by Shlomit Ben-Michael

Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, the internet has been abuzz with articles on how to master the art of working remotely during this “new normal” in which so many people all over the world have set up a home office.

As the NBN employment advisor for Olim in the North, the reality of virtual work is a familiar one. The Olim that I work with are among the many thousands of professionals in the Galilee and Golan who live far from urban centers and have chosen to either commute or work remotely. I noticed that people found creative home-based employment options that work for them, way before coronavirus hit the scene.

Here are some examples:

  • A nurse providing phone advice to patients in the US for a medical care provider
  • A former real estate agent doing phone sales for a US-based insurance company
  • A graphic designer for a tourism website
  • Programmers working for Israel and US-based companies
  • Teaching English to Chinese students online

There are many more virtual-employment opportunities! And of course, this list doesn’t include the many self-employed writers, lawyers, therapists, accountants and entrepreneurs who run their own businesses.

Today, many of us don’t even have a choice – many of us are “stuck” at home, working remotely for the first time.

I asked my friend, Tamara Klinger-Levi who runs the Virtual Water Cooler Facebook Group to send me her top tips for working at home:

  1. Make a List: Start every morning with a list of tasks you need to complete. If you don’t finish everything on the list start the next day’s list with these items first.
  2. Stay healthy: Make sure your chair is the best one in the house – you need to remember that your back is one of your greatest assets. Take breaks! Remember to get up and stretch every hour or so. (My addition: Make a vegetable/fruit platter every morning so when you are snacking, it’s on a carrot, celery or apple.)
  3. Sharpen your skills: Take time each day to explore new technologies, learn a new internet skill and take tutorials if you need them.
  4. Join a virtual community- especially in your profession: There are thousands of people just like you who are working from home. A community will help you more than you realize!
  5. Know when to leave the office: Close your computer and cover your work area when you are not working – out of sight, out of mind. Your family needs you.

Join Tamara’s group if you want more tips, ideas and a supportive network to get through this challenging time!

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