Working Online: fears, tools, and experience

Working Online: fears, tools, and experience

I’ve been teaching English for 19 years already, actually since my 14 y.o. My first students are successful adults now, many of them are also connected with foreign languages :). Anyway, my first online experience dates back to 2010 when I became a part of an international IT company. In no time, I realized that it was a great idea to switch my indoor private lessons to online ones!

The transition was challenging and my task was to show students all the opportunities the online learning offers. Those who were adventurous joined my path. Summer 2013 was experimental as many students couldn’t manage their time to reach my house (because their schedule was tight, because of the weather, or they had a lot of other extra activities), and here I used the right moment to tempt them with my English class online. They appreciated our new online mode. My next switch was to shorten the lesson time to 50 mins as 60 mins were not energetically beneficial (at least for teens + I wanted to find space for more students).

Anyway, tutoring is not permanent, finally, further searching my way, in 2016 I found Skyeng where I am provided with students and projects without any necessity to search for extra earning elsewhere. I strongly believe that online is not future, it’s already our cozy present.

Difficulties in working online? Is it worth working online or offline?

I’d like to share here my observation, pondering, fears, tools, and experience concerning the topic.  Here is my TOP-8 List:

1. ATTITUDE: remote work is also work likewise any offline activity.  Your atmosphere makes up your positive attitude, hence try to draw a line between your work and home. First, it would be great to have a separate study or room for work, or at least, your own working space. For me, my study is my office with all necessary stationery and tiny things I need.

Hint: I’ve realized recently how the fresh air matters, so nowadays I always try to let some air in when I have long hours of work.

2. CLOTHES: tastes differ. I prefer a casual official style as it makes me feel organized and my students feel disciplined. Why? I am sure the right make-up and outfit are just nice add-ons to your image.

3. SCHEDULE: the question of time-management should go first wherever you work and whatever you do. Well, honestly speaking, I am constantly fitting and experimenting with my schedule. Nowadays, being so busy, I prefer to have spaces between working activities for sport, lunch breaks, or anything else. Working online is being in a closed space, therefore, to feel energy and zest to teaching/working, you need to ladle those positive vibes somewhere. That’s why creating your in-between routines could influence you and your working mood for good. You may think that it’s worth working non-stop and finish your work earlier but it’s an illusion I’ve had before. They say, we have to always think of how to restore energy and it’s clear that a well-balanced schedule is a key. At the moment, there are a lot of apps, planners, calendars of time-management that can help you monitor and remind about events.

4. MEDITATION: when I say meditation, I don’t mean only a professional meditating practice that can help you restore and fulfill your energy deposits. I’ve been meditating professionally since 13 and know for sure it helped and helps to cover long working hours and cope with fatigue. If you are not a big fan of such eastern things, just find some time before, during, or after your working sessions to enrich yourself with energy or get rid of tiredness. Serenity will help you much to open your mind and think creatively.

5. TIME AWAY: time is not only money, time is life. Longman defines it as something you measure in minutes and hours. For me, it’s more than a simple clock, this is the time off when you can distract from work, let yourself some space for relaxing, pondering, doing your favorite hobby,  or just walking with your family, this is the so-called switch between activities we all need from time to time. Time away means no messengers, no chats, no emails, no social networks, no smartphones, no laptops, or computers. It’s obviously the time for DIY things, painting, sport, cooking, gardening –  something that will help you float and enjoy the process.

6. DREAMWORK: to have a lot of opportunities to live and work happily, you need to be on the go and find your right place of work. The place where you’ll organize and manage your working processes yourself, in your own way and pace, taking into account all the aspects of your busy life. Skyeng provides employees with a flexitime schedule so that they could mix business and pleasure.

7. KILL MONOTONY: sooner or later,  everyone comes across with this feeling. Not to suffer much, the best way is to be involved in various online projects, so you could compensate a temporary emotion for another activity.

8. COLLABORATION: online work gives us more ways to collaborate with colleagues. You can always keep your CPD time-table busy and renewed being engaged in all on-going webinars, seminars, workshops, lectures held online all over the world.

It’s up to you to make the right decision not to feel burnout, deadlines, fatigue, or something of the sort,  but always create your fruitful working space online!

When the lights went down and you continue teaching online (December, 2018)

Please share below what fears or challenges working online you encounter.

Анастасия Губаренко

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