In view of the safety hazard posed by COVID-19, several employers in India have authorized Work-from-Home. So, why exactly is Work-from-Home necessary and how can we make it successful? Let’s find out!
- COVID 19 Work From Home – So Why is it important?
- Need of the Hour – Social Distancing
- 1. What is Social Distancing?
- 2. Why is it important?
- 3. Work From Home – An Important Tool For Social Distancing
- What is required to make Work From Home Successful / Productive?
- 50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary
- How to Stay Motivated Working From Home
- Top 10 Advantages of Working from Home
- Top 10 Disadvantages of Working from Home
Given the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in India, several employers, including global majors such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Flipkart, Apple, Amazon, have rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies.
So what exactly is work from home? Just what the name suggests! You don’t go to office physically but perform your official duties and tasks from your home. While ‘Work From Home’ is a popular way of working in many countries, it is relatively new for a country like India.
In recent days, the number of COVID-19 cases has seen an exponential increase in India and overall in the Indian subcontinent, giving a cause for concern to the global community about the wide-spread outbreak of the pandemic in the world’s second most populated country. According to ICMR Experts, currently India is in stage 2 of COVID 19, but is on the verge of transition into Stage 3 after which it would be very difficult for Indian healthcare infrastructure to deal with this.
Pandemics / infectious diseases see a four stage progression period where in Stage 1 is getting imported cases, Stage 2 is local transmission, Stage 3 is community transmission and Stage 4 is when it turns into an epidemic. Community transmission happens when a patient who is not exposed to anyone known to be infected and has not travelled to countries in which the virus is circulating tests positive for infection.
As India prepares itself for the Stage 3 of COVID-19 infection, it is important for organizations to follow the concept of ‘Social Distancing’, which has helped several countries, including China, the epicenter of Coronavirus, curb the exponential spread of the disease. So what does ‘Social Distancing’ actually mean?
In simple words, Social Distancing refers to increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. This requires that we curtail social contact by staying away from larger crowds and public spaces.
Social Distancing is aimed at creating physical vacuum between people by cutting down on in-person interactions. When people meet less often, they are more unlikely to either be a carrier or meet one; thereby protecting themselves, as well as their family and colleagues from COVID-19.
Social Distancing prescribes ‘curtailing social contact’ even for work or professional activities. But, while trying to counter COVID-19, it is not feasible to suspend all business activities as it would deeply hurt the economics of an organization and lead to grave consequences in the future. This is why employers have opted for ‘Work From Home’ option, which limits social contact, keeps employees safe, while also ensuring that regular work continues, keeping the company on track to achieve its organizational goals.
It is clear that work from home is the responsible thing to do in the current situation. However, can anyone perform all their duties and meet all their task deadlines from a remote location with no in-person contact with their colleagues and managers. The answer is ‘Yes’! But in order to make work from home successful or productive; employee and employers need to ensure some basic pre-requisites, which are as follows:
1. Orientation: The first and foremost thing that you need to make your work from home stint successful is the right orientation. Orient yourself to understand that ‘Work from Home’ is not a Holiday. Treat Work from Home as a real job and be mentally and physically prepared for it accordingly.
2. Work Space: The second pre-requisite to making Work From Home successful is the right work environment. Set up an ad-hoc, exclusive work space for yourself which has all the necessary basics that you need to perform your daily tasks. This includes technology aids including a laptop, internet connection and seating space that enables to sit in correct posture for long periods.
3. Work Environment: Work Environment refers to creating boundaries within the home space and help family members and others understand its importance and sanctity. Make sure that your family understands that you are working from home and therefore doesn’t distract you from your tasks and responsibilities. For instance, if you have an important business call to attend, you should have a quite environment available without any noise of other distractions; this is where work environment will help you.
4. Communication: One of the biggest challenges that managers and employees working from home face is of ‘Right Communication’. With no direct or in-person contact, assigning tasks and seeking clarifications about it becomes a major hassle. This is where right communication comes into picture. While working remotely, it is important to define the work commitments and expectations that you need to fulfil as part of your Work from Home Routine. Break down these important work commitments into important landmarks and keep your manager or supervisors appraised about your progress. Also, maintain a regular and healthy communication channel with your colleagues, peers and seniors to understand where you stand in terms of organizational goals and expectations.
To sum up…
COVID 19 is a very real threat to everyone and requires utmost precautions at all levels. It is likely to progress into the next stage of community transmission if the required steps are not taken. Therefore, Social Distancing is the need of the hour and Work From Home is an important aspect of the same. In such a scenario, it is important for both the employers and employees to keep the above guidelines in mind to make work from home successful and productive.
1. Affiliate Marketer
For those unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, it’s simply referral marketing where you earn a commission. Let’s say that you have a website and refer a book on Amazon. When the visitor clicks the affiliate link and buys the book, Amazon will pay you a percentage of the sale. People love affiliate marketing because they can start earning money passively with few startup costs.
Are you an artistic and creative individual who is able to create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other types of media? Then you can work at home as freelance animator. (Personally, I’ve seen animators make between $25 to $106 an hour on sites like Upwork.)
If you have a knack for baking or cooking, then turn your passion into a side business. From your own kitchen, you could start a catering business or become a personal chef. If you’re a baker, you could sell you goods to friends, neighbors, online or at local farmer’s markets.
Blogging is inexpensive and easy to start doing. It could be as simple as you just writing about your favorite music or food, and eventually, you can start generating money from your site. Just keep in mind that you need to pay patient when it comes to cashing in on your blog. If this is something you want to pursue, check out this guide.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a CPA to start bookkeeping. Just sign up for a bookkeeping course at a community college or even online (such as this course from The Accounting Coach). Once you complete a course, you can start earning, and the median salary is reportedly $34,000. (Some stay-at-home bookkeepers I’ve spoken with personally make more than $70,000.)
6. Child Caregiver
Whether if it’s just for a couple of hours or for the entire day, running a childcare business from your home can be lucrative. Just make sure that you obtain the correct licenses and permits.
7. Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical research coordinators help manage operations for clinical trials. You could make more than $48,000 with this job, and you don’t need a bachelor’s degree.
If you have experience and knowledge in a specific area, then consider sharing it with others. For example, if you’re an accountant or lawyer, then you can provide advice to small businesses for a pretty penny. You could also consult businesses on how to use a new software program or how to become more environmentally friendly. (If you’re interested, my company offers a consulting guide to get started.)
9. Customer Service Representative
Do you possess excellent communication skills? Do you also have a landline and reliable internet? Then you can earn between $8 and $15 per hour as a customer service representative.
10. Data Entry
Inputting data for businesses isn’t the most of exciting of jobs. However, you don’t need any previous experience, and you can start at $10 per hour.
11. Copy Writing
You can write copy for businesses from your home and, in some cases, earn up to six figures. Try Fiverr or Upwork to find gigs.
12. E-commerce Store Owner
There are five types of e-commerce business models: dropshipping, wholesaling, manufacturing, white-labeling and subscriptions. Thanks to sites like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce, you can quickly launch your own ecommerce store.
13. Editing and Proofreading
Companies like Book in a Box pay around $20 per hour to editors, book jacket designers and proofreaders.
14. Event Planner
Whether if it’s planning a wedding, birthday party or corporate event, people are looking for organized individuals to do most of the event planning for them.
15. Film and Post Instructional Videos
Are you really good at something? Try creating a YouTube account and filming yourself instructing others on how to do what you’re skilled at. To start earning some cash, enroll in YouTube’s partner program so that you can make $1 to $2 per 1,000 views.
16. Grant Writer
Universities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations often need to apply for grant money. Since these applications can be difficult to write, these businesses often turn to talented grant writers. As a grant writer, you can make between $40,300 and $67,000 per year.
17. Graphic Designer
Many businesses are in need of someone to design their logos, websites or visual ads. If you have a degree or certification in this area, you can make a comfortable salary annually (reportedly $45,000 and up). The more skilled you are, the more clients you’ll likely get through word of mouth. Here’s a guide on how to build a website that can help you get started.
18. Handmade Crafter
Do you make handmade products like jewelry or furniture? If so, try setting up an Etsy shop and selling your handmade crafts online.
Do you know how to play a musical instrument? Can you get people into shape? Whatever your knowledge or experience, some people will pay you to share that information with them, whether in person or online.
20. Internet Security Specialist
As an internet security specialist, you monitor networks for security threats and implement security standards. You may also install data protection systems as well. Given the attention that online security has been receiving, this job is expected to grow steadily over the next several years.
21. Online Juror
When attorneys prepare for a trial, they often seek feedback on their case. Depending on the mock jury website you choose, you can make between $5 to $150 for your opinion.
22. Online Teacher
Are you a teacher who’s looking for a more flexible schedule? Then consider teaching via Skype or via a pre-recorded session through organizations like K12 and Connections Academy.
23. Patent or Intellectual Property Lawyer
Applying for a patent or protecting intellectual property are both areas where expert advice is needed. As such, if this is your area of the law, you could reportedly make between $112 and $121 per hour.
24. Peer-to-Peer Lender
Thanks to sites like Lending Club and Prosper, you can easily lend money to a business or individual. As an investor, you’d make money on the paid interest of the note.
25. Pet Groomer
Do you love being around animals? Are you also patient enough to clean and style pets? If so, this could be a great home-based business.
Even though everyone has a camera on their phone these days, there’s still a need for these types of professionals like for events like weddings. You can also sell your images on sites like Foap.
27. Product Reviewer
You can make a decent living (reportedly between $20,000 and $95,000) just by reviewing the products that you use daily.
Learn a programming language, such as Ruby, and you could end up making around $61 per hour for programming. If you’re interested, here’s a handy programmer guide to get you on your way.
While you can run a reality business from your home, as long as you have your state’s real estate license, you still need to show potential buyers the home. But don’t forget that you also have to prepare the home for showing. Thanks to technology, you can become a virtual realtor where you can show a property without having to be there in person.
Do you have an extra bedroom? How about a car you don’t drive everyday? Are there household items laying around collecting dust? If so, try renting them out to people who could use them. (I personally made over $50,000 renting out my basement in 2017.)
If you have a knack for fixing things, like bicycles, cars or computers, then consider launching your own repair business. It probably doesn’t cost more than a little marketing to get started since you probably already have the tools and resources.
32. Short Tasks
A short task is a job or assignment that can be completed quickly. Examples include writing a review, taking a survey, or watching a video. They may not pay much, but it’s a fast and easy way to make money from home. Here’s a list of short task sites you can check out if interested.
33. Social Media Manager
There are a lot of organizations who need someone to manage their social media accounts, and some may even want you to completely develop a social media strategy for them.
If you love fashion and want to work from home, then you can become an online stylist. Some reportedly make up to $15 an hour.
35. Survey Taker
This won’t make you a millionaire, but you can be paid between $1 and $50 each time you take an opinion poll, answer questions about your shopping habits or review a product. You’re usually paid by check, PayPal or points that can later be redeemed for gift cards.
36. Tax Preparer
Even though this is a seasonal gig, you can make a salary of over $30,000. Don’t forget to register with the IRS before you start this home-based business.
37. Become an Expert
Nowadays, people are going online to find experts at things they themselves may be struglging with. A growing trend is hiring an expert versus hiring a large company to come in and help fix problems. One resource is Catalant, which hires out experts from $15 an hour to $280 an hour. That’s one option if you’re looking to help others with your knowledge.
38. Telephone Nurse
If you’re a registered nurse, then you could work for health insurers or health management companies like Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group. They hire nurses remotely to handle case management, treatment authorization and patient education.
This job essentially means listening to audio files, such as lectures or doctors’ medical dictations, and then typing out what you hear. It’s an entry-level gig that can pay up to $25 an hour.
Are you fluent in another language? Start earning a living off of this skill by translating documents or becoming an interpreter.
41. Travel Agent
Despite the fact that there are numerous travel sites that make planning a trip a breeze, it can still be time-consuming. What’s more, there may be certain travel conditions that you are not aware of. That’s why there’s still a market for travel agents to scour the web for the best deals, share advice or plan itineraries.
42. Virtual Assistant
If you’re organized and can handle office duties like replying to emails, calendar management, entering data and assisting with social media, then this job is perfect for you. And you can make between $10 and $15 per hour.
43. Virtual Public Relations Representative
Some small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have the budget for a dedicated chief marketing officer, a vice president of marketing or even a public relations firm. But they may have the funds to hire a virtual public relations representative to take care of duties like promoting a business or managing a crisis.
44. Virtual Recruiter
This is pretty much the same position as an in-house recruiter except you get to work wherever you want. The other major difference is that you search the web to find the right employee for the right position. You’re also responsible for screening the applicant and being a part of the interviewing and negotiation process. Some recruiters are paid upward of $125 an hour for building resume templates.
45. Virtual Tutor
If you have extensive knowledge in a specific area, then you could earn between $12 to $35 per hour by tutoring students either over the phone or on Skype.
46. Voice Acting
If you have a golden voice, you can make somewhere between $56 and $72 per hour.
47. Web Developer
Depending on the specific job, as well as your expertise, you could bring in between $55,000 and $175,000 per year building websites from scratch.
48. Web Search Evaluator
In order to deliver the most accurate service to customers, search engines pay individuals to analyze search results. You don’t need to have much experience, and you can haul in $12 to $15 an hour.
49. Website Tester
Businesses want to make sure that their websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. As such, they’ll assign instructions for people to follow to check out their site. Each test usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes. In return, you’ll often be paid $10 to $15 per test.
50. Writing Gigs
Businesses of all sizes need written content, like blog posts, website copy or eBooks. As a result, there are thousands of writing gigs available that pay anywhere between $10 to $100 per hour.
Working from home gives you that cherished freedom, but plenty of distractions, as well.
If you’re a home-based business owner, you know that working from home comes with a lot of perks. You have the freedom to set your own hours, dress however you want and take care of personal tasks while you manage your business.
But, working from home can also be distracting. If you let disruptions take up too much of your time, your business could be at risk. You need a strategy to stay focused when working from home. Concentrating on work-related tasks is easier said than done, however, when you run a home-based business. To keep on track, try these ways to stay focused:
1. Define your workspace.
You need an area in your home that you can call your workspace. Think of a home workspace like this: The rooms in your home are designed for specific purposes. You eat in your kitchen, sleep in your bedroom and park your car in your garage.
Doing something in a space that’s not set up for that activity usually doesn’t work. How many times have you gotten a good night’s sleep on your kitchen table?
The same goes for when you complete tasks for your business. You need a place in your home that will give you the maximum focus for managing your company.
Your workspace doesn’t need to be an elaborate office. A simple desk and comfortable chair can help you stay on task and organized. Though sitting at a desk might not be as cozy as your couch, you’ll have better focus. Also designate a place for paperwork, phones and other business materials in your workspace.
2. Create a schedule.
When you are your own boss, you don’t have to worry about waking up and punching a time clock every day. There is no attendance management system because you make the rules. But, with the power to set your hours, you’re also responsible for completing the tasks that keep you in business.
To stay on track, make a schedule for your workday. Once you’ve created your plan of action, stick with it. It’s easy to get distracted when you work from home. Setting deadlines and working toward goals will help you stay productive through disruptions.
Your livelihood depends on how well you manage time. Prioritize your responsibilities in a list, and finish the most urgent ones first. Once you get high-priority duties done, don’t forget to set aside time for smaller tasks. When administrative tasks pile up, they can become overwhelming.
Use a calendar to record work hours, appointments and deadlines. Keep the calendar organized and up to date. Also mark events in an online calendar that alerts you when important dates are approaching.
3. Take breaks.
Your passion for growing your business will push you to work hard. But, you might end up working too much and get exhausted. To prevent burnout, plan on taking breaks throughout the day.
You might feel that you get a lot done by grinding away at business tasks day and night. But, you’ll be setting yourself up for trouble. Overloading yourself with work can wear you down, putting you at risk of making mistakes.
It’s healthy to sideline your business responsibilities occasionally to take care of yourself. Take breaks to do things you enjoy, like grabbing lunch with a friend or working out. A change of pace recharges your mind and helps to inspire some new ideas you can apply to your business.
4. Get the right gear.
Every job requires certain tools. The owner of a lawn-care service can’t get the job done without a mower. A hair stylist can’t take care of clients without scissors. As a home-based business owner, you also need the right tools to run your business.
There’s no one way to best complete business tasks. Every company has unique needs when it comes to finding the right gear. Here are just a few tools you might need for your home-based business:
- Cell phone
- Equipment and supplies to make products or perform services
- Flexible schedule. You can take breaks at any moment, feel no rush to hang up on your family members when they call, and eat lunch at any weird time you want.
- Custom environment. Setup your noise level just the way you want it — somewhere between insanely quiet to being at the front row of a Flosstradamus show.
- Cozy clothes. You get to wear those sweatpants from college with the letters peeling off, or the leggings your friends don’t know you own. (And hopefully never will.)
- It’s easier to make calls. You won’t have to scramble to find a conference room or deal with a particularly chatty co-worker. (Granted, kids and pets at home can make this tough for some remote employees.)
- Knock off some weekend to-do’s. That Mt. Everest laundry pile waiting for you? That thing you set a reminder to get from the store 11 weeks ago? Cross. It. Off.
- No office distractions. Avoid co-workers debating the merits of cryptocurrency, sirens wailing outside your window, the AC kicking in as you hide your icicle tears.
- Zero commuting. From bed to … bed? Hey I’m not judging, it’s nice.
- Save money. Lunch is expensive if you work in a city or downtown. In San Francisco, it’s not crazy to see a $15 sandwich or $4 coffee. At home, you can save big time by going to the store and preparing food.
- Forget crowds and traffic. No stuffing yourself into a rickety transportation tube, having people scuff your new shoes, or walking behind agonizingly slow people who apparently don’t know what a straight line is. (Am I bitter? No … not bitter … )
- More time with loved ones. Take care of a sick significant other at home, be ready for your kids earlier in the day, get some extra snuggles in with your doggo, or simply get some quiet time to yourself!
- Willpower. Gotta get jamming on this new project, but Netflix just dropped season 3 of Love …
- Difficulty sticking to a routine. The order you do things at work is almost never the order you do things at home. It can be tough to mirror your schedule and processes once outside the office.
- Missing important calls or pings. Oops, my phone was on do not disturb and I missed a meeting! Or my boss slacked me and asked to prioritize something else and now it’s 4:45pm …
- Calling UberEats anyways. You thought you were saving money, didn’t you? Blam-o! $20 minimum and a $5 fee for the higher rated Thai place. Should’ve remembered to buy bread …
- Power naps. This could arguably could be in advantages … unless it accidentally lasts 45 minutes after your delivered double entree Thai lunch.
- Boredom. Those office convos? Kinda missing Susan’s cat stories, eh? How long can you go without seeing another living human being?
- Working slowly. Sometimes the office has an energy. Sometimes your home does not.
- No second monitor. How did I ever work without two giant screens looming above me??? All 74 of my tabs are essential!
- Iffy WiFi. At home or in a cafe, when the wifi start to spaz and you switch locations a couple of times but honestly spend more time parking and ordering a 6-shot mint mojito coffee with coconut milk and 16 grains of sugar than doing work.
- Waiting for an answer. You need to ask a super quick question, but it’ll impact how you do something for the next hour or even the rest of the day. And there’s no response. (Cue “The Waiting.”)