Working remotely sounds like a dream situation. You get to work at home in your pj’s, travel while working or work at your favourite cafe. You don’t have to wear a specific uniform or sit at your desk all day or be constantly interrupted by your co-workers. You can set up your environment to suit you and live the dream life. All these things are awesome and can make you feel great but before transitioning to the remote lifestyle, you will need to consider all angles.
7 Advantages of Working Remotely
- Less time commuting. Commuting can be a very tiring and stressful experience especially for persons using public transportation. Additionally, no one likes to be stuck in traffic or deal with the hassle of waiting for transportation and navigating through persons on a daily basis.
- Saves money. Working from home means you spend less money on commuting to and from work and going out to get lunch. You also do not have to spend money to find something to eat or pay for delivery for your lunch. You have time at home to prepare healthy meals for yourself.
- Work-Life Balance. Now that you no longer have to worry about rushing into the office and contending with traffic and transportation, you can use your time towards other areas of your life. You can enjoy your morning routine and schedule your time so that you have enough space to accomplish work obligations, engage in family activities, take care of household chores and enjoy your leisure time.
- Increased productivity. Once you have found your rhythm with this new remote lifestyle and established a suitable schedule, remote work can lead to increased productivity. You have longer stretches of uninterrupted time to focus on the tasks at hand. You can also design your environment to help keep you focused and motivated.
- More autonomy and increased job satisfaction. Working within your company’s guidelines, you have the ability to set your own times and tackle tasks without constant management. You are able to get creative with your time, environment and tasks. Having more say in our day-to-day work activities increases a sense of well-being and makes us feels valued leading to greater job satisfaction.
- Higher work retention. When employees feel empowered and valued they are more likely to stay with their employers. Being trusted to work remotely, having the authority to design your own schedule and the freedom to choose how to complete tasks is greatly appreciated by employees. The main thing is that they complete the tasks on time and well.
- Location independence. The option to work remotely means that we are no longer restricted by where we live. You can work a job from another state or country without much difficulty. There is no need to relocate and you do not have to miss out on great opportunities because of the distance. The advance of technology has made us a globalised world that can now connect with persons thousands of miles away with minimal challenges.
7 Challenges of Remote Work
- You may feel isolated. It can be nice not having to deal with interruptions from our fellow co-workers but working remotely can leave us feeling left out. We miss out on the banter and human connection that come from working in an office. However, you can use apps like Slack or Zoom to keep connected and in the loop but it is not the same as face-to-face spontaneous chatter.
- Unrealistic expectations. Employers might expect you to finish faster and always on call because you have more time to focus with no interruptions. However, this is simply not so since most of us reside with others and might have kids at home. Therefore, employers and employees need to communicate and set boundaries and state expectations up front to avoid any issues.
- Loneliness can get the best of you. As a remote worker, most of your day will be spent alone, if you are single, with little to no interaction with others unless you are going out to socialise. Traditional work provides us with a salary and a place to engage with others in-person. Spending the majority of your day alone can get very lonely, boring and depressing. It is important to make time to connect with friends and family members outside of work.
- Increased distractions. Despite being able to tailor your work-life balance, many people still find it difficult not having a clear differentiation between work and personal life. The temptation to binge watch TV Shows, stream the internet without restrictions and engage in other activities is challenging to overcome. This can lead to less productivity. Thus, it is important to set clear boundaries with family members around your work time and to create systems to limit distractions.
- Communication difficulties. Having a good source of internet, a well-functioning computer and optimal audio is essential for a remote worker. You also need to be technologically savvy to use various software and applications to connect with co-workers or employers and handle any issues that may arise.
- Payment issues. Dealing with various currencies, tax laws and other logistics can be challenging and annoying at first. You have to consider the time zones of the persons you are working with, convert currencies, find appropriate payment methods, calculate fees and file taxes to ensure that you get paid and follow the law.
- Security. The internet and your computer is your gateway to making money as a remote worker. Therefore, you have to make sure that your work is secure and safe from hackers, that your clients information is safe and that your computer is protected from malware, viruses and other potential issues.
7 Tips for Working at Home
- Maintain regular hours. Sticking to your usual work schedule can help you adjust and get work done in a timely manner. You can make some minor adjustments after you adjust to the remote life.
- Secure your work. Get a VPN and antivirus to protect your work, data and information. Keep your devices locked when not in use and put it away in a secure area.
- Educate yourself. Familiarise yourself with conversion rates, tax laws of the region you are working in and with, the various payment methods it has available and what benefits you are entitled to. Take time to upgrade your technological and communication skills and understand how different applications and software works.
- Take sick days and days off. Remote workers are entitled to sick and casual days just like any employee. Make sure and take care of your mental and physical health by taking breaks and resting.
- Reach out. It is important to stay connected and communicate regularly with your co-workers to stay up-to-date. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Make an effort to attend meetings, in person or via telecommunication when they arise.
- Set up a designated work area. Having a space or room for working can help get you into work mode.
- Move your body. Do not forget to take breaks during the day to rest your mind and move your body. It is very easy to be consume by your tasks and forget to move. Set timers throughout your day to remind you to get up. Moving is a great way to give your mind a break and get your creative juices flowing again.
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Thank you for reading.