Remote Work: 5 Ways to Increase Your Expertise
June 04, 2020
As of June 1, 2020, nearly 51% of working Americans had reported working from home (The Harris Poll). With this transition comes incredible changes and challenges. Nearly 65% of remote workers have shared that their productivity levels increased during work at home—maybe because of lack of interruption from co-workers, no water-cooler small talk, or no commute time to and from the office. Whether you fall into these categories or not, since COVID-19 swept our nation, your day-to-day work life has likely pivoted in some capacity.
For me, a 27-year-old with no children working remotely in Nashville beside my husband, I have noticed an increase in free time. I don’t mean the opportunity to lay by the pool or take my dog down to the lake for an afternoon picnic—I am referring to time left over in my workday for non-billable work.
Because I am not traveling to the office, taking a one-hour lunch break, or stopping by the coffee stand to chat with a colleague, I have been able to increase my work efficiency and free up some time.
One of my pivots has been a deeper dive into professional development to help me be better prepared for a post-Coronavirus world. Here are a few things I have been doing to increase my expertise since quarantine began:
- Write blog posts and dedicate time to pitch our own content to local media outlets. Your city’s business journal or Chamber of Commerce is a great start;
- Dive into an industry-related book. I am alternating between “Building a Brand Story” by Donald Miller and “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss;
- Listen to podcasts, interviews, and sermons. I get some of my best ideas when I listen to topics outside my experience. It challenges me to think from a different lens and even explore new dialogue that could potentially benefit our clients;
- Take a MasterClass. My boss gifted me a subscription to MasterClass for Christmas last year, and I can’t get enough. I am currently listening to the class hosted by Robin Roberts on Effective and Authentic Communication—she’s a boss! But I’m also exploring classes outside my realm of expertise, such as Interior Design, the Art of Negotiation, and Mixology. With each lesson, I’m getting creative ideas for myself and new campaigns.
- Check out an online course. Many colleges and universities are offering them. Coursera.org has been a great tool to find topics related to my role. “Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content” is a great class by Professor Jonah Berger at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
There’s never been a news cycle like the one we are living in, and I have felt a sense of uncertainty like millions of Americans right now. But finding ways to channel your energy and attention, and add value to your company or family is a great way to ground yourself while we get through this pandemic together.
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