Productivity

Work from home: how to protect your employees from infections (+ list of must have tools!)

By March 5, 2020 No Comments

We live in times of constant Internet access. Regardless of time and location, we’re able to communicate with our friends and family or even react to the occurring problems almost immediately. It creates new work opportunities because now we’re not bond to the desk and office and can deliver the results of our responsibilities from any place in the world, including our own houses. Today, when the new infections are spreading, it’s particularly important, because there’s no need to be stuck in the office with the sneezing co-workers to do the job nicely. So, let’s discuss how to work remotely in times of spreading diseases!

QUICK NAVIGATION

1. Q&A on how to work from home effectively!

2. What are the pros of working at home?

3. How to work at home effectively?

4. How to create a perfect home office?

5. What are the most useful tools for working at home?

6. What should I do to get a remote job?

 

Q&A on how to work from home effectively!

(especially during the flu season)

work from homeMany jobs require now the Internet connection, so as long as you don’t have to stay in the office for filling the responsibilities properly, you can work from home. Most of the companies, instead of creating countless paperwork, prefer to store the business files in the cloud, so the limited access to the company’s data isn’t a restraint now.

But working from home creates also another opportunity – freelancing! Now you can be your own boss and decide what jobs you want to take.

According to TheRemoteNomad article, the most popular jobs for freelancers and remote workers are software and web developer/programmer, graphic designer (web design as well), online marketing and social media related works.

As you can see, there are many opportunities for people who prefer working remotely with flexible hours instead of a fixed work schedule in the office. The web is also full of the resources helpful to start and develop your own business – from the useful guides full of various tips to the websites gathering freelancing and remote job offers.

What are the pros of working at home?

For many people, remote work seems to be a dream – they can sit at home as much as they want! But it’s not the only advantage. It’s just extremely safe during the flu season! That’s why we strongly recommend taking as many days of remote work as your employer gives you or even ask for more if possible when feeling something’s wrong with your physical state. Coughing, sneezing, running nose and sore throat (or even dizziness or diarrhea) are the first symptoms that the disease is coming, so be careful of them to not infect your teammates.

Read the WHO’s advice for staying healthy and protect yourself from being sick!

Why you should consider working from home?

  • staying at home, you protect your co-workers from the infection! Spreading the viruses and bacterias are minimized,
  • nobody likes to be stuck in the traffic – imagine how much precious time you will save staying at home,
  • missing the traffic means more time for your duties or leaving work earlier – you decide how to spend it!
  • not everyone has a car, so we have to get to work by bus or train. Let’s face it – public transport is the breeding ground for diseases and it’s much better to avoid it during the flu season,
  • remote work is just cheaper – you don’t have to rent an office, buy gasoline or ticket for public transport to get to work. Equal salary, but more money in the wallet!
  • it’s just more comfortable! Instead of spending hours on a tough office chair, you can snuggle down on your own couch under the cozy blanket with the computer on the lap. But remember – this position may harm your back, so it’s much better to organize an additional place to create a mini-office and keep an ergonomic position (we’ll discuss it in the next paragraph!),
  • in times of unlimited internet access remote workers are as equal team members as those working in the office, so don’t worry – no matter where you work, as long as you’re doing your job properly, you’re the important part of the company!

How to work at home effectively?

work from homeWe all know how hard is to stay entirely focused on your work when everything around you distracts you so easily. But trust me, working at an office is also highly distractive – for example, meetings: your teammates are babbling and sometimes joining the conversation is very tempting, but you know that the deadlines are around the corner and you have to work as hard as possible to deal with them. Additionally, when you feel the boss breathing over your shoulder, it causes unnecessary stress and confusion.

Working at home jobs often assumes the flextime, so it’s up to you when you sit down to your assignments. Of course, there are many situations that require collaboration with teammates but in the era of constant Internet connection exchanging emails or using project management software is a real help. Remember to discuss with your employer the details of employment like insurance and other requirements. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice if you’re not familiar with the corporate language, especially when you’re at the beginning of a professional career.

Some of the companies that hire remote workers offer their own hardware for work-related purposes, so don’t hesitate to ask for a computer or smartphone. Some of the work-at-home jobs like social media specialists require having such devices so it would be nice of your supervisors to give you their own equipment, so you won’t have to use your personal one.

How to create a perfect home office?

Dealing with remote jobs is much easier having a home office. But don’t worry – you don’t have to rent additional space to make it, the place to put a desk and a chair is enough.

Here are some of the useful advice from our remote workers on how to create a neat place for work at home:

  • if it’s possible, try to separate your personal space from the place you’re mostly working at. Why? Because sitting, working, eating and sleeping on the same couch will make you feel you’re at work 24/7. Sad perspective and can affect your motivation for work badly,
  • try to find a place to put a desk and a chair. Having this kind of work equipment can help you get the feeling you’re at the real office! Moreover, sitting on a chair instead of spending hours on the couch will be much better for your back. Always think about your health first!
  • invest in good lighting. The one in your flat can be insufficient and may harm your eyes,
  • try to always keep your room neat and tidy – you’ll never know when the boss or teammates are calling, especially when it comes to videoconferences. Imagine having an important call while having dirty clothes all around you 😉
  • create a work routine – try to start and finish the work at a similar time, take breaks to stretch up or let the eyes rest for a moment, do something nice and relaxing after finishing the duties. Having a daily routine prevents us from being lazy just because we don’t feel the boss’ breathing behind the back,
  • not exactly about the home office, but also important – treat your work hours as time spent in the real office. Sounds mysterious? What I mean is getting dressed in neat clothes instead of worn pajamas, putting makeup on if you like and so on. Why? Because it just helps us feel that we’re at work instead of at home,
  • Hint: if you’re an aesthete, Pinterest is full of the home office space inspirations!
work from home

Creating separate space for a remote work makes you feel you’re at the real office! Source: pinterest.com

What are the most useful tools for working at home?

We all know that using proper tools makes us much more productive. That’s why they’re must-have these days when it comes to customer service and sales jobs, content and social media-related professions and so on. Moreover, employers are more willing to hire potential employees seeing the skills to use apps for the professions people are applying for.

TimeCamp for time tracking

Work at home jobs require special treatment because the boss doesn’t have the opportunity to look at how the work process conducts, you just deliver the results of what you’re assigned to. That’s why it’s essential to measure the time spent on projects and tasks and generate the reports that you can send to your supervisors or they’ve had already access to them. TimeCamp has it all and, moreover, it allows you to turn the logged time into invoices in case you’re working as a freelancer. Its attendance module will help both office and remote teams’ managers deal with employees’ absence, holidays, leaves and so on.

timecamp screenshot

HeySpace for collaboration

No matter the industry, the proper communication between the employees is the key to success. Especially if you work remotely! Both you and your company deserve a product that improves the performance and employees’ productivity, gives transparency, helps maintain the creativity-related assignments. That’s what HeySpace was created for. It’s basically a Trello and Slack hybrid that combines Kanban-based task management with the advanced chat feature. With just one click, you can turn any message into a task and collaborate on it with your teammates, send attachments and track tasks’ progress. The app works in the background and sends you the notifications when someone messages you or makes changes in the task view. It works like an event planner, cut unnecessary meetings and allows communication within the team without sending an endless chain of emails. You can create as many spaces as you want and dedicate it to each project or use it for other purposes like knowledge sharing or growth monitoring. Nice and easy, right?

heyspace screenshot

GSuite for file storage

GSuite offers everything the remote teams need – the place to store the files and collaborate on them. Don’t worry – all the documents created for the company purposes are kept safely and only people assigned to the company’s account are allowed to browse, comment and edit them. GSuite replaces the Open Office suite and because it works in the cloud, you and your teammates can work on the files whenever they are. It also offers Hangouts for video conferences and synced Calendar for better workforce management.

gsuite screenshot

Teamviewer for remote support

Work from home jobs often requires the proofs we’re dealing with our responsibilities accurately. It also means a lack of direct support in troublesome situations. Luckily, screen sharing tools were created to help remote workers and freelancers contact their supervisors in case of any issues that need to be checked out. One of them is TeamViewer that allows the users to get remote control over other’s desktop. The process is secured and requires both sides to participate, so everything is safe and easy. Perfect for any work environment, even for new employee training.

teamviewer screenshot

 

What should I do to get a remote job?

Luckily, there’s nothing special when it comes to remote jobs! The process is the same as applying for an office position.

Make a proper job search. There are many websites that gather the work at home job listings, like WeWorkRemotely or Remote.co (find more of them here: 40+ Resources To Help You Find the Ideal Remote Location Jobs!).

Thanks to the various online tools employers in all the industries are more willing to hire remote workers. Always remember to carefully check the company that you’re going on an interview, read the comments and opinions. Also, when finally getting a job, scrutinize the agreements and don’t hesitate to ask for as many details as you want. Forewarned is forearmed!


Don’t forget about washing hands and doing all the stuff to prevent you and your family, friends, and teammates from being sick.

Fingers crossed for your job hunting – don’t forget to leave the comment if you find one!

 

Ola Rybacka

Author Ola Rybacka

Social Media Manager at TimeCamp, copywriter, content designer. Loves books and jazz/rock/celtic music. Ph.D. and speech therapy student. Find her on Twitter: @Pidzuchna

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