Working from Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Military and Veterans Edition
Millions of people across the world are working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak and reaping the benefits of saving money, being more productive and healthy.
Sure, working remotely sounds easy when they say all you need is a computer and a fast and reliable internet connection. But as we peel back the layers to look beyond the surface, you’ll see how the sudden movement into the telecommuting environment poses challenges for our military and veterans.
Remote Environment Frustrations
Social distancing or standing at least six feet apart has become the standard practice of life for civilians and military alike.
We’ve entered week three of the Coronavirus epidemic and many are trying to survive and maintain in the world of home-based work.
When a newly transitioned military member or veteran never had the opportunity to pursue a work from home situation such as freelancing or working with virtual companies, making the switch from driving into an office every day, seeing coworkers, and having office chat, brings a laundry list of frustrations.
For example, prior to COVID-19, communicating with someone on a project was as simple as walking over an office or desk.
This shift in normal corporate life forces our veterans and transitioning military to communicate through quick chat messages, email, and video calls. Virtual communication methods are a part of everyday life on social media but are unfamiliar in work environments.
With language barriers and the struggle to relay business messages online, chaos is created among teams and departments.
Meanwhile, stay home orders are extended until April 30, 2020, which causes more frustrations with communication and team collaborative software.
Cloud Based Collaborative Software Difficulties
Since more and more teams are becoming remote, it is important to make sure individuals are trained to collaborate in the cloud.
Lack of cloud-based software training is the primary issue surrounding the use of unique collaborative tools to stay connected while working from home.
Additionally, the fact that some employees are not accustomed to working independently brings forth another problem. Some people need a rigorous routine and schedule throughout their workday.
Below are some ways for military and veterans to combat the struggles of collaborating with coworkers and teammates from home base:
- Ensure everyone on the team is on the same page
- Set expectations
- Be transparent and open
- Set daily and weekly goals
- Give feedback
- Schedule times for phone calls to minimize distractions
- Take a moment to stop and read the email before pressing send
- Breathe and everything will be okay
If your company has incorporated virtual teamwork tools during this time, please take some time to learn the new software. Most tools have YouTube channels and provide step by step guides on how to use the software.
Because the team at Empire Resume cares about each of our military service members and veterans, we’re sharing a list of team collaboration tools to make your life easier, specifically for those of you whose employer is not using any type of communication software.
Simple collaboration tools that can be implemented into your workday right now include:
- One tool that can help bridge the gaps and breakdown in communication is a free app by the name of Voxer.
Voxer is a walkie talkie or push-to-talk app that provides voice communication for remote teams. The free, basic features are great for connecting one-on-one with coworkers and managers everywhere.
- Google and Outlook Tasks. Use your email provider’s tasks option to help you create a to-do list and stay on track. Create the task for yourself and mark it complete when you’re done.
This way, you’ll have a list of work to account for when your manager asks, “What did you complete this week?”
- Slack. Slack is a neat tool to bring everyone together. It organizes team conversations and creates a space where everyone can chat and bring their ideas to the table.
- Skype. Skype is still a free communication software that allows you to talk, chat, and collaborate from anywhere across the globe.
- Zoom. Zoom is great for web conferences and keeping everyone connected. You can chat, host meetings, share your screen and more.
The only hiccup is the 40-minute limit on meetings containing more than one person.
However, Zoom may have waived the time limit considering the impact the Coronavirus has on the economy.
- Google Hangouts. If you have a Gmail account, most people know Google Hangouts for its quick messaging capabilities.
But Google Hangouts has videoconferencing and file sharing capabilities too.
The tool also allows you to share your screen with teammates to boost productivity in work.
Now that you have some productive tools in place, we’ll leave you and our other veterans with a few events that have gone virtual to provide support during this time.
Virtual Events for Veterans
Because of the Coronavirus, many events and expos that veterans usually attend face-to-face are now being conducted online.
Below are a few organizations who are conducting online events and webinars for military, veterans, and their families:
- With You With Me
With You With Me is an organization founded by veterans for veterans that helps transitioning military start a new career in the Tech space.
Visit the event page for more information.
- Mo’s Heroes
Mo’s Heroes is a nonprofit organization that provides services to assist in reintegrating veterans, particularly homeless veterans, into meaningful employment with the labor force.
This nonprofit also gives great insight regarding benefits for veterans and disabled veterans. Watch their Facebook page for updates.
- Corporate Gray
Corporate Gray helps transitioning military personnel connect with employers in print, in person, and online.
Be sure to join them for their nationwide Virtual Military Friendly Job Fair on April 24, 2020 and visit their job fair page for more details.
- Veteran Recruiting
Veteran Recruiting connects military friendly employers, service members, veterans, and military spouses using a virtual recruitment center.
Stop by the career fair page for information on the virtual career fairs.
Always Be Ready Online with Empire Resume While Working from Home
Because many events are taking place online, it is crucial for transitioning military and veterans to be ready to extend a virtual handshake to potential anyone they meet.
Just think about it. You could be speaking to your potential employer or hiring manager while browsing social and professional networking sites like LinkedIn.
The most important stance you can take right now is making sure you are prepared for online interaction.
And, if you’re home looking for a job, you can complete the primary piece of the career search puzzle, whether online or in person, by having a well prepared and formatted resume and LinkedIn profile.
Empire Resume specializes in helping military veterans make the transition into the civilian workforce with our military to civilian resume writing services.
Don’t let the Coronavirus consume your life and leave you wondering what would’ve happened had you used your time wisely once society returns to normal.
Make the first step and contact us now to secure your next career opportunity.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.