The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of companies to implement a work-from-home setup to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and as a best practice to safeguard their employee’s health. With the future still uncertain, remote work seems to be the most practical way to earn your keep these days.
More job seekers are now leaning towards online jobs as their preferred way to earn money and develop their careers. As a matter of fact, many of those who were just forced to transition to a work-from-home setup because of the pandemic now prefer to continue to work remotely because they have seen the benefits.
If you are looking at switching to remote work too, here are some important things that you need to know and prepare for before you make that jump.
When shifting from a regular office job to remote work, you need to be prepared for what is ahead. Do thorough research on what remote jobs entail as there are a lot of differences between the two. Some of the things you need to prepare for are the following:
- Application and Hiring Process – From the submission of your application letter, cover letter, and resume, up until the interview itself, everything will be done online. So, make sure to read instructions posted on the job listing. Also, it is important that you prepare yourself in advance for the remote job interview by practicing and to ensure that you have the commonly used virtual communication tools like Google Meet, Skype, Viber, and the likes.
- Technical Requirements – Remote jobs will also have different technical requirements like internet speed, PC/laptop specs, and other hardware tools like headsets or speakers depending on the tasks and role. Double-check the requirements so you are up to speed, and ready to start working anytime.
- Workspace – If you are serious about switching to remote working, you need to designate an official workspace at home. Separating your work area from your sleeping or play area will make a big difference when it comes to productivity. Working in your own “office” helps create a work mindset and makes it easier for you to focus on work.
Aside from these preparatory steps, you will also need to make some adjustments in your lifestyle. Because you will be mostly working on your own and in your own space, you will need to manage yourself. There are no bosses to keep an eye on you and no officemates to help you out. You must be accountable for your own work ethics.
Routine is Key – A lot of remote work offers flexible hours, but you will find yourself more productive and avoid burnout at the same time if you create a regular work schedule and stick to it. Once you and your employer have agreed on a schedule, make it a habit to start and end on time. It can be easy to fall into a habit of checking work emails outside of your “work schedule”, but try to avoid doing this as it can lead to fatigue or burnout.
Discipline is Vital – It can be easy to get distracted by a lot of things if you work from home, thus discipline is a must. Turn off the TV or keep gadgets away from your work area so you can focus. If you have family members living with you, try to set proper expectations so you do not get interrupted while you are working.
Make Socialization a Priority – Remote work can be lonely if you allow it. Unlike in an office setting, there is no socializing during lunch or friendly chit-chat during breaks if you work from home. Exert the effort to touch base with workmates or friends outside of your work schedule. Maybe even have coffee or lunch with them during off days. This can help you unwind and make you look forward to a new work week.
Always Have a Backup Plan – Technology can be flaky sometimes so make sure you have a back-up plan for those “what if” moments. If you create content or save a lot of files on your computer, make sure to back those files up regularly in a separate drive. This way, you do not lose all important documents and files should something happen to your computer. Another backup plan is to be familiar with coffee shops with good internet connections just in case you encounter connection issues at home.
Overall, remote work is a very sustainable job if you can make the necessary preparations, and if you have the discipline to apply and maintain these tips. Whether you want to make the switch temporarily or plan on making this a long-term career set-up, you will soon find out that remote working is one of the most fulfilling but liberating ways to build your career.
Post written by Deborah Walker for todaycut.com