"How To Keep Working From Home After COVID-19"

Forbes.com

Posted May 1, 2020 by Mark Perna

If you love your new work-from-home life, here are four ways to keep it going. Mark’s article, “How To Keep Working From Home After COVID-19,” published at Forbes.com on May 1, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is thrusting millions of Americans into working remotely—many for the first time. If you’re one of those newly minted remote workers, you might be discovering, perhaps much to your surprise, that working from home is a refreshing change from the usual office grind.

Sure, now and then, working from home may be less than ideal. But it provides some really great perks, too. With no commute, you can enjoy a little newfound time, which for the sleep deprived, might mean some extra shut-eye. Then there’s the delightful dearth of office interruptions and distractions. (Who knew you could get so much more done?) To say nothing of cozier environs and, depending on your role or company culture, added freedom and flexibility. And that’s just for starters.

So if you find yourself wishing all those “home office” perks could last, you’re in luck. Experts at Global Workplace Analytics estimate that, by the end of 2021, up to 30% of the U.S. workforce will be working from home multiple days a week—a seismic shift considering that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, just 3.6% of the workforce were working remotely half-time or more.

Still, once the pandemic wanes in intensity, alongside society and the economy returning to some semblance of normal, your employer might resist the idea of you working remotely. And that means it’s up to you to make a case for why remote work will help you—and the company. Here are four ways to start:

  • Talk about business and financial gains. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a typical employer can save about $11,000 a year for every employee who works remotely half of the time. (Not to mention that those same workers can personally save up to $4,000 a year—a sweet “bonus” by any measure.)
  • Make this time a proving ground. This isn’t a staycation. It’s a moment to shine. Find ways to work around your responsibilities at home to show that you are fully engaged not just during the workday, but also during evenings and weekends when business priorities may require it. In thinking of this period as a proving ground—and exceeding expectations early and often—you’re bound to win your boss’s attention.
  • Keep it professional. Yes, wearing sweats, pj’s or workout clothes is a perk of working from home. But if your job requires video meetings, make it a point to look professional—at least, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “from the waist up.” Also, keep in mind that a professional appearance is about more than how you look. It’s also about organizing your workspace, wherever it may be in your home, so it appears serious and shipshape. That will help your focus and productivity, too.
  • Accentuate the positive. Working from home isn’t perfect. But whether you’re dealing with stir-crazy kids, a pack of rambunctious dogs, the outrageously noisy upstairs neighbor or nonstop calls and texts from your mother, keep those troubles or frustrations to yourself, especially when communicating with your boss and other higher-ups. By exuding a positive attitude, even when the pressure is on, you’ll show that you can handle working remotely with class, cool, and complete professionalism.
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In a time when public health and social restrictions are tight, working from home can create its own unexpected freedoms. Click To Tweet

In a time when public health and social restrictions are tight, working from home can create its own unexpected freedoms. If you want to keep your job remote even after the coronavirus threat has abated, this is your big chance. Don’t waste this opportunity to prove that you can be just as productive at home—maybe, even more so.

Read at Forbes.com


About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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