Many companies are already moving their operations from the physical office to working from home, known as the “home office”, during the Coronavirus pandemic.
In this article you will find tips on how to organize to work remotely and also how to maintain your mental health during the quarantine caused by the Coronavirus.
What you will learn in this article:
- Top 5 tips for remote work
- How to find a balance between professional and family life as a mother and father who works remotely
- Advantages and disadvantages of working remotely for employees and employers
- Is remote work effective?
- Why are remote workers more productive?
- How to find remote jobs
- The best positions to work remotely (part time and full time)
- Is remote work for you?
Working remotely is a way to do your work in a non-traditional way, considering that you can not only work from home, but from wherever you want. This is different from “working from home”, as “working remotely” is a way of working, while “working from home” is only a temporary model.
As you can imagine, the benefits of remote work are numerous, such as greater efficiency and long minutes saved on public transport. But is this style of work right for you?
In this article we will discuss details of this new work model in 2020, and help you decide whether it is worth investing in this transition in the future.
Top 5 practical tips for working remotely
Our top tips for you to keep in mind when starting your remote workday:
- Start by configuring the right space
The most important element for any type of creative work is to find a space inside the home dedicated to work. If you share a space with a partner or take the kids home, putting the laptop on the kitchen counter and thinking that everything is ready for work will not be enough.
You need to be able to do your job without disturbing other people who share the home with you. Try to find a space in your home (other than your bedroom) where you can set up your office.
- Prepare yourself with the right equipment
Without the right equipment, it is difficult to guarantee the quality of remote work. To complete basic tasks in your home office environment, you need to consider having:
- Laptop or computer in good condition
- Stable and reliable internet (it’s worth paying a little more here).
- Secure access to your company’s internal network or intranet, units, etc.
- A phone (preferably mobile) and hopefully paid for by his / her company – even though most remote jobs require few phone calls.
- A quality headset (especially useful during calls).
- A suitable table and chair, and a distraction-free environment.
- Plan your day well
You need to structure your workday by planning which tasks need to be prioritized and how many hours you will spend on each one. You also need to schedule breaks to stay productive and ready for the next challenge!
There is a difference between efficiency and productivity and, without a well-structured and defined planning, it is easy to get distracted.
- Use flexibility to your advantage
If you are doing your job successfully and maintaining good quality standards in relation to deadlines, you can work when you feel most productive – one of the great advantages of having a flexible schedule.
Unless your boss expects you to be able to communicate in real time during business hours, take advantage of the time available and do as much as possible during the most productive hours.
- Make sure you’re always online
As a remote worker, your most important accounts will not be for software updates or new computers, but for the Internet account. Your smartphone and apps like Dropbox will ensure you are always online and available when your team needs it most.
How to find a balance between professional and family life as a parent who works remotely
How to breastfeed while responding to urgent emails? Or what about driving in circles until your baby falls asleep just so you can make an important call in peace? And make your child uneasy to watch a TV channel because you have deadlines to meet?
Welcome to the sometimes brutal side of working from home. For the growing number of parents who choose to work remotely, some challenges can easily get in the way of their work-life balance.
Every parent knows that it takes a lot more than just a home office to make remote work work well overall. You will need to deploy some conscious effort and specific, effective tactics. Some tips for you to know where to start:
Explain to your children – It is a challenge for children to understand the corporate world, but even the smallest ones can hear that “mom (or dad) needs to work to earn money to take care of our family”.
Explain to your children that you work from home so you can spend more time with them too. Make sure they understand when you’re “at work”, perhaps by sharing your schedule with them.
For younger children, more obvious leads work well. After setting these expectations and meeting them, your children will become accustomed to the rules and will likely learn to follow them.
Don’t try to do multiple tasks at the same time – juggling with parents and work often leads to confusion in one of the two departments. The idea is supported by research. Describe specific times for work and specific times for the family.
If you can, create a calendar too. This will help to separate your outbreaks during parts of the day. If something related to your children interrupts their work hours, stay focused on solving the problem, rather than trying to do multiple tasks at the same time.
Perform tasks strategically – If you find short periods of time to work during the day, you can obviously use them to do as much as possible during those periods. That two hour nap for your child can be the perfect time to write all of your week’s reports. You can perform other tasks, such as editing and replying to emails after children go to bed. This keeps you focused on one thing during each work period.
Ask for help – Even if you have a babysitter or your children attend daycare, you will need some help sometimes. Don’t be ashamed of having someone to look after your children while you work from home. Yes, you went into remote work to get a better work-life balance, but we all need a little help from time to time.
A note about working with scams at home – Obviously, remote work has come a long way since the old “make money in just one click” ads. But, according to the Rebellion Rat Race, for all legitimate jobs on the market, there are still more than 50 scams. This means that anyone who wants to earn a living without leaving home must be very careful.
Before starting a new job remotely, make sure you do your homework on the potential job. Check that the company is established and double check your online presence. Call them and ask the person you are being interviewed for. As with any other job, there must be an application process and probable interview. Anyone who is legitimately trying to hire someone will want to meet or at least have an appropriate screening conversation with the candidates.
No job should require you to have immediate expenses before you can be hired. If a remote job opportunity requires you to pay any fees in advance or invest in a “startup kit”, it is definitely a scam. The only thing you need to invest in is the fast and reliable Internet and, if you don’t already have it, a high quality audio headset.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely?
You may think that there are only benefits from remote work. But, as with everything good in life, there are always disadvantages – and remote work is no exception.
Below, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of remote work, so you can ponder them.
Some advantages of remote work for employees are:
- No commuting: the time it takes to get to work is getting longer and longer
- Flexible hours (you are not confined to the 9am to 6pm schedule)
- Work wherever you want (you can work anywhere as long as you have a stable Internet)
- There is no need to drop the kids off at the nursery (you can stay at home with the kids)
- No distractions in the office (no gossipy coworkers will stop at your desk)
Advantages of remote work for employers
The advantages of remote work for employers are:
- Better employee productivity (they work on their own terms when they are most motivated)
- Higher employee happiness index (this can facilitate less turnover)
- Less overhead (no need to pay for the same number of computers, desks, office supplies, etc.)
- You can rent smaller offices (have fewer employees in the office)
- Access to a larger talent pool (you’re not just limited to local employees)
- Less training required (most remote workers already know how to do their jobs)
- You can pay lower wages (there are less costs for employees, so that they understand lower wages better)
- You don’t have to offer too many extras (like health plans or pension plans)
- You’ll have employees around the clock (remote workers located on the other side of the world can solve problems while their on-the-job employees are out of work)
Disadvantages of remote work for employees
The disadvantages of remote work for employees include:
- No participation in the company culture (you don’t relate to your teammates so much)
- Loneliness (you’re on your own, wherever you’re working)
- Easy to work too much (without a set time, it is very easy to work more than 8 hours a day)
- Easy to procrastinate (without a boss looking over your shoulder, you can relax more)
- No spontaneous collaboration (like the ones you have when you meet in person)
- You need to buy your own equipment (devices and software)
Disadvantages of remote work for employers
The disadvantages of remote work for employers are:
- You need to have a lot of confidence (employees can relax without you knowing it, unless you install them with remote tracking software. Remember that this can cause unhappiness and make your employees think you don’t trust them)
- Collaboration can be more difficult (video chats are not the same as interacting in person)
Is remote work effective?
Yes! When employees don’t have to travel and can work wherever and whenever they want, they tend to be more productive. In fact, a two-year Stanford study found that working from home increased productivity by 13%.
In addition, remote employees work 3 more weeks a year, which increases when you have projects with reduced deadlines. This allows employers to save a lot of money by reducing the space needed for the office.
Why are remote workers more productive?
Remote workers are more productive because they are usually paid on a per-project basis. It is in their interest to complete the tasks as quickly as possible, offering quality services.
In addition, they control when and where they work, which puts them in a better mindset whenever they feel more productive in handling their tasks.
How to find remote jobs
One of the first things you need to do to find remote jobs is to look for vacancies. It is similar to when you are looking for a traditional job. You need to be on the right platform to find these vacancies and apply as many as possible.
The search terms you need to try include not only “remote work”, but keywords like “freelancer” or “home office”.
At first you may not receive a response from many companies or they may reject you completely, but remember to keep your head up and persevere. As long as you design your resume and sell your strengths, there are likely to be one or two customers who are right for you.
The best jobs to work remotely
The best remote jobs really depend on the industry you are in and what are your goals for that type of work, for example: do you want to work part time or full time?
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of industries in which remote work is possible. Read on to find out which are the best full-time and temporary remote jobs.
The best temporary remote jobs
Here are some of the most common temporary remote jobs you may encounter:
- Information Technology
- Human Resources
The best full-time remote jobs
Do you want to get a full-time job as a remote worker? It is possible! Here are some of the most popular:
- Information Technology
Is remote work for you?
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely, you may be thinking about opting for this model in 2020. While it can be daunting to completely change the style of work you’ve always had, it can end up being highly rewarding.
Not only does remote work offer more freedom to travel and see the world, it also allows you to become your own boss. In the end, if you manage your work efficiently, it can greatly improve your quality of life.
However, understand that remote work is not for everyone. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t force it. Only you know and feel what is right for you.