The 2020 Complete Guide to Remote Work [W/ Tips & Tricks]
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most companies are switching to remote work.
However, going from afar is not as easy as you might think.
Whether you’re an employee looking to increase productivity, a manager looking for tools to better manage their team, or a job seeker looking for a remote position, it’s a tough transition for everyone.
We’ve compiled this guide to help make the transition easier for everyone!
Read on to learn more about:
- How to be more productive when working from home
- How to find a remote job and stand out from other candidates
- How to manage a remote team using some of the best tools on the market
- There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s start with the basics of working from home:
Working From Home 101 – Everything You Need to Know
Until recently, remote working seemed like all sunshine and rainbows to most people.
True, it has many benefits, including higher employee productivity, lower turnover and lower organizational costs.
Also, from the employee’s perspective, the benefits include:
- Better work-life balance.
- More productivity and focus.
- Less stress.
- Avoiding commuting and unnecessary office policies.
- Save money.
However, as you’ve probably noticed recently, remote work doesn’t mean you’ll be hanging out in your pajamas all day, relaxing at home on your laptop, and looking at cat videos in between work.
It’s actually much more difficult than that.
Some people develop when working from home. And others, not so much.
In fact, to work from home efficiently, you should be:
- An excellent communicator. Talking to your team in real life and communicating with them through occasional chat is something entirely different.
- Be comfortable working alone.
- To maintain a healthy work-life balance and to have good time management skills.
- And have a strong work ethic to really get things done instead of lying around all day.
That’s why we created this guide: to help you get used to working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak (or to find a new remote job if your industry is experiencing layoffs).
So let’s get started!
10+ Essential Remote Work Tips
For those who are used to going to the office every day, remote work may require some adjustment.
1) Establish your workspace
- A personal, private workspace is key to working from home.
- As fun as it may seem to lie in bed all day with your laptop, you won’t be able to do a lot of work that way.
- By reserving a personal workspace, you can better switch to “work mode” when you sit down.
- Make sure your desk is tidy, clean, and no one is using it.
- Avoid the sofa as well and get yourself a real table. Working from a sofa or bed won’t make you sleepy, tired and productive.
2) Eliminate distractions
Distractions come in many shapes and sizes.
Your dog barking loudly. Housemates. Or the need to check your social media feed every 10 minutes.
This will depend greatly on your personal environment.
That’s why it’s important to minimize distractions and plan ahead.
Some solutions may include:
- Investing in a pair of noise canceling headphones.
- Telling your friends, family or housemates that you will not be available until 5 pm.
- Get a browser extension that blocks the time-wasting sites you visit the most.
- To reserve a private lunch / snack break.
The idea is to try and imitate your office environment so you actually feel more like you are at work.
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3) Sign out and turn off all non-work related notifications
- Social media, personal emails, and other distractions can all go away.
- It’s easier than ever to get distracted while working from home.
- So make sure you are logged out or turn off your personal devices completely.
- And similarly, turn off and turn off notifications for business-related emails and messages when you’re done.
4) Set a schedule
- Here’s another popular misconception about working remotely:
- You wake up whenever you want, have a snack, watch the last episode of your favorite show first, and THEN start working.
- Wrong on all accounts.
- If you want to be productive and still finish your job by 5:00 PM, you will need a clear study schedule.
- This way, you effectively turn work into a habit, which helps your mind and body adjust to the new work environment.
- And hey, at least you won’t have to get up early for your commute.
5) Track time
- Do you want to make sure you stick to your schedule? Start tracking time!
- There are many free apps that let you do this and then you will be able to see it breakdown by the time of each day.
- This is a great way to get an overview of your personal productivity while working remotely.
- As a bonus, you also know if you are spending extra time on social media and if so on which sites, when and how.
- Now you will know which sites to block and how to get more work done.
6) Dress for work
- But wait, isn’t it the only point in working remotely from your seat while wearing pajamas?
- Of course, this is the common stereotype about working remotely.
- But if you want to be more productive, taking the time to wear “work clothes” can be a great psychological boost.
- Look at this as part of your self-care routine and you are free to go back to the sweatpants after you’re done.
- Also, if video calls are part of your job, no one will want to know what your pajamas look like.
7) Plan ahead
Do you know what you will be working on tomorrow? Next week? Next month?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of short-term thinking when working from afar.
Especially in a crisis.
While you can only plan ahead for that long, some long-term plans will only benefit you.
You can use:
- A personal notebook.
- Google calendar.
- Daily or weekly to-do lists.
- Other communication tools to pre-schedule and schedule meetings.
8) Choose what works for you
- Here are productivity tips when working from home:
- Everyone works differently.
- Some people prefer to work in 25-minute intervals (AKA Pomodoro technique), while others prefer to be involved until they’re done.
- There is no one-size-fits-all management technique that will maximize your productivity.
- Instead, you should try a few tactics and see what works best for YOU personally.
9) Set and stick to your goals
Telecommuting tends to be goal-oriented by nature.
Most of the time, no one will look over your shoulder to see if you’re actually working.
Therefore, some people struggle with motivation and find willpower to do the job.
To prevent this from happening, be sure to set clear tasks and goals every day. This way, you’ll be sure to maintain optimum levels of motivation when working remotely. How can I work remotely successfully?,#How do you list a remote job on a resume?,#Why is it important to gain remote work skills in 2020?,#What makes a good remote worker?,#What are the three attributes that make you an effective remote worker?,#What personality characteristics are most ideal for someone working from home?,#Why is remote working better?,#Is remote working a skill?,#Is remote working a good idea?,#How do I apply for a remote job?,#How would you describe your work experience?,#What can your core skill sets that your resume can t?,#What are the pros and cons of working remotely?,#What is the most challenging aspect of working from home?,#What is considered working remotely?,#Is remote working the future?,#Are remote employees more productive?,#How fast is remote work growing?,#Do remote workers get paid less?,#What companies have gone fully remote?,#Which companies are fully remote?,#What are the highest paying remote jobs?,#What is the best remote job?,#Why is it so hard to get a remote job?
10) Set clear communications
- If you do not regularly work from home, you can expect some jolts on the road when driving away for the first time.
- Clear communication with your manager and colleagues is essential to ensure a smooth transition.
- Choosing the right project management and communication tools for this is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- We will discuss the tools section in more detail below.
- But for now, here’s how you can get your feet in the door when it comes to working remotely:
How to Get a Remote Job
Due to COVID-19, the risk of layoffs is very high in many industries. These include:
- Travel and transportation
- Entertainment and hospitality
- Assistance services
- Sports industry
- Oil drilling and extraction
So if your job is in one of these industries, you may want to consider moving to a more remote job.
Now how do you do that?
Almost the same principles from normal job seeking also apply here:
You’ll still need a strong resume, a great cover letter, and a hassle-free interview game to captivate the person on the other end of the screen.
However, there are some changes you’ll want to make to make your app stand out for companies from far away.
With your CV you want to focus on:
- Communication – Remote companies tend to hire people with exceptional communication skills. If so, you may want to highlight this in your resume.
- Tools – Most remote companies use a ton of tools to manage their employees: Basecamp, Asana, Slack, Zoom etc. Mention this in your resume if you are familiar with some of them.
- Not sure how to create an outstanding resume? We’ve got your back – we’ve created one of the most comprehensive guides for writing a resume out there. Check it out to find out more!
- Now, they will be included in a cover letter for a remote job:Your experience working remotely (if applicable).
Skills that may be related to a remote job and top 2-3 achievements.
If the company is just famous for being remote (and not just because of the epidemic), you can also explain a little why you want to work for a remote company.Do you want more information about cover letters? Check out our guide.Finally, the job interview will be noticeably different. Here’s how to prepare for an online interview:
When interviewing for a remote job, expect questions about how to handle the logistics of working outside the office. As it is, how good are you at managing time? Are there any examples you can give?
However, you can also expect the usual general interview questions such as why you specifically applied for this position, an achievement you are most proud of.
- Not used to online conversations? Check out our video interview guide to learn how to prepare!
13 Most Common Remote Jobs and What They Pay
If your role isn’t something that can be done remotely, you’re probably thinking about changing your career.
Here are some of the most common professions for remote work (with their average salary according to EBN).
- Account Manager – $ 52,263
- Accountant – $ 50,357
- Accountant – $ 41,113
- Business Development Manager – $ 71,017
- Customer Service Director – $ 87,575
- Customer Service Representative – $ 36,839
- Developer – $ 69,687
- Medical Coder – $ 40,590
- Online Tutor – $ 34,974
- Speech Language Pathologist – $ 59,669
- Teacher – $ 45,798
- Virtual Assistant – $ 34,587
- Author – $ 48,629
And more. Check out this article for a more comprehensive list.
Now let’s talk about some of the best job search websites for remote work …
Top 20 Remote Work Job Boards
Before we get here, yes – today, due to quarantine, most jobs you find online will be far away (at that moment).
If you are looking for a job like this, go to your favorite job search website and you’re good to go.
But in this section, we’ll focus on websites that will help you permanently find remote jobs (those that will be remote even after quarantine ends).
So, some of these websites include:
It is one of the largest outsourcing market websites in the world.
It’s full of remote independent work and all you have to do to get started is to create a profile and start bidding for jobs.
From here you can search by keywords, filter by budget, duration, job type, skills required and more.
WorkingNomads brings a selected list of remote jobs directly to your inbox.
You have the option to choose daily or weekly emails and instead have remote job calls coming to you.
Or, you can search for jobs as usual through keywords and categories.
When the site demands a $ 299 fee to post a job, you know you’re bound to see some high-quality and serious remote work opportunities.
WeWorkRemotely is the world’s largest remote work community website and one of the best places to find high-quality online jobs.
If you have experience, this is where you should look for jobs online.
HubStaffTalent is another free online job board for anything related to remote work.
It is extremely easy to use and the site is a great resource for quality work around the world.
No offers, high-quality work and great impressions – what’s not to be liked?
Remote.co conveniently separates remote work by category and displays the timestamp of each job posting.
This remote job search site builds a reputation as a trusted resource for job seekers and employers alike.
It also has great resources for remote job seekers, including a Q&A board and a community with organized content to help you reach the remote job of your dreams.
Each remote job post on JobSpresso is manually selected and reviewed by the site staff.
And companies that want to post their jobs there can pay to have their job posted in the job search.
Therefore, the lists may not be very accurate, but you can still expect to find only high-quality entries on the site.
Upwork is probably the best known independent and remote business website.
Almost every type of remote work that exists is bound to find it at Upwork.
Be warned though, Upwork takes a 20% cut from your earnings until you build a regular relationship with a customer.
So although you may not earn much in the beginning, the platform can be a great place to develop your chops and build a portfolio.
Like Upwork, Fiverr can be a good site if you want to build a portfolio FAST.
Most jobs start at $ 5, so the site mainly focuses on concerts, micro jobs, and other small tasks.
If your priority is to make a lot of money, you can skip this site.
Remote.ok has some pretty interesting features such as:
- Live rankings of top companies offering remote jobs.
- Statistics about remote jobs trending today.
- And of course, many different categories and job postings for everything works remotely.
Workew is another job search site for everything related to remote work.
There are tons of job categories on the site that you won’t find anywhere else (eg Crypto jobs) and you can use the platform to find new job postings on a daily basis.
Niche Job Boards
There are also a ton of job postings for specific areas:
- Dribbble – The heart of the design community and the best place to explore graphic design related work from afar.
- Behance – Similar to Dribbble. But it focuses more on creative jobs of all kinds: career opportunities, freelance jobs, internships, and more.
- AngelList – Everything related to remote startup jobs.
- Hired – A marketplace for remote tech workers to find IT companies.
- Dice – Another tech site where you’ll find some of the biggest companies looking for remote workers.
- ProBlogger – Interested in remote work as a writer? ProBlogger is home to all types of remote authors (blogs, copy, social media, etc).
- HireMyMom – Niche job board for moms staying at home and taking a career break.
- SalesGravy – Anything job search site for sales.
- StackOverflow – go to site for web development Q&A as well as technical job boards.
- MediaBistro – The opportunity to work remotely in all media categories, from marketing to broadcasting and television.
10 Essential Tools for Remote Work
- Now imagine for a brief second that you are still working in an office and have a quick question about the project you are working on.
- Go to your coworker, tap on his shoulder, ask the question, and return to work.
- For obvious reasons – you can’t do this remotely.
- Instead, you want to use some of the best online tools to manage remote work.
- Here are a few of our favorites sorted by category:
Remote Project Management Tools
- Never want to miss a deadline and make sure everyone on the team is on the same page?
- Consider the following project management tools:
Basecamp is a project management tool for remote teams to have a centralized system as workplace.
It is like an online HQ that allows virtual teams to work together, enjoy company-wide communication, and track specific tasks depending on the project.
If you’re trying to figure out how to migrate your company to remote work, Basecamp is the ideal remote hub for your online workflow.
- Notion is another all-in-one workplace for teams and individuals to work together and stay organized together.
- If you have used one million and one different tools for different parts of your business so far, you can use Notion to complete all your work in one place.
- This includes the basics like taking notes and sharing documents, right up to more advanced things like creating spreadsheets and databases within the tool.
Are you looking for something simpler?
Trello might be the way to go.
The site is very visual when it comes to managing your tasks. By creating and adding visual cards, you can create your own workflows, assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress, and more.
- Finally, Asana is another popular project management tool that excels at communicating and managing projects.
- It may not be as advanced as other tools. However, it is still an extremely simple approach to workflow management.
- Asana is as simple as it can be when it comes to creating charts, tracking progress and workload, and organizing processes.
With ProofHub, you can complete more jobs, faster. Whether it’s about keeping your teams on the same page, committing deadlines and celebrating success, you and your team and your customers can do it all under one roof using one business management system.
- Slack is the number one communication tool for remote teams and initiatives around the world.
- It includes all the basic features such as different channels and chat rooms, video calls and screen sharing.
- You can also integrate it with your other apps and turn it into an advanced powerful chat room.
- You can also add bots to automate small tasks and, if necessary, unlock enterprise key management to gain better control over your data.
- If you are serious about video and conference calling – Zoom is the way to go.
- You can use the basic, free option for an unlimited 40-minute 1-on-1 meeting and host group conferences with up to 100 participants.
- Or you can pay extra if you need to host more than 500 attendees.
- For remote freelancers and businesses, Zoom offers multiple remote video calling options.
Other Essential Tools for Remote Work
- Do you really want the things you are working on to be completed by the deadline?
- For example, you can start watching your work with Toggl to find out how long it takes you to complete a task.
- Apply this to your entire team and you will know exactly how many man-hours the project will take to complete.
Lumen5 creates effective, engaging videos from your existing content, increases your social engagement and saves time in the process.
If you’re going to be self-employed from home, you’ll likely generate a ton of bills.
If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by your finances, you can use Wave to create professional invoices for free and keep track of all your expenses while scaling.
Speaking of finance, if you need to send or receive money abroad, you can use TransferWise and save money on wire transfers.
TransferWise is a must if you work with different currencies, with no hidden conversion fees.
- Finally, if you are overwhelmed by the number of tools you are using, you can try using a password management tool to better keep track of everything.
- 1Password is a simple tool that provides a place for your various passwords, licenses, and other sensitive information.
- Don’t worry, the platform has never been hacked and your passwords are fully encrypted. Even the developers on the site cannot access it!
And this is a pack!
Are you ready to start your remote career right away?
Here’s a quick summary of everything we’ve covered:
- Trouble staying productive while working from home? Act like the office: avoid distractions, create a workspace for yourself, dress for work, etc.
Are you thinking of moving to a remote job? Optimize your resume and cover letter for a remote location. Learn more about video
- interviews and what types of questions a remote-only employer can ask.
- Finally, if you are managing a remote team or just looking for ways to get more work from home, use some of the basic remote control tools we mentioned above.
- At Novorésumé, we are committed to ensuring that you get the job you deserve every step of the way. If you want to read more and stay up to date with our industry-leading career advice, be sure to follow our career blog.
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