• Meriem Belhiba

Survival Guide for Remote Work 2020

Unless you’re living in a cave, you’ll be aware of the importance of staying home and working remotely. Coronavirus is getting real. And, the situation is more serious than ever.



But, this is not a fear-mongering article about how likely you are to lose your job.


Fear is human. It’s a driving force. Once harnessed, it will be your source of inspiration and motivation.


Centuries ago, Shakespeare found himself locked in the waves of the plague. He found his muse there and brought to the world the most famous and liked tragedies:King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.





See? It’s all a matter of perspective.


And luckily enough, we’re not living in the 17th century to be as brave and hard-working as Shakespeare.


In 21th century, we have it all to cope with the situation and excel. Here is some practical advice on how to handle the situation like Shakespeare, or better.


Remote working: here is what you have to do from 9 to 6:


Don’t wear your pyjama:


If you’re dreaming for this moment of finally working from home, stop the daydreaming right now. Myth debunked: you can’t work wearing your pajamas and acting like you’re not working. It’s not bedtime. Dress casually, but never manipulate your brain into thinking it’s time for an extra nap.


Keep your workspace tidy:


Oh guys! You still think that the messier your desk looks the busier you seem to people? Wake up! You’re not that busy. You’ve just been binge watching Netflix throughout the weekend and having all your snacks all over the place. Declutter your desk and keep it neat to start working. The more you organize your desk, the more you are able to prioritize and get things done quickly and efficiently.


Say bye to your BED and FRIDGE:


See your cozy bed over there? It’s so tempting! You keep saying “why not working in bed?” or “let me get a short nap to replenish my energy!” Don’t even sneak a look at it. Shut your brain. And, LEAVE your room. You need to do this unless you want to get fired.

While at home, you’re tempted by either your bed or fridge. We’ve been there. And, believe us you need to keep them both away. Designate a work space that looks like one and make sure you map some spatial boundaries.


It’s simple: work where you work; Sleep where you sleep; and eat where you eat.


Make it clear to your family: You’re at work:


If you’re not independent, things can be a little bit complicated. Families tend to misunderstand what working remotely really means. So, you need to make it clear to your family. You’re not on vacation. You’re working.


You can create signals like wearing your headphones or closing the door. Once you set the spatial boundaries we talked about earlier, it will be easier for them to understand and respect your space.


Get things done:


It’s easy to get distracted when you’re not tightly supervised. But, you’re a grown-up. Think of all the bills you have to pay. Take your work as seriously as you do when you’re at the office.


Set milestones to each project and monitor your progress. It depends on a lot of errors and trial. But, you’re not alone. You have a team with you. You can get inspired and motivated by your team members.



Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash


Working from home: You’re ultimate toolkit:


You’re not Shakespeare, remember? You live in an era where technology has revolutionized the way we live, work and collaborate with each other. So, you need to get your the right equipment and look for the right apps.


Hardware for remote work:


It’s counterintuitive to work without having your physical material. But giving the fact that you were caught unprepared by the sweeping spread of the coronavirus, you shouldn’t underestimate its importance.

You will need the following for a normal workday:

  • A laptop

  • Stable internet network

  • A microphone to make long phone calls easier

  • Headphone to shut the noise down

  • A notebook and a pen for an effective brainstorming and ideation

  • A suitable webcam

  • A comfortable chair

This is basically what you need to get your work done normally.


Software for remote work:

Still haven’t automatized your work yet? Corona lesson learnt, right?

If there is good coming from this bad, companies and teams have learnt that they were functioning wrong.

There are plenty of apps and cloud-based software that can kick off your productivity and agility. And, it’s high time to adopt them.


Could Solutions:


The best-in-class solutions available now are Microsoft’s. There is no secret that Microsoft has set the bar too high for other solutions. Our favorite is Microsoft Office 365. And, here is why:

  • Full access: You can store everything you need in one specific document and share it with your team members.

  • Real-Time collaboration: You can share, edit and collaborate with your team member in real time using SharePoint.

  • Effective communication: You can communicate with your team without quitting the platform. Microsoft Office 365 gives you the ability to host video conferences with up to 250 at once.



Productivity apps:


When you’re working at home, wasting time is the ultimate pitfall. With all the anxiety and stress we’re undergoing because of the pandemic, get yourself together and keep your spirits up are not given. So, you need to resort to some free options to keep your work functioning normally and prouve your accountability to your employer.

Here are some of our picks:

  • Meistertask: Task management tool you can use to prove to your employer that you’re keeping their business running. It makes it easy for you to prioritize your tasks and track your progress on each one.

  • Time Planner: To keep yourself on track and stop diverting from task to task, schedule each task and give it an estimated time. Once time comes for you to finish a task or start another, you will be notified.

  • My Minutes: Time is gold. And, you need to cut off all the distractions and track your task timing. This app encourages you to stick to your estimated time for each time. Playing a game with you, it will give you a nudge whenever you’re out of time and a virtual pat on the back when your goals are accomplished.

  • Zoom: The free version is quite limited. But it does a great job for you to host one-to-one meetings and share your screen with your team whenever you feel stuck at something.

  • The Mindfulness: Your mental health is as important as having your work done. In this time of fear, you need to embrace some good habits and learn how to meditate. Refresh your brain and replenish your energy.


Niche-specific tools:


Whatever your niche is, there are apps tailored to meet your needs. Agility is the buzzword now. When everyone is on their nerves, you need to be quick, agile and efficient.


We don’t know how things function in your sector, but we are sure if you’re into digital marketing the struggle is real. Clients are freaking out. Your boss or manager has a blurred vision on what the future holds.


Unfortunately, you should prove your accountability to all of them. So here are some tools that can get you covered:


  • KPEIZ: Understand the value of your facebook and instagram content and make informed decisions in your social media calendar. Make every step you take based on data so your clients can understand the logic behind your decisions. If you’re like all of us struggling with time-consuming report crafting, don’t let your clients wait for so long. You can download your report in less than a minute. This will infuse your client with satisfaction.

  • Content Studio: This tool makes it easy for you to manage two social media accounts in their trial version. You can schedule your posts and declutter this time-consuming task from your to-do list.

  • The Brand Grader: In this time of crises, you need to monitor your client’s reputation. You don’t want to get things out of your hand with people staying at home and keeping an eye on everything you do online. Respond to your audience’s comments in a short time and be sure to clear up any misunderstanding.


Think we have it all covered, right?




But before saying bye, don’t forget to be safe and stick to safety rules and precautions.



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