The Remote Work Mega Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Working From Home in the Age of COVID-19
With the concerns and uncertainty we’re all facing in light of COVID-19, one thing we can be sure about right now is the rise of remote work. According to a recent Forbes article, remote work has risen 159% since 2007. And that number has skyrocketed in the past few weeks in an effort to reduce the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
In what the Times is calling the “World’s Largest Work From Home Experiment,” global tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are all recommending, if not requiring, their employees work from home, and other companies around the world are following suit. Not to mention the thousands of small businesses who are now scrambling to figure out how to stay open with their workforce stuck at home.
You may find yourself working remotely for the first time, not knowing the best ways to adjust or stay productive, especially if your whole family (including your kids!) are home with you.
Or maybe you’re suddenly facing unemployment, and you need to build up job skills that relate to remote work and find a remote position.
As a fully remote team here at Skillcrush, we’ve had years of experience working with team members spread out all across the globe. So we know how to remain focused and connected as a team, even though we’re not physically together in person. (Yes, we do have remote happy hours!)
In addition, as an online tech education company whose bread and butter is teaching our students the tech skills they need in order to get a job they love, we’ve also got years of experience training students for remote jobs.
So that’s why we created The Remote Work Mega Guide.
In this article, you’ll find:
- Resources for transitioning to working from home
- Tips for finding a remote job, if necessary
- Tools for developing the remote work skills you need
- Advice for staying successful and sane through this anxiety-ridden time
How to Adjust to Remote Work
What tech tools do I need to work from home?
When it comes to working remotely, the most important thing is to make sure that your team is staying connected. So that means making sure you have the right tech and the right tools to help you.
Luckily, they’re available, and many of them are free (or are being offered for free for the time being in light of this state of emergency).
You’ll of course need a computer and WiFi. Video calling platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts will be essential for meetings because, as we’ve learned over the years, getting actual Facetime with your coworkers is incredibly important for maintaining team morale and productivity.
We highly recommend that you use video calls whenever possible, and encourage your coworkers to do the same even if they’re still in their pajamas!
If you are working at a company that has been quickly thrown into remote work, chances are they have made plans for how you’ll communicate. If that’s not the case, here are two tools we can’t work without here at Skillcrush:
- Slack, or another messaging app for staying in touch without sending hundreds of emails per day
- Google Docs, for real-time collaboration within documents
For more info on the tools that will help you and your team be successful, whether you’re trying to manage a big project or simply trying to share passwords securely, check out our article on the tools every remote tech worker needs:
More Resources on Work From Home Technology
- The Remote Worker’s Toolkit (via Zapier)
- Best Technology for Working Remotely: 6 Remote Working Tech Tools (via Owl Labs)
- 8 Apps That Will Revolutionize How You Work From Home (via Inc.)
- 8 useful iOS apps to help ease work from home stress (via Computerworld)
- Distance is no match for these remote team building activities (via Slack)
- 5 Interactive Remote Team Building Exercises for Distributed Teams (via Remote.co)
How to Set Up Your Home Office or Workspace
So you have the tech tools you need, but what about the space to actually focus in and do the work? Not all of us have a room that we can solely devote to an office, but even just having a quiet area that’s specifically dedicated for work (even if it happens to be your dining room table!) can help you get in the right frame of mind. Here are our tried and tested tips for working from home effectively:
More Resources on Setting Up Your Home Workspace
- How to Set Up a Home Office You Love: 12 Tips (via FlexJobs)
- Remote Office Tours: A Look Into 10 Home Setups of Remote Workers (via Trello)
- 7 Productive Home Office Tips for Remote Workers: Infographic (via Remote.co)
- 5 Office Space Ideas for Small Homes (via Made)
- This is What a Remote Office Looks Like (via Zapier)
Help! How do I work from home with kids?
With schools across the country closed and families self-quarantining together for the time being, having the space and time for focused work may seem like a joke. But there are ways to juggle it all—yes, you can get your work done and keep your kids safe and happy at the same time! All while avoiding outcomes like this.
Though this pandemic is the farthest thing from a holiday, this article has a lot of relevant tips on how to survive working from home when your kids are home on holiday break (or a much less exciting period of social distancing or quarantine).
You can also take a look at author and speaker Andrea Owen’s tips on working from home with kids in her Facebook post.
And this Parenting and Coronavirus webinar will give you practical advice on explaining the risks of COVID-19 to your children and explaining the importance of being a responsible member of the community during this time.
Now if you just want some real talk about the joys and challenges of working from home while taking care of young children, make sure to read writer Lyz Lenz’s twitter thread on the topic.
More Resources on Working from Home with Kids
- How to work from home with kids without losing it (via CNN)
- How to Master Working From Home—While Under Quarantine With Kids (via Parents)
- How to Work From Home With Children (via The New York Times)
- Coronavirus and Parenting: What You Need to Know Now (via NPR)
- 7+7 Strategies for Working From Home During COVID-19 (via Psychology Today)
How to Get Remote Work
Where should I look for remote work?
In addition to being a public health emergency, for many people this is also an economic emergency. If you find yourself out of a job because of coronavirus, we just want to say that we are SO SORRY you are dealing with this.
Fortunately, remote work opportunities have been growing for a long time and are presumably growing exponentially at the moment as every company and organization that can is figuring out how to do their work remotely. And the silver lining is that once you have a remote job, you’ll be in a better position, pandemic or not!
To begin, take a look at our list of over 30 of the best sites to find remote work for every job and industry imaginable. You’ll discover excellent websites for finding part-time jobs, full-time jobs, and freelance jobs in any timezone you’d like to work in. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of a job listing you find, make sure to check out Brie of FlexJobs’ post about how to tell if a remote job is a scam.
More Resources on Finding Remote Jobs
- 3 Important Steps You Can Take to Land a Remote Job (Video)
- The 25+ Best Sites for Finding Remote Work Online in 2020
- How to Tell If a Remote Job Is a Scam or Legit
- The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Remote Job You Love (Download)
- How To Get A Remote Job (Webinar)
What skills do I need to learn to get a remote job?
If you’re worried that your existing skill set doesn’t translate well to remote work, and you’d like to build up a new skill set that is a better fit for working outside of an office, then the good news is you’ve got a lot of options.
To begin, read FlexJobs’ article on 7 remote job categories with high growth in 2019. You can stay rest assured that those job categories are continuing to grow in 2020.
At the risk of sounding self-serving, we strongly encourage you to consider learning technical skills if you’re looking for a remote job. Not only do tech jobs account for four of the seven categories mentioned in FlexJobs’ article, but right now the need for people with the technical skills to help every aspect of our private and public sector adjust to our new coronavirus imposed reality is extremely large.
Here at Skillcrush we teach technical skills that can make you more in-demand on the remote job market, including:
- web development
- web design
- visual design
- ux design
- digital marketing
If you’re ready to explore tech jobs, take a look at these articles:
What is the BEST remote tech job?
Since so much of the workforce is going remote, there are a thousand different paths you can take to finding a remote job.
That said, if you’re looking for the highest paying jobs with a low barrier to entry, then we’ve got your answer: become a front end developer.
Front end developers are in incredibly high demand (over 1,000 jobs currently listed on FlexJobs) and, according to the job search site Indeed, they make on average over $100,000 per year. Click here to learn exactly what you need to know to become a front end developer this year: 13 Skills You Need to Become a Developer in 2020.
Now your next question is most likely: but where do I learn these skills, especially given the fact that all in-person education organizations are currently shut down? Luckily, there are many excellent places to learn technical skills online which are still accessible even if you’re under quarantine. To get you started, we teach all manner of tech skills here at Skillcrush (including front end development, of course), but we’ve also got a super comprehensive list of 80+ ways to learn to code for free online.
And if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for Skillcrush’s FREE Coding Camp. You’ll learn about a variety of tech skills including front end development, WordPress, and UX design.
More Resources on Learning Tech Skills
- 10 Tech Careers You Can Do Remotely in 2020
- 10 High-Paying Remote Tech Jobs
- 80+ Ways to Learn to Code for Free in 2020
- The Ultimate Guide to Coding for Beginners (Download)
- Exactly What You Need to Know to Become a Front End Developer in 2020
- Skillcrush Free Coding Camp (Free Course)
Free Online Video to Get You Started
A lot of people are stretched thin right now, especially parents and other caretakers. But if you’re at home wondering how to make it through weeks of social distancing without watching Netflix all day, you can use some of that time to educate yourself. Here is a collection of free online videos on getting started in tech:
- The Single Most Important Skill You Need to Succeed in Tech (Video)
- How To Get A Remote Job (Webinar)
- How to Land Your First Job in Tech (Webinar)
- How To Get Started In Front End Development (Webinar)
- The History of Women in Tech (Video)
We’re here to help! Need some one-on-one advice about getting the tech skills you need? We are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org.