Mister Mobility has worked remotely for over a decade. He provides some working from home tips, with a specific focus on jobs you can do from your phone. Why not? After all, this is 2020, and 3.5 billion people own a smartphone already.
If ever there was any time to revisit the subject of working remotely, it is now. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and countries on lockdown, being able to work remotely – from home or from anywhere else – is something you should consider.
As someone who has worked remotely all my adult life – with much of the work done on my smartphone – I have plenty of experience in this field and have some insights to share. My obsession with seeing how productive I could be using mobile technology led me down this path that has been richly rewarding.
In the rest of this article, I list out the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, as well as tell a few stories from years of using my smartphone as a work tool, and trust that you will not only be inspired, but also get ideas of how to stay productive working from home or from anywhere else outside of the office for that matter.
Advantages Of Working From Home
- Perhaps the most obvious benefit of working from home, if you live in a busy city, is the saving on money and time from not having to commute. Beyond cash and time, you also experience much lower stress levels. Commuting in a busy city is stressful and harmful to both physical and mental health. Me not having to spend 3 hours on the road from home to work every morning and back has been of huge benefit to my health. I imagine that everybody else benefits from my working from home too – other road users and the city itself. If myself and other work-from-home persons were on the road, the traffic and all its consequent problrms would be worse. Not having to commute daily also reduces security risks of being stuck in traffic.
- Operating costs are much lower too. As an entrepreneur, not having to rent an office, furnish, equip, and power it separately is a huge saving on operational costs. While some of the costs still have to be met e.g. Internet access and power, running those at home means the home front benefits from them too – a case of killing multiple birds with one stone.
- Are there any benefits to the family? Yes; there are. As a young father of two, I was able to spend more time with our children. I am at home and involved with them up till they leave for school in the morning, and I am at home when they return from school. We had plenty of bonding time, as well as time to attend to their school work and other issues.
- One benefit of working from home that is not immediately obvious is the cost saving from not having to build a large office wardrobe. My expenses of clothing items have been the bare minimum for years.
Problems And Disadvantages Of Working From Home
- The most significant problem with working from home is a person thing related to discipline and productivity. People who lack personal discipline and constantly need to be supervised will experience lower productivity. As such, a framework for supervision has to be in place. If you are self-employed, however, that is all on you: you either develop discipline or your work, customers, and your income suffer.
- Depending on what country you are resident in, power supply may be a problem. In places where public power supply is a problem, remote workers have to run a power generating set or some alternative power system to be able to work effectively. The availability of laptops, tablets and smartphones have helped me deal with this challenge of working from home, as their batteries last a while.
- Internet access could be another challenge, depending on your location, At an office building, quality of Internet access can be more easilly influenced. Backup connections can also be easilly provided. When people work from home, however, they have to deal with the idiosyncracies of whatever mobile network or ISP is available at their location. I have stories of different times that I had to subscribe to multiple Internet bundles just to be able to get work done.
- Lastly, while working from home provies me a sane environment to operate from, sometimes, I miss the company of other human beings – the social touch. I am mostly a loner, but there are times when I need to be around humans. I solved that problem by scheduling times to go to the cinema to see a movie, to go dance, or just to spend time with friends at some other public space.
Tasks You Can Carry Out On Your Phone While Working From Home
In addition to having a laptop to work with, you will quickly find that being able to carry out certain tasks quickly on your smartphone is a bonus. Billions of people around the world own a smartphone. The important question now is, What tasks can you do from your mobile phone?
Social Media Management
This one is easy; right? Not everyone is on social media yet, but if you are reading this article, it is likely that you are already or that you have considered getting on it. Whether it is a Twitter account, a Facebook business page, or an Instagram handle that you own or wish to run, you do not need to be tied to an office desk to do so.
This is easilly one of the easiest tasks anyone can accomplish while working from home. Most social networks are primarilly mobile anyway. That means the default mode of using them is through our smartphones. Just install the app, sign in, and start uploading your thoughts and images.
Are there any business opportunities in social media? Tons of them. You can use social media to sell items. For example, sales of clothes and fashion items may be your business. One good way to market your goods these days is via social media. If you offer services too e.g. consulting, training, etc, running one or more social media accounts is a good way to put yourself out there and attract the clients and customers you need.
If you are really good at using social media, you can try out being a social media manager and manage social media accounts for other businesses. And should you have what it takes, you can be a social media marketer, helping retailers and service providers market their products and services for a fee.
Writing And Blogging
Whatever kind of writing you do, you can do it from your phone. All you need is a an app that lets you write and preferably saves it to the cloud (i.e. save it online so you can access it anywhere and on any platform). For example, you can install Google Docs or Microsoft Word on your phone. My preference is the former.
If you write for a blog, depending on the software the blog runs, you will need an app like WordPress or Blogger. I have used the WordPress app on and off for years, and I can tell you that it is a comprehensive app. The beautiful thing is that, should you find the apps unfamiliar to use and difficult to adapt to, you can also access most of these tools via your smartphone’s web browser.
Did you know that you can sign documents on your smartphone? Should you ever need to sign a document urgently while working from home, this is one of the numerous tasks you do from your phone. There are quite a handful of apps that let you do it. Adobe Acrobat Reader: PDF Viewer, Editor & Creator is one of them. You can download it to your Android device from HERE. If you do not like it, run a search for “sign document” in your app store.
When I mention image editing, i am not just refering to slapping a filter on a photo and uploading it. I mean, more serious image editing, and that includes cropping, resizing, fitting, adding a watermark, and adding text to images.
If you need to carry out this level of image editing on your phone, it is very p;ossible, as I have been doing so for years. My favourite app is Photo Editor by macgyver, because it gets the job done nicely. You can download it HERE. Another option is Photoshop Express Photo Editor (download from the Apple Store HERE).
Video is now more popular than ever before and while working from home, you might have the need to crop, trim, resize, or edit a video file in some other ways. Not to worry; these are all things that can be done from your phone right in the comfort of your home or of a vehicle. My go-to video editing app is YouCut. It is a comprehensive video editing tool made by the same company behind InShot Video Editor, which is available for Android and for iPhone as well. You can download YouCut Video Editor HERE.
More Things You Can Do From Your Phone While Working From Home
There a lot more tasks you can accomplish from your phone. Smartphones have become much more powerful than they used to be. In some cases, the top modern smartphones are more powerful than some of the PCs we used just a few years ago.
Working from home means that you are absent from the office. Being able to monitor your office premises would be nice; yes? Of course, this is another activity that you can do from your phone as well. All you need is a strong Internet connection and CCTV cameras at the office premises.
Working from home also means that you have to put measures in place so you have to deal with less distractions e.g. like having to get up to go see who is at the gate. What you need is a Smart Security Doorbell. Connected to your smartphone, it allows you see who is at the door or gate when they press the doorbell, and even converse with them.
Some of these smart door bells can even detect movement and alert you right away. They are available from as low as $45 and can cost much more, depending on the configuration. The cool factor is that you can monitor your entrance and respond to situations from your phone, regardless of where you are.
If you are going to be working from home, you will need WiFi Internet. Did you know that many routers and Mifi devices can be controlled and administered from a mobile app on your smartphone? Yes; you can turn on, disable, and reboot the Wifi, block and allow specific users, alongside other tasks. All of these you can do from your phone as well.
Anyone who is involved in work will need to print documents at one point or the other. Having a document on your smartphone is no longer a problem. Many modern printers come with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity so you can print directly from your phone. Working from home does not mean you cannot print out and send documents.
Lastly, I do not need to go into details about doing email from your phone. Email management is one of the most common things done on smartphones today. In addition to creating, sending and receiving email, you can attach files, schedule emails, and collaborate using email tools.
What of online research? The web browser on your smartphone is as competent as that on your PC. It gets the job done. If you have the skills to search out information on the Web, you can do that from your phone as well as you can from a desktop PC.
This article is not exhaustive, as there are so many other little tasks that you can carry out from your phone while working from home. The bottomline is that your smartphone, be it an Apple iPhone or an Android phone, is a super productivity tool and you should take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to do all you can with it.
Lastly, if you run a business that transitting staff from a regular commute to a working from home situation and need assistance getting all set, give me a buzz. I specialise in helping teams and individuals learn the web, mobile, and digital tools that help them be more productive remotely. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.
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