The pandemic of 2020 has immensely influenced job markets all over the world. Many employers shifted from in-house work to working remotely. Moreover, about 21 million people lost their jobs in the USA and had to look for remote positions and acquire new work-from-home professions.
Those who have worked as trainers, consultants, and freelancers are used to working from home every day and know how to stay focused at home. Meanwhile, it is not an easy task as you get distracted and seduced all the time.
Read on to learn about the most common home distractors, ways to keep the productivity level high, and the most promising remote jobs in 2020.
Most common distractors
When you are surrounded by the things you love and especially by the people you enjoy spending time with, the temptation to procrastinate instead of getting things done is strong.
Here is a brief list of common distractors that you will face working from home:
- Your room-mates and family. This is especially acute if you do not have a separate room where you can have video-calls and just some quiet time. If you do not have kids try to work out a schedule when people you live with cannot disturb you.
- Notifications. Incoming emails, text messages in social media or corporate messengers will keep appearing every now and then. This will disturb you until you disable them and only check them in set hours.
- Pets. Your dog must be really happy that you are finally home all the time. On the other hand, it needs attention and wants a walk, a snack, or just a hug. We do realize that it is much more fun to take your pet for a walk than finalizing the report but try to do it not during your working hours. You can begin and end your day with a breath of fresh air and stay focused the rest of the time.
Tips to stay motivated and productive
- Everyday dress for work. When staying at home it is very easy to stay in your PJs the whole day. And this is totally ok if you feel focused and motivated. But very often the problem is that that sets you up for the mentality of being in a relaxation mode. So think of dressing up just like you would be dressing if you were to go to the office, meeting other people or having a video-conference. Dressing up sets you in a mental state when you are going to be more productive.
- Set goals for the working day. For example, you can set 3 goals and prioritize them, to know what you will start with. Try to do it the day before your working day, this will let you know what you need to do to consider your day a success. Remember, starting the day in a productive way allows you to stay focused during the day.
- Set a timer. When you begin working on a project, set a timer so that you track how much time you spent on it. Setting specific times for specific tasks on the calendar through the day, makes you realize that you need to move from one project to another, or switch your activity from one to another. So when you run out of the time, move to another project, bearing in mind, you can always go back to it. This will let you progress on all the tasks and come back to the one that you haven’t finished with the fresh eyes and more energy.
You can use special apps to track your time, such as Clockify, Toggl, My Hours, etc.
- Find a partner. Getting an accountability partner can really help to achieve your goals. You will feel more motivated as you have another person to share your objectives and get things done. You simply feel more responsible.
This is especially important for freelance workers who do not have managers or team leads to report to on a regular basis. Besides, it works in both directions, your accountability partner will also benefit from reporting to you and will keep the spirits and motivation up.
- Make your promise public. You can put your plans for the day on social media. Even though not so many people will pay much attention to it, now that you have made it official, you’ll need to stick to it.
For more productivity tips on how to stay motivated working from home watch the video by Philip VanDusen, the founder of Verhaal Brand Design, a brand strategy and design agency.
Top 5 remote jobs in 2020
For those of you who are still searching for the job or considering a career shift, we have selected 5 most promising jobs that are sure to pay off in 2020.
One of the most well-paid positions is that of a marketing director. So if you have experience of working in this sphere, you can try out your luck. It is a well-paid job and due to Coronavirus situations more and more companies tend to offer remote positions.
Candidates for this position need to have such skills as creativity, communication, networking, independent thinking, as well as project management skills, social media, and strong leadership qualities.
As a marketing manager you will need to:
- coordinate all marketing activities, cooperate with other divisions managers;
- create and implement a marketing strategy, based on the company’s aims;
- manage staff employment processes: hire employees, fire, promote, and professionally develop them;
- prepare marketing budgets for income and expenses;
- make market research studies and analyze findings;
- work with legal staff to resolve copyright infringement and royalty sharing issues;
- negotiate contracts with contractors, vendors, and distributors;
- participate in promotional activities and trade shows, working with developers, advertisers, and production managers, to market products and services;
- advise on local, national, and international factors affecting the market;
- conduct economic and commercial surveys to identify and expand potential markets for products and services.
Public Relations (PR) Director
In case you have an established career connected to media and know how this kitchen works, you can opt for the role of a public relations manager. They deal with creating and developing a company’s image. PR managers or directors make sure that the company has a positive and consistent image.
Usually, it is a full-time job, but many companies do not mind managing PR issues remotely.
To get a PR manager’s role organizational, communication, project management skills are essential. A successful candidate also needs to be good at public speaking and all types of written communication.
As a PR director you will be responsible for:
- setting goals for the PR team, following up their results, and monitor team members’ performance;
- increasing brand presence on such channels as social media, web, TV;
- maintaining relations with influencers;
- tracking media coverage;
- organizing brand-building events;
- managing sensitive issues and maintaining the company’s good reputation.
According to PayScale PR directors earn up to $97k, per year.
If you are not that much into the exact sciences, but good at expressing yourself in a written form, consider a job of a content manager as one of the promising remote options.
Usually, as a content manager, you will need to have some basic knowledge of HTML and common content editors, such as WordPress. Besides, you will need to have an idea of how web traffic and SEO work, and outstanding writing and story-telling skills are essential.
Content managers work independently or in collaboration with freelancers and in-house writers. They create and publish materials used by the company’s website, social, and other media.
Content managers are responsible not only for the texts but also for visual and video content, writing scripts, and creating podcasts.
As a content manager, you will:
- create various types of content and provide it appears on the media;
- review and update content when necessary;
- guide the team of freelance or in-house writers as well as subject matter experts;
- provide that the content is consistent and corresponds to the company’s style guide.
For those of you who combine creativity and technical skills, one of the best options is the job of a product designer.
You’ll need a high degree of technical knowledge, creativity, and a passion for designing and improving the usability of everyday items.
Product designer responsibilities usually include:
- meeting with clients to establish the design brief, including concept, performance, and production criteria;
- working on ideas as part of a team or developing design concepts using computer-aided design (CAD), being mindful of the client’s budget;
- taking part in specialist or multidisciplinary team meetings;
- sketching initial ideas;
- identifying the suitability and availability of materials;
- producing detailed, drawings and specifications or, more likely, using dedicated computer software (CAD) to produce design specifications, including parts lists and costings;
- making samples or working models by hand or using computerized prototyping equipment;
- testing the concepts using modeling or physical models;
- researching materials, processes or market requirements;
- cooperating with engineers and other departments, including marketing, to discuss and negotiate appropriate production processes, costs, and commercial issues.
Technical Support Manager
A technical support manager is a job that gives you the possibility to work remotely and make good money.
To become a successful candidate for this position you need to be technically savvy and should be a strong leader. In the job, you will come across technical problems of all kinds. Support managers need to have the ability to troubleshoot and provide solutions to that junior employees failed to find.
Besides, support managers are responsible for the customers’ satisfaction rate. They also ensure the team’s performance is stably high and all the members feel motivated in their job.
Technical support manager’s responsibilities usually include:
- coordinating a team of tech support specialists/help desk technicians;
- creating routines that optimize the work of tech support team;
- prioritizing IT-related problems as they come into Help Desk and escalate when necessary;
- analyzing and reviewing the team performance;
- making quick decisions in case of emergency to provide customers problems are timely solved;
- following up with customers to gauge their satisfaction with problem resolution;
- identifying tech support problem areas (i.e., negative trends) and, if warranted, implementing corrective actions;
- providing ongoing training for tech support staff; advise tech support staff on career planning; maintaining and analyze training records.
According to PayScale, technical support managers make up to $121K per year.
If you want to read more about best-paying jobs in 2020 refer to our recent blog post.
As the world pandemic crisis transforms our reality, we are all having unbelievably hard times. The understanding that it is all temporary can help not to get too much frustrated or even depressed.
Another thing that is essential in this situation is that we all need to accept the changes and adapt to the new circumstances. And working remotely Try out the above ways of staying productive during the day and share your tips on how to stay focused working from home.