At Asian Efficiency we help people become more productive at work and in life. Millions of people have now transitioned to working from home and are struggling to get anything meaningful done. For many of them, it’s their first time working from home which is challenging in itself let alone with the pandemic going on at the same time.
While we’ve written about how to stay productive during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s another thing happening that’s making it even harder to stay productive.
Recently, we had over 3.3 million unemployment claims in the United States in one week. That is the highest number of initial jobless claims in history since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967. To put that in perspective, the highest average for a week previously was 695,000 in 1982. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic we see a lot of businesses get shut down and people furloughed.
Credit: Business Insider
When you’re concerned about losing your job it’s even harder to get focused. Last week I was talking to my friend Mel and she works as an accountant for a big luxury hotel chain. She told me all of her coworkers got furloughed and that she was afraid that she could lose her job anytime. With all the stress and uncertainty going on it has taken a major toll on her health, sleep, and productivity.
Three weeks earlier, she declined multiple job offers from big companies in different industries because she loved her employer and co-workers. “Thanh, I wished I had taken one of those offers because I could be working from home and still be working just fine without worries.”
Three days later, Mel got a letter that she was let go.
That’s just one of many stories I’ve heard from friends. The scary part is that this might just be the beginning as economists are predicting a 32% unemployment rate by the end of next quarter. So what can you do to prepare? How can you stay productive during these uncertain times?
A Major Shift in The Way We Work
It’s not all doom and gloom. One of the best things the pandemic has given us is that the work from home bubble has finally popped.
Back in 2009 when I started working from home, it was a novice concept. Between 2009 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. As of early 2020, that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the US population. With the pandemic, almost all people are now working from home because there is no other option.
However, many industries were resistant to change before the pandemic. There are so many industries where companies and people could have done their work remotely but resisted the change. Industries such as financial planners, medicine, law, dieticians, real estate, and the list go on. They could have done their work from home and still worked with their clients. Yet they didn’t.
Thanks to the pandemic everyone was forced to work from home and this also forced industries to adapt. They had no choice but to figure out a way to make a living. The veil has been dropped and now millions of people have had a taste of what the benefits are working from home. No more long commutes, a flexible schedule, fewer distractions…just to name a few.
The pandemic will be over at some point (hopefully sooner than later) and we’ll all go back to our “normal” lives. However, this pandemic will give many companies and people a new perspective on what a “client meeting” now looks like. Previously, it would have been meeting in an office. Today? It’s virtual. After the pandemic? It will likely be a combination of both. Financial planners can meet clients on a video conference call. Doctors can use telemedicine to diagnose patients without needing an office. The world will change and people will adapt to those new standards. We won’t completely eliminate in-person offices and visits but the time savings, convenience, and effectiveness of remote work will give many of us options that didn’t seem viable before.
So what does this mean for you?
In this new economy where working remotely is going to become a new skill, the people that are going to be in the highest demand will be those who will be productive working from home. As we’re entering a new recession, companies will be cutting expenses, letting people go, and go remote. Some will go fully remote and many will introduce work from home days for their people to save costs and increase productivity.
While the pandemic affected us in negative ways, it was a blessing for the “work from home” movement. Post-pandemic we will live in a new world and economy where working from home will become widely accepted.
But here’s the kicker: most people don’t know how to be productive working from home.
They like the idea but struggle with getting things done at home. Just check in with yourself here. Have you found it difficult to get work done at home?
When we ran a survey of the Asian Efficiency audience, many who started working from home for the first time and struggled. Even though they knew about Asian Efficiency strategies, they still struggled! Imagine everyone else who doesn’t know about Asian Efficiency…they don’t stand a chance to be productive at home.
It’s not their fault. No one has ever shown them how to be productive at home. Nobody told them the setup they need at home to be productive. Right now, there’s no resource or training for this. That’s about to change because we’re going to release a Work From Home training series that will help people be productive working from home in early May.
I’ve been working from home since 2009 and Asian Efficiency is a 100% remote company. Everyone except one person had never worked remotely before until they started working at Asian Efficiency (the one exception is Brooks, my co-host of The Productivity Show). I’ve trained single moms, corporate workers, entrepreneurs and a wide range of people to be productive working from home over the years and here’s what I discovered: everyone can be productive working from home.
Yes, everyone can be productive working from home. It’s something everyone can get used to. Just think about the first time when you started working in an office setting. You were young, new to working in this type of environment, and eventually figured out how to get things done. It might have taken you a few weeks or months before you found your rhythm but eventually you got used to it.
If you ever switched careers, departments or jobs you’ve experienced the same feeling. You enter new territory and it takes a bit getting used to but eventually, you adapt and get stuff done. Usually, within a few weeks, you feel comfortable and can thrive.
Working from home is no different! You will feel out of your element at first because it’s new but if you do it long enough you’ll figure it out too. For some that might take a few weeks or months but right now you don’t have time to waste. As companies are laying off people and we’re entering a recession, you can’t afford to waste any time on “figuring out this work from home thing”.
That’s why we’re hosting a training to show you everything you need to get set up at home, the perfect schedule for working from home, and how to focus at home (even if you have kids and another person living with you). This training, which is called “How to be productive working from home (without going crazy)” will be live and brand new.
Spots are limited and only available during this time. You don’t want to miss this training.
In this new economy, the ones that will thrive and succeed are people who can be productive working from home. This is the time to prepare yourself and get a competitive edge above everyone else.