The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the face of work as we know it in every part of the world. People have now been relegated to working from home, many businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down, and the stock market has taken several blows following the dwindling state of the economy. Major global conferences are being cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus from country to country and from individual to individual. In these trying times of COVID-19 and seemingly never-ending lockdowns in several states of the world, remote work has taken the forefront as it provides a way for individuals to work even during the lockdown and make enough money.
Remote work can be described as a flexible working style that enables workers or employees to effectively carry out their jobs outside the four walls of the office. They are able to do all that they would do if they were in an office at any convenient place of their choice. Research has shown that about 83% of workers are of the opinion that they do not need to be within the office to be productive. Another set of individuals, the App Generation and over half of Millennials believe that all they need to work effectively are their smartphones and their laptops.
In this period, it is essential that you know how to effectively work remotely because this world we’re in is fast-paced and no one will wait for you to catch on on the latest development. What we are all required to do so as to survive the pandemic and also move with the changing times is to adapt quickly to changes as they arise and to efficiently manipulate such changes to suit your desires.
Below are 5 ways to make remote work, work for you.
Since you’re working remotely and your boss or clients really cannot see you physically, it is essential that you ensure that you are reachable. Emergencies could come up at any time and they may have to reach you without having given you a prior notice or a heads-up. It is your responsibility to make sure that your numbers are always reachable and your emails are accessible. Endeavor to check your mails frequently for updates from those you work with. This will help your remote job go on smoothly without any hitch.
When you need to have video calls, it is important that you follow the etiquettes of video calls. One of them is resisting the subtle temptation to stare at your screen and talk to your screen, instead of staring at the camera and talking to the camera. During video calls, we are naturally drawn to the image on the screen and because we are staring at the person’s image, we think we’re staring at them while their camera shows our eyes are not concentrated on them. Another etiquette is to put yourself on mute when you aren’t saying anything during the call to prevent unnecessary distractions and background noises. These are ways to ensure effective communication.
Both employee and employer should agree on schedules for their meetings. This agreement has to be beforehand to prevent assumptions that both parties would be available at the same time as this is highly unlikely and will probably lead to delay.
You should also create a daily schedule for yourself, so you don’t end up overworking or underworking. Have a plan, written or otherwise, laid out for the day and all the activities you are to be involved in for that day. Make your schedule realistic and achievable as you attempt to fit in the projects you have to carry out on that particular day. This keeps you focused throughout the day.
Tools and Devices
To effectively work remotely, you will need your devices to be ready and in good shape. To start with, you will need your phone to communicate with your boss or your clients if your agreed mode of communication is phone calls or text messages. The problem with phones, however, is that they are replete with distractions; memes, conversations and all going on in every social media space. The solution to this problem is to stay off those distractions till you have successfully completed your work.
You will also need your laptop and stable internet connectivity. You have to make sure your network is strong enough and would not delay you while working.
After making sure that you have everything in place, your phone, laptop, and stable internet, the next thing to do is pick a convenient and comfortable place to work – this is your virtual workspace. Some people choose the library, others choose the cafe while others choose somewhere in their living spaces. You know what works best for you, so consider that before you settle on a place to work. If you can’t work in noisy places, go somewhere quiet. If you cannot work with utter silence as well, set up where there are minimal distractions. Playing music could help as well. It’s simple – know what works for you and do it accordingly.
Don’t forget your health
While working at home, it is possible to forget the things that really matter. So, you find yourself staring at screens all day, working on projects, only for nighttime to come and you realize you haven’t had any food to eat all day. This is a bad sign as it points at you being a workaholic and workaholics seldom live healthy lives. Working all day, staring at screens, tasking your mind for the perfect way to approach your project drains your body more than you would realize.
While you’re working remotely, eat good food, throw in some fruits and vegetables once in a while and don’t forget to take well-deserved breaks. Take a stroll. Play some beautiful music. Do whatever you find relaxing to calm your mind and relieve you of stress. The pandemic might be tough but you can ease your own burden by making your work process seamless and effective.