The pandemic forced an unusual experiment on much of the workforce by sending many employees into remote work with little warning. Different companies have handled this in a variety of ways, but many tech companies have chosen to keep a large segment of their workforces remote well into 2021– and perhaps beyond. If you are currently working remotely and expect to continue doing so for the time being, then here are some things to keep in mind.
Set Your Workspace Up for Success
Many people who have been working remotely for a portion of the pandemic initially set up a makeshift workspace to get through what originally seemed like a few months. If your position is going to remain remote for the foreseeable future, it’s time to upgrade the makeshift setup and get your workspace arranged to better suit your needs. This may mean getting a proper desk and a better chair to start instead of working at the kitchen table or on your couch. Making sure you can sit comfortably while you work is important to maintaining good posture, and it can save you a lot of aches and pains later on. Having a workspace that feels more professional can also help put you in the right mindset when you “go to work” for the day, which is critical to maintaining your routine when working from home long term. If it’s possible where you live, it’s best to set up your work area in a room with a door to be as free from distraction as possible, especially if you need to make calls or video chat for your job. Another thing to keep in mind when setting up your work area is lighting; be sure that you have adequate lighting so you are not straining your eyes and so you can look professional on video chats.
Why Remote Work is a Strength
Remote work is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, it’s important to be able to explain why it’s a strength. Perhaps you need to pitch continued remote work to your current employer, or maybe you need to explain to an interviewer why hiring you, a remote worker, would be a great idea. In any case, keep in mind that remote work requires the strength and focus to work very independently. People who thrive in this type of environment are also excellent at staying organized and managing their own time and projects to deliver quality results on schedule. They need to be trustworthy individuals who can be counted on to do their work– and the results will show how they spent their time. Remote work also requires a high degree of soft skills and excellent communication, especially when working with other employees across different time zones and office locations. Successful remote employees have demonstrated their ability to balance all of these necessities and continue to contribute to their organizations at a high level.
Video Tips for Remote Work
It seems like everyone has a story about issues on a Zoom call, but many of the common problems with video chats can be easily solved ahead of time. Whether you’re planning to be on a work call or doing a remote interview, keep these tips in mind to save yourself trouble next time you do a video call. First of all, do an equipment check before any important call. Most programs such as Zoom or Teams have a test feature so you can make sure your webcam is working and up to date. You can usually set up a background image or blur in the settings as well, which can really be a lifesaver if you are working from home in a room where you don’t want everyone to see distractions behind you. As we noted previously, it’s important to makes sure you have proper lighting as well. An inexpensive lamp at the correct angle in front of you can make a world of difference in making sure you are not in shadow while on your video calls. If you can invest in one, or if your company will help provide you with one, it’s a great idea to get a headset with a microphone so you can be heard clearly and can hear others easily. This can be especially nice for longer calls as many headsets have a mute button built in and some work with push-to-talk features to make chatting smoother and eliminate those pesky background noises that plague so many Zoom calls. Lastly, make sure you are dressed professionally for your video calls. What constitutes professional dress for calls may vary depending on your company culture, but take cues from your management and remember that overdressed is always better than undressed when you’re not sure!
Looking for Remote Work?
Many IT positions were already well tailored to remote work, and now there are even more opportunities for people looking to work remotely. Check out our latest job opportunities and get in touch with our team to learn more about taking the next step in your career with TekPartners.