workspace for work, whether that be your dining room table or a desk set up in the corner of your room. As long as you’re not tucked in bed or lounging on the couch, you should be fine.
Be sure to set up specific times to ‘work’ and specific times to be at-home. So, you know when to turn off the work mentality and get back to your home-life.
Communication Isn’t What You’re Used To
Communication with your fellow coworkers and management isn’t as easy as walking up to someone, asking a question, and instantly getting a response. You’re taking away the face-to-face interaction and switching it for a digital message. Hopefully, your company has incorporated a messenger platform like Slack or Google Hangouts to communicate with the team during this time.
These tools will allow your team to communicate with each other just like texting or DM’ing someone.
You can incorporate daily or weekly standups with the team through tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoTo Meetings, and all the various video conference apps. In these standups, you can discuss what you’re working on, any questions/concerns, and any other related information that you need to discuss with your team.
Take Time To Talk With Your Coworkers
Working remotely can get lonely sometimes, especially since you won’t be surrounded by other people.
But let’s be real here… when you’re in the office, are you really working every minute from the moment you clock-in to when you clock out? It’s highly unlikely that you are. You have side conversations with your coworkers, using the restroom, grabbing coffee and taking breaks. It’s possible to still do that even as a remote employee.
If your company is using Slack, set up a #water-cooler chat where your team can have unrelated work or work-related discussions. It may not be the exact same as the in-person situations, but it still can help with keeping in touch with your coworkers.
How About Those Who Can’t Work Remote
Now, not all companies can incorporate a remote work option for their employees. More and more companies are shutting down operations until further notice, which is taking away the paycheck for their employees. The unfortunate circumstance for these employees is that the world is still going and bills still have to be paid. It’s important for these employees to try to earn some sort of income during this standstill. Full disclosure, it will take time to make enough income that can replace a full-time salary but some of these options can assist right now and even add extra income when things get back to normal.
Tips For Those Who’s Jobs Have Been Put On Pause
If you’re a server, busser, or some other service-based industry that has been recently put on hold, you probably have been stressing out on what to do now. However, we live in a digital world where there is an abundance of opportunities to make money online.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant may not be as ideal as most opportunities, but it can be a great opportunity to earn some money. Virtual assistant jobs can range from data-entry to social media management and many other tasks. Businesses are always looking for assistance in areas where they don’t need a full-time employee, so this is the perfect opportunity to take on some projects for work.
Start a Side Hustle
Let’s face it, we all have something that interests us. Now is a great time to try and start that side hustle with all the extra time on your hands. You can start a social media channel about your interests/passions, start selling products online, become a content creator, build websites, and the list goes on.
Let’s say you enjoy writing, companies are always looking for content writers to help with content creation. And the best part, you can write content from anything that connects to the digital world. Your laptop, your iPad, even your phone.
You don’t even have to work for a company, you can even start your own blog about your passions. And many will say we don’t need another blog out there, but you have your own perspective and your own experiences, so I say to start that blog and don’t listen to the negativity. Many bloggers have made lucrative careers from starting their blog.
In today’s day and age, you can learn just about anything online. You can learn to become a developer, a graphic designer, a digital marketer, a photographer/videographer, and just about anything else.
YouTube has just about everything you need, BUT just know there is a lot of information that covers only a very high-level overview of a subject. There’s also a lot of noise out there about selling the dream of getting rich quick. Please don’t fall into these traps. If you want to succeed in something, you’re going to need to do a lot more than just watching three videos on YouTube or even purchasing some ‘gurus’ course.