Hey friends. It’s me, that guy who won’t shut up about remote work. Today is no different, but it is a touch more “serious”. Instead of my usual articles around the amazingness of remote or sharing my own journey (which I will be doing more of soon in response to some folks asking!), I want to make a call to all remote workers.
It’s time for remote workers to stand up.
I’ve noticed a small trend in the COVID-19 madness of some smug responses from already-remote workers. Thankfully, this has been largely drowned out by the #caremongering trend taking over the internet. But it’s there, and it got me thinking: what’s our responsibility to this world as the people pushing for a remote world? Sure, COVID did a lot of the work for us in terms of getting people to try remote, but that doesn’t mean they are set up for success. It also doesn’t mean they even wanted to be remote in the first place.
So it’s up to us, remote workers of the world, to do our bit. I took a look around the internet at what folks are most concerned about when it comes to remote work -- and here are the 6 ways I’m seeing that remote workers can support the forced-to-be-remote workers of the world.
6 - Share how you do your job
A lot of people are realizing that most jobs can be done remotely - including top tier strategy roles, engineering roles, and more. It’s no longer solely the domain of freelancers.
If you’re in one of those roles, offer your advice.
Write an “As a [your job title], this is how I work remotely” blog post, if you’re a writer or have a blog.
Offer your time for 1-on-1 chats with people in similar roles who are now forced to be remote.
5 - Share your tools
So many tools that office workers take for granted in the physical world have their digital equivalents. Share the tools you use to run your day -- all of them! You never know what could be helpful.
In that spirit, here are the tools I use:
Task management → Trello
Communication → Slack + G-Suite
Content / Digital asset manager → G-Suite
Content discovery → Feedly
Transcription for calls → Otter ai
Video / calls → Zoom
Social media management → Buffer
Creative and design → Canva
Sound editing → Ocenaudio
(If you’re interested, I’d be happy to write more about how I use each of these tools -- just leave me a comment if you’d like to see that post!)
4 - Continue to deliver your work
I know, this sounds preachy. But we’re in a moment where remote work is being heavily scrutinized by people around the world.
As remote workers, we have to keep delivering. Some allowances are normal - this is a global pandemic, after all - but the more you continue to deliver, the more you show that remote work is a sustainable method of working, not just an emergency to recoup a bit of lost capacity.
3 - Share your time management tips
I wrote about time management for entrepreneurs on PulseBlueprint, another publication I run, but the tips apply to remote workers. Share yours! A huge part of people suddenly going remote is that their work life and home life are merging. As one person on social media joked: free society is when you rotate between two buildings every day. Isolation is when you are stuck in one. Let’s show them how to make one building feel like two.
Share how you:
Plan working hours.
Plan time off.
Get into work mode without leaving your house.
How you avoid “well my laptop is right there” syndrome and actually shut off from work at the end of the day.
How you avoid burnout when you don’t get the mental feeling of physically leaving the office.
2 - Use your voice
Some remote workers have a pretty big following in the community and beyond. If you have that platform, use it to share government announcements, verified tips about remote work, and encourage people to practice proper self-care in isolation.
Chances are you’ve developed some great habits already that will help people stay safe in this pandemic… make sure you don’t keep them to yourself.
1 - Support employees and entrepreneurs who can’t go remote
There will always be some people whose livelihoods depend on being in a physical location: grocery store workers, restaurants doing takeout or delivery, pharmacy workers, etc.
Whenever possible, support local businesses and advocate creative solutions for people who can’t just go remote. Ben Zifkin, a Toronto-based entrepreneur, recently shared a large Twitter thread of local grocery stores around the United States that people can shop at. If you don’t have a following to share these messages, consider buying gift cards to your favorite shops or restaurants so they get some cash flow now and you can treat yourself when this is all over.
Remember: we’re all in this together (thanks, High School Musical, for getting that tune stuck in my head).