Guest post by Michelle Laurey
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world earlier this year, our lives have changed overnight. Countries have gone on lockdown, ordering their citizens to stay at home, hoping to flatten the curve.
Individuals the world over have had to cope with social isolation we haven’t seen before. And, several businesses, like aviation and tourism, have had to deal with plummeting demand and necessary downsizing.
However, even though it seems that the world has been coming to a temporary halt, people still need to get paid, and the economy needs to keep moving, albeit at a slower pace.
Consequently, countless companies have had their employees work remotely, carrying out their daily tasks from the comfort of their own home.
With that said, many employers have been asking themselves which business operations can be done remotely and which can’t.
And, while technology has made communication and collaboration easier than ever, the fact remains that not all operations have an easy time crossing the threshold from the office to our homes.
So, let’s look at a few operations that can be carried out at home:
Four business operations you can do at home
Coding and IT
Coding doesn’t rely on human interactions as much as other operations might. Also, regarding project management, there are several applications that can help with agile processes, increasing the quality of the end-product, and minimizing the risks taken on by the company.
Companies that don’t operate within the tech sector usually outsource any tech-related projects to third-party companies. Companies that do operate within the tech sector probably have several remote workers on payroll already.
Here are a few of the jobs in coding and IT that we can do at home:
Front-end, Back-end, and Web developer
Every website has a front-end and a back-end. Front-end developers specialize in developing the aspects that you see and interact with, which includes the text, the buttons, and the icons that keep jumping up and down. Back-end developers manage the parts you don’t see yet power the whole thing. As for web developers, they write the code for both ends of a site.
Python developers are versatile creatures, making them highly in-demand. Aside from building web applications, they can create data visualizations and AI engines, valuable tools for scientific researchers and finance professionals.
Although marketing is a creative endeavor that thrives on collaboration between various individuals, several marketers can perform their jobs from the comfort of their living room couch, thanks to the internet.
After all, with the internet came digital marketing, a valuable asset in many a company’s arsenal. And, since most of the interactions involved in digital marketing happen online, many marketers need only a computer to get their job done.
Here are a few jobs within your marketing department that you can safely have done from home:
There are several different types of content writers. Some specialize in writing for blogs and websites, helping them increase the number of organic visitors who come to the site.
Other content writers have a more creative function where they write scripts, sketches, and other smart material that is supposed to engage the end consumer.
Still, others write your site’s copy, which should not only help you increase your conversions but should also match the voice of your brand.
Any company that wishes to stay ahead of the competition needs to keep a close eye on the consumer and keep up with the latest trends. For this to happen, companies employ marketing analysts, individuals who have their hands on the pulse of the market.
Most analysts can work from home as most of the information they use to make their conclusion is either available online or can be uploaded there.
In any company, there are several individuals whose sole job is to make life easier for everybody else. These are your assistants, your secretaries, and your customer support agents, and they are the unsung heroes helping the company run its day-to-day operations.
The good news is that most of these functions can be carried out from home:
Customer service agents
For several companies, customer satisfaction is an integral component of success. Ergo, these companies hire employees to handle customer complaints, requests, and general comments.
This partially stems from how marketing has changed from shouting at the customer to having constructive conversations with them and giving weight to their voice.
The good news is that, to be a customer service agent, a person only needs a computer with an internet connection and a working phone.
A virtual assistant is just like an assistant, except that they do their job remotely. With that said, a virtual assistant can make phone calls, reply to emails, schedule appointments, and research relevant information.
From accounting and bookkeeping to budgeting and forecasting, almost any company needs to carry out critical financial operations to know where it is and where it is going; after all, if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it.
Since most of these tasks involve shuffling numbers, you don’t have to be at an office to do that.
Let’s take a look at a few of the many finance jobs that can be carried out at home:
An accountant has to make sure that a company’s financial documents are both accurate and comprehensive. After all, these documents aren’t only used by the company itself; outside stakeholders, including investors and auditors, rely on them to assess the company and its financial health.
Additionally, accountants can offer advice to their clients based on the numbers they see.
Many companies have to invest their own assets. For instance, insurance companies can resort to certain financial tools to mitigate the risk they are exposing themselves to. Ergo, these companies need financial analysts who can help with this role and who can highlight unique investment opportunities that other companies might be missing.
Being prepared is key
To better work from home, employees need to make the necessary preparations. It would be nice if employees already had all the equipment necessary to perform their work tasks from home.
Seeing that only three percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home in 2017 at least half the time, the chances that the majority of the current workforce having all of the necessary work-from-home equipment to complete their tasks is very slim.
The most basic thing they will need is the necessary hardware and software, and they also need to keep their hardware operating at top efficiency; otherwise, these remote employees might struggle when it comes to being productive.
Another thing that employees will invariably suffer from is the lack of social interactions, as well as a prevailing sense of uncertainty about the future.
As their employer or manager, try to periodically organize virtual meetings and group get-togethers. Discus common pain points about working from home, and see how you can overcome some of them together.
If you’ve already considered delegating some of your business aspects to remote workers, this might be your chance to learn. While at this point it’s difficult to say for how long remote and work from home will be a necessity, it pays to collect valuable insights for the future.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.