Let’s Talk About…
Working From Home
With today’s technology and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay home, working remotely has become a big shift in many careers throughout the world. With so many job seekers looking for roles to keep them home, companies transitioning from office parks to home offices, and even schools, like American National University, operating solely through eLearning platforms accessible from wherever you are, working remotely has become a skill all its own. There are many positives to working from home, and even tips from ANU’s own employees that span the country that can make working from home more possible than ever before.
What are the benefits of working remotely?
- Flexibility – Working from home gives employees more flexibility than ever before. No longer do people have to wake up to begin a routine of looking presentable, quick breakfasts, taking their children to school or daycare, and long commutes. You can wake up and get to work, take your lunch at your leisure, and be available for more time without a commute. You can spend more time with your family, avoid using vacation days for appointments or sick children, and not worry about the bureaucracies of offices.
- No Extra expense – One complaint many people have when it comes to working in an office is the commute that they have to get to work. Not only that, but commuting is an expense that many people don’t want to have to deal with in gas or possibly tolls. Working from home not only cuts that commute, but it reduces the amount of gas and money you’d have to put into it to get to an office. On top of that, you no longer have to keep up with a professional wardrobe – sure, in meetings you need to look the part, but for the most part, you have the freedom to wear what you please.
- More Time at Home/with Family – Working from home means you get to spend time with your family rather than being away in an office. No longer will you have to kiss your spouse or children goodbye when you can spend the day just in the next room. And if your children need you, you can be home with them. Like current student, Amanda Reed, she pursued her education so that she can have the flexibility of a work from home job for her children: “my kids are all very active in sport and I don’t want to miss that, so with a work from home job, I have that flexibility.”
How does ANU prepare you to work from home?
When you attend ANU, you are already getting the experience of working from home through our 100% online programs. With our eLearning platform, you attend classes through Zoom conferencing and use Canvas to access your grades and assignments. All of your materials are either sent to you, like lab kits or accessible online, like your textbooks. And even though you are not alone in your education, as you have peers, instructors, and staff to help you on your path to your education, you are expected to complete all of your assignments for your classes alone. And that is a valuable skill to learn when you do not enter a school building every day – you have to focus on time management, prioritizing, and scheduling.
ANU alum, Lora Bernard, graduated in 2021. Not even a week after she graduated, she was offered a job at a law firm specializing in foreclosure. “The director of the law firm said that because I went to school online, that that made me more of an asset since it was a work from home position. She knew that I would be able to handle learning virtually,” Lora said in her interview with ANU. Not only did Lora receive her paralegal education with ANU, but she received the invaluable skill of working virtually rather than in-person. With the way technology is growing and many companies look to move to remote work, learning how to work individually than within an office is a skill that more career professionals need that ANU can give to students.
Tips from ANU staff about working from home:
While American National University students are learning virtually, staff and faculty normally work from home as well. Many departments work together despite remote operations and are able to do so for the students at ANU. Working from home is a skill all in its own, and a few of the staff have tips to create success.
Kelsie Kupiec, ANU’s Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, works remotely on our social media presence and connecting with students and those wanting to earn their higher education. To keep up with the always-changing social media platforms and needs of students, staff, and those interested in ANU, she utilizes this advice:
“My advice for working from home is to have a dedicated office space that is exactly what you need! This will look different for everyone but for me, it is an organized desk space with colorful decorations and pictures of those that I love! I always want my office space to be comfortable and inspiring, but also conducive to my productivity levels and initiative toward new projects. Find a way to make your office space filled with joy and it will show in your work ethic!”
For Andrea DiTonno, ANU’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, working from home allows her to connect with her employees and coworkers from across the nation. And that connection allows her to do her work without feeling alone. “Stay connected to people through email, instant messaging, and calls. Just because you are physically alone doesn’t mean you are supposed to do your tasks alone.” Andrea’s marketing team works on projects together and meet weekly to connect and work together, along with meeting each of her team members individually so that no member is working on anything alone.
Along with that, Andrea has several tips that she follows to keep her focus during the work day. She recommends that remote workers don’t indulge in things that could hinder their productivity. “Don’t develop habits that will ultimately distract you, such as watching TV while working,” she advises. Andrea also takes breaks throughout the day to rest her legs and her eyes. Sitting all day in front of a computer can lead to eye strain and even posture issues. She also utilizes sticky notes as reminders throughout her day. “I remember my tasks better when I write them down, sticky notes allow me to write things down quickly and come back to tasks when I have the time to delegate to them.”
At American National University, working from home is a skill that students learn from the very beginning. Though many schools struggled to transition to virtual learning from the recent pandemic, ANU thrived through our eLearning platforms. ANU students meet their professors, peers, and schoolwork through virtual means – which will only help them as more and more jobs move to remote operations. Many of our programs have remote work opportunities – such as medical billing and coding, paralegal, cybersecurity, and more. To learn more about our programs and how we prepare you to work from home, go to an.edu/elearning.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]