August 5, 2020

9 Things to Consider Before Working Remotely

Accepting remote work opportunities is a little trickier than working a traditional job. Here are a few thing you should keep in mind before your first day.

Special to California Business Journal.

Planning to work remotely but don’t know where to start? Remote work is slowly becoming the new standard, as employees show better productivity, more engagement, and better work/life balance.

However, remote work isn’t for everyone and not all remote job opportunities are legitimate or fulfilling. There are many things to consider before accepting a remote job offer in terms of perks and benefits, but also not having coworkers and all the things that come with working at an office.

Keep reading to learn 9 things you should consider before accepting remote work opportunities and discover if this style of working is the right fit for you.

1. Create a Solid Schedule

No matter your location, if you work remotely, you need a solid schedule and task management system to keep you on track. Working from home can easily trick you into thinking you have enough time to do everything, but then you get distracted by the doorbell, roommates, kids, noises, and even other tabs on your computer.

A good organization system can help you do your job well and create a work/life balance to make sure your work hours don’t merge with your personal life.

2. Weigh In the Pros and Cons

Remote work is not for everyone and that’s normal. But sometimes, it can sound easy on paper when the reality is completely different. Before you take the leap, make sure to research and weigh in the pros and cons of remote working.

For example, some of the pros include:

  • Better work/life balance
  • More free time
  • No commutes
  • Freedom to pick and choose job opportunities
  • More energy in the morning
  • Working at your own pace
  • More peace and quiet

On the other hand, some of the cons are:

  • IT security risks when you work from cafes on public wi-fi networks
  • Loneliness
  • More distractions
  • Less physical activity and exercise
  • Solving all problems on your own
  • Communication problems
  • Not being in the loop of company happenings

It’s important to know your expectations and goals before you start working remotely to ensure it’s the right fit for you.

3. Consider Work/Life Balance

Remote work sounds like the dream, but it can throw you off balance if you’re new to this style of working. For instance, if you were used to having your entire day scheduled for you, working remotely means relying on yourself to get organized. It also means no one will micromanage you so you’ll need to be responsible for meeting deadlines and do the job without external pressure.

Working remotely also means distractions that’ll cost you time and productivity. This can lead to working more hours and as a result, merging your work hours and personal hours. The solution is to set strict working hours and get up from the computer at the same time every day.

4. Analyze the Opportunities for Growth

Before starting to work for a company, research if there are any opportunities for growth. Discuss this with the HR and managers to ensure you have a future there and opportunities for promotion. Remote workers in most companies have the same rights and opportunities as the in-house staff, so make sure to communicate this with your managers.

At the same time, you should also research the opportunities for growth within the industry you’re in. If there’s a lot of competition but little growth prospects, you should either try to get a credential or move into a new, more profitable branch in the industry.

5. Research the Companies In Depth

Before accepting a job offer, research the company in-depth. See if there are testimonials from other remote workers to learn about the company culture and work conditions. Also, beware of remote work scams – the internet is flooded with them and some even sound like legit work opportunities.

6. Learn Communication Softwares and Processes

Working remotely means a different type of communication with your managers and coworkers. Typically, this includes communication tools and software such as Slack, Asana, Trello, Zoom, and similar apps that you’ll need to learn.

These tools are also a great way to feel like a part of the company and talk to people whenever you feel lonely or isolated. Which brings us to the next point below.

7. Remote Work Can Be Lonely

Remote work can be lonely and isolating and it’s not for people who need to have someone around them all the time. If you’re ready to adapt or thrive when you’re alone, remote work will be the perfect fit for you.

This doesn’t mean you can’t interact with people during your working hours. If you work from a cafe or a coworking space, you can strike up a conversation with other remote workers and share experiences. You can also invite a friend at home and work together remotely or ask the company to come to the office for the day if possible.

8. Create an Individual Development Plan

Working remotely doesn’t mean you’re not an essential part of a company. This is why you should discuss your future with the managers and create an individual development and growth plan together. If the company doesn’t offer you this, keep looking for one that does.

Most remote workers still work full-time for a company and attend team-building activities and occasional meetings. This means you should know what to expect after a while working for them. Have an actual plan to look forward to will help you plan your career better and make you a more productive, engaged, and devoted employee, which is priceless for most companies.

9. Don’t Forget About Health and Wellness

When you’re not working in an office with wellness facilities and programs, it can be challenging to take care of your health and wellbeing. Try to choose companies that offer wellness perks to their remote employees by offering discounts at gyms, yoga centers, and spas.

This way, you can go on your own terms, blow off some steam, and come back to work refreshed and rejuvenated. Try to switch workplaces at least once a week and go to a different cafe or coworking space for a change of scenery. Daily walks and lunch breaks outside can also help you feel healthier and more balanced.

Recognize the Right Remote Work Opportunities With These Tips

Whether you work for a company or are a freelancer, working remotely has its perks and benefits, but also disadvantages you should be aware of. Before accepting remote work opportunities, use these tips to decide whether they’re legitimate and the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

Want more business and productivity tips? Check out the rest of the articles we’ve written on this topic and stay tuned for more industry news and trends.

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