The coronavirus has given an absolute beating to the global economy, crashed the stock market, and caused oil prices to run in the negative. Even sectors like real estate, previously considered to be a hedge against political and economic instability, are being clobbered.
An unprecedented spike in unemployment as millions get laid off because of closures. A large percentage of people are being asked to perform their work from home.
To help you adjust into your new normal, we’ve rounded up these 7 helpful tips to work during COVID-19.
1. Designate a Workspace
Now that you have all the time in the world to yourself, it can be extremely challenging to keep your work and home lives separate. But it is crucial to define this fine line that disconnects you from your work during off-hours, otherwise your work productivity will suffer and your personal life will take a hit as well.
Start by designating a separate workspace at home. This is important if you want to recreate the ‘physical’ separation between work and home that you have gotten used to over the years. This may sound unhelpful to people living in smaller apartments, but all you need to do is make a few small changes. You don’t necessarily need a separate room.
The idea is to create the illusion of a separate space from home.
You can do this by making your workspace comfortable with an ergonomic chair that you only use during work hours. Or better yet, create the illusion of work with decorations. Try creating good natural lighting if at all possible.
And more importantly, once you’re done, pack up all your work to keep your personal life and office separate. Remember to close all the tabs and programs related to your job once you’re done.
2. Staying Productive Requires Operating with Defined Hours
You should be clear about designating a set of defined hours when you’re working and when you’re not. Being in ‘work mode’ all the time will weigh down on you and affect your productivity. To boost your productivity levels, you have to stick to your regular office hours. Besides, if you are involved in collaborative work, you should have the same schedule as your coworkers to streamline everything.
If you share the same living spaces as other people, such as a spouse, siblings, or parents, it becomes even more essential to create that separation. Let your friends and family know that they should cut down on the distractions during work hours and not invade your work space.
3. Get Comfortable Working From Home
Before the pandemic hit, your morning routine probably involved a daily commute to get from one physical location to another. These precious few minutes buy your brain enough time to ‘prepare’ for work.
Perhaps you listen to music on your way to work or help yourself to a cup of coffee. You can do all these things at home too.
To truly become comfortable with work from home, you should have access to the same tools you did at your actual work desk. This includes things like a high speed internet connection, an ergonomic chair, a desk lamp, and office supplies.
4. Not Working? Consider Gig Work on Fiverr and Upwork
If you’ve been laid off or have more time to yourself, you can make more money by working the gig economy. There are many gig-economy jobs that can help you earn some extra cash without having to leave the comforts of your home. Although the pay itself can be paltry, it could be enough to get you by until you’re back on track.
For example, if you’re an experienced gamer, you can start a game coaching service on Fiverr, an online market place for freelancers. If you’re good at animation, you can create videos on Upwork, many companies pay top dollar for online services.
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5. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
You will have to rely more on virtual platforms to find and deliver work. Examples include social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in particular. Your LinkedIn profile could play an important role in giving you more job opportunities and connecting you to the right people.
Working on your LinkedIn Profile is important because people searching for you will probably find your LinkedIn page first. But in order to showcase your brand and talent, you have to make your LinkedIn profile stand out and create a stellar first impression. If you don’t know how to properly optimize your LinkedIn profile, find an expert who can do this for you.
6. Take Tech Classes and Learn New Skills
Now that you’re stuck at home, you have to become realistic about the kinds of jobs you can do at home. For instance, you can’t work on a spectrometer from home. But you can work on your computer programming skills. There are many jobs that are in high demand that can be learnt from home with free classes on YouTube and resource-sharing platforms.
You can also use Lynda, Coursera, and Udemy to get access to exclusive courses. Here’s a helpful article that gives more detailed information on currently available free courses for AI and machine learning.
7. Keep Searching Job Boards
You will find plenty of openings and job listings on job boards. The trick is to cast a wide net and use every possible job board you come across. The best places to start include Indeed, LinkedIn, and CareerBuilder. But don’t restrict yourself to them.
The coronavirus has redefined our “normal”. It has definitely changed the way we work. There will be a shift in demand from regular jobs to tech-specific jobs. These jobs will continue to stay relevant and pay very well long after the novel coronavirus has passed.
Are you finding it harder to locate the good technical and IT talent? Many companies find them selves in the same situation. There are some better ways to locate and attract the right it and technical people to your company. Contact us to learn more.