Remote work is on the rise. In fact, according to a study conducted by 15Five,
With technology ever advancing and communication and collaboration tools further enhancing team connectivity, these numbers are only expected to grow in coming years.
With nearly half of all companies already employing remote workers, chances are you yourself have considered working remotely. And you wouldn’t be alone. Increased flexibility, the desired work-life balance, and in some cases, enhanced health and well-being have made remote work a much sought-after opportunity.
So is remote work right for you? How can you make it your reality in 2019? And what are the challenges you need to take into consideration? Read on to find out!
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If working remotely is something you’ve thought about, consider first whether your profession allows for the possibility of remote work.
For instance, jobs in the health care, manufacturing, and retail industries typically aren’t conducive to telecommuting. Sadly, the same goes for tradesman like mechanics and plumbers.
Luckily, though, the advancement of reliable internet and the growth of instant messaging and team communication platforms mean more and more jobs lend themselves to remote work.
Some of the jobs most favorable for remote work include:
In many cases, though, as companies increasingly outsource, cut costs, and move more operations online, the number of remote positions in a wide array of fields is growing.
If the majority of your tasks can be completed with the right software and a solid internet connection, it’s worth looking into whether your position can be executed remotely.
So you’ve determined that you can do your job remotely and now you’re dreaming of sleeping in, lingering over your coffee, starting your day with your favorite book, yoga or fitness routine, or maybe even relocating completely.
Before taking the leap though, take some time to consider whether working remotely is actually right for you. That’s because remote work requires an often overlooked set of abilities in addition to what’s required of you in your current setting.
While these may seem like simple questions, it’s easy to take for granted the role that “going to work” plays in providing the structure crucial to productivity and well-being.
In addition, working remotely comes with a host of both advantages and disadvantages – often lifestyle dependent – which you need to carefully consider and analyze as they pertain to you.
In many instances, remote work affords you the ability to:
Remote work’s advantages don’t come as a shock. What is surprising, perhaps, is that the most crucial benefits stem from the elimination of a single adversary – the commute.
Research suggests that the added stress from commuting often overshadows, or even prevents the realization of career, financial, and personal gains.
And by eliminating the burden of rush hour, accidents, bad weather, and cramped public transport from your daily routine, you can begin to:
Before getting carried away, though, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, for all its perks, remote work comes with a whole new set of challenges which deserve thorough consideration.
Do a cost / benefit analysis. Analyze not only what motivates you to work, but also what’s driving you to work remotely.
If you’re unhappy in your current position, or with your profession in general, the likelihood that remote work will suddenly bring you satisfaction is slim.
Make a list of the pros and cons as they relate to your lifestyle. Discuss your questions and concerns with family, friends, or any contacts who have remote work experience.
Chances are you’ve looked for remote work opportunities and then hit a brick wall. First off, standard job ads on traditional sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor aren’t your best options for tracking down the right remote job. Moreover, freelancing sites don’t always offer steady and sustainable work. After all, fifty bucks for some consulting here or an article there won’t help you consistently make ends meet.
Rather, hone your search on sites tailored to remote workers, like:
If you’re already discussing the possibility of remote work with an employer, hats off! Make sure to do your research, though, not only on similar positions, but also the company. This provides insight into the suitability of remote work for the position in question, as well as an organization’s remote work opportunities.
Be flexible. Some employers may hesitate to let you leap into a full-time remote position right away. If that’s the case, consider a trial period to start things off – working remotely a few days each week or month and gradually building up to a wholly remote schedule
Suggest an enterprise instant messenger to bridge the communication gap which can result from working remotely. In addition to real-time communication features, many platforms offer collaboration tools to help remote workers and distributed teams streamline teamwork.
So you’ve landed the perfect remote job. Now what?
For starters, these dos and don’ts can help. But you also need to maintain the same drive and determination which helped you land the opportunity in the first place. Not having a plan in place to manage your newfound freedom can derail motivation and productivity.
Remember the cons of remote work? Isolation really shouldn’t be underestimated. According to a recent survey, 19% of remote workers reported feeling lonely. Being interpersonally and, in some cases, informationally isolated can hinder motivation, productivity, and even trigger wider feelings of disconnection, sadness, and depression. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to seek out a mental health professional.
Vitally, don’t go invisible and don’t let challenges fester. In fact, it’s reasonable to need and expect:
Brosix Instant Messenger, for example, offers instant messaging and team chat rooms to help you forge relationships with your team mates and employer. To communicate on a more personal level, check in often via voice and video chat.
What’s more, pairing real-time communication with collaboration tools like unlimited size file transfer and screen sharing ensures uninterrupted access to knowledge and information and streamlined problem-solving.
Finally, communicating securely via a private team network utilizing peer-to-peer communication channels, end-to-end encryption, and anti-virus and malware protection provides both you and your employer peace of mind against increasing security concerns associated with remote work.
Importantly, these tools can’t, and shouldn’t, replace the human contact vital to your well-being. They can, however, replicate an amount of interpersonal communication to mitigate some of the isolation associated with remote work.
The decision to work remotely isn’t one to be taken lightly. Be prepared to thoroughly analyze whether:
That includes careful consideration of the pros and cons as they pertain to your specific lifestyle. What’s more, you’ll need to spend time, patience, as well as some trial and error, in order to:
Most importantly, don’t underestimate the value of communication, as it plays an invaluable role in ensuring your remote work experience isn’t just meaningful and productive, but also good for your health and well-being.