Are you considering working remotely for your next job?
Perhaps you’ve been eyeing a job description with a full or part-time work-from-home component, and you’re unsure whether it will be the right fit.
To embrace the work-from-home model, there are many factors to consider, so read on to understand if it’s the best choice for you.
What Does Remote Work Look Like Today?
There are all types of jobs nowadays that can be done remotely. Several include customer service, computer programming, data entry, virtual assistance, sales, graphic design, tutoring, and much more.
The rate at which people work-from-home has skyrocketed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. And more likely than not, many of the jobs converted to remote work will stay remote for a while.
A brief overview of the pros and cons of remote work
There are certainly challenges and rewards to working remotely. Most remote work roles are flexible with scheduling. Those struggling to balance their work and personal lives, especially when dealing with small children, can significantly benefit from an at-home position due to this versatile nature of the job.
When your work-life balance is manageable, you will likely become less stressed and more creative, therefore accelerating your productivity.
On the other hand, you may experience an increased distraction should you have kids running around your home all day when not in school. Roommates and pets are distractions.
Some find it even more challenging to work in a home office as it’s way too easy to get up and do something else. We associate the home with family and personal time and an office with work.
Simply put, an office provides a familiar structure. If you need that, remote work could be a detriment to your overall performance.
Which qualities are best when it comes to remote work?
To fully understand remote work, take a look at a list of great qualities for working from home and tips to attain them.
- Time management skills and a work-life balance: Knowing your most creative and productive hours of the day, sticking with routines, keeping and effectively using to do lists, blocking out time for specific work, outlining goals with strict timelines, and many more are all best practices for success in time management. These tips are particularly useful for remote work because they help create barriers between work and home life for maximum productivity.
- Constant self-motivation: Being a self-starter is vital to the work-from-home job. You won’t be surrounded by office mates to bounce ideas off of and become inspired in that moment. Though virtual meetings, phone calls, and online interactions help with this, it can still be a challenge to maintain motivation in a room by yourself all day. If you struggle with this, try making a list of everything that motivates you and tools to keep you motivated. For instance, you may be driven by sharing your next brilliant idea with your partner. A tool to continue staying motivated throughout the day may be to write the idea with a big marker directly in front of your desk. Get creative with it!
- Deep concentration: A short attention span may be your downfall with remote work. Sticking to a schedule and focusing on one project at a time may be difficult for some, but it doesn’t mean you should move on from the idea of working from home. Like being a self-motivated person, holding deep concentration can be achieved by keeping track of tools that help you. Make it a habit to not doubt yourself for the first fifteen minutes of the day and see how easy it is to get things done. Try downloading fun apps that are meant to hold you accountable for your concentration time. And please, exit or at least minimise your email tab while working on other things!
- Communication, communication, communication: Arguably, the most important quality to possess when it comes to a remote role is, you guessed, it, communication! The above list contains features that you can work on personally, but you cannot fully control your employer. If you’re not set up to succeed with the right equipment that increases productivity, interactive meetings to discuss ideas with your boss or other team members, or convenient work hours, you must let your employer know. The fundamental person-to-person aspect of an occupation should not be underestimated. That’s why it is your job to speak up when you need to. Otherwise, it will be more difficult for your manager to know how else to help you.
Can anyone do well working remotely?
Probably not everyone can find success in remote positions. That said, if you are committed to attaining the above qualities that are significantly conducive to working from home, there is nothing stopping you from giving it a go. If you’re still unsure, that’s okay.
Before entirely ditching the idea of applying or accepting a remote position, try these alternatives.
- Undertake a side job working from home first and see how you like it. You may surprise yourself on how well you handle it.
- You can always ask your employer about providing office space. Many buildings rent to freelancers and other small operations.
- Go to a coffee shop or library and act like it’s your office to get things done.
- Convert an existing toolshed or garage space into your very own office. The act of getting ready to go to work in another area that’s outside the home can simulate a real office experience.
Think you’re up for remote work after reviewing what it takes? Go get ’em!
About The Author
Gabrielle Cicourel Hanley is an up-and-coming freelance writer with a passion for the sociology of work in the modern age. After working various odd jobs in different industries, she became fascinated with the components of work, bureaucracies, and other types of organisational structures. She received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology at the University of Oregon. With an additional background in communications and multimedia design, she brings creativity and precision to all her projects. Gabrielle resides in Tacoma, Washington in the United States. For more information, email email@example.com.