Is a Remote Job Right For You?

Many people think that working remotely is oh-so-easy. You can sleep-in, work in your pyjamas or head to the beach and work from your sun lounge while sipping on a cocktail. You’ve no doubt seen the photos. Those of us who already work remotely know better.

Working remotely from home can actually be a lot harder than working in an office. If you’re a newbie to remote work and you’ve just started your job search, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

The following tips will help you to determine if this style of working is right for you.

Taxes.

There are companies that will hire you as an actual employee and they will take taxes out of your pay. But some will prefer to hire you as a freelancer or independent contractor, and you’ll be responsible for paying your own taxes.

Before you start applying for remote jobs, find out what is required in terms of registering a business or setting yourself up as a freelancer, and what your tax obligations are in your country of residence.

Benefits.

Sadly, the majority of remote jobs do not include benefits like health insurance or life insurance unless you’re hired as an ’employee’. However, there are exceptions and we’re starting to see more companies cover benefits like these in order to attract top talent to their organizations. It’s just a matter of time.

Work Availability.

If you are hired as a freelancer it’s important to understand that employers are not obligated to provide any work for you. Most companies have busy seasons and slow seasons. During a busy season, you might be working 40-50 hours a week, and then when the slow season arrives you could find yourself fighting to get even 10 hours of work per week.

If your income is especially important to your household, definitely keep this in mind. And if you find yourself in this situation, you might choose to work more than one job at a time. If one slows down, you can start working more for the other.

Motivation.

If you’re the type of person who usually needs a kick in the rear to get moving, working remotely could be very hard for you.

When you’re at home without anyone looking over your shoulder, you have to be extremely disciplined to sit down at your computer, log in and actually WORK each day. There are so many distractions in the home that will pull you away from work if you let them. You have to be very focused and set a schedule for yourself, just like you would at a job in an office.

Solitude.

Working from home can be lonely. If you thrive on social interaction, working alone can be difficult to adjust to. However, you can ease this by spending time with friends frequently, or joining some online groups to chat with like minded people.

Flexibility.

Some employers require you to work a specific set schedule, while others might be more flexible, allowing you to choose your own hours. Give some thought to which type of schedule would work best for you.

Childcare.

So many parents want to work from home so they can earn an income while having more flexibility around raising their children. However, working from home with children underfoot is no easy task!

It’s not impossible, and it depends greatly on the ages of your children and what type of work you’ll be doing. If your role requires you to speak to clients on the phone or via web conference, it can be difficult to find a quiet time when you have small children around. In addition, your productivity can suffer if you have to stop working every few minutes to entertain the kids.

There are certainly things you can do to make it easier, like have a neighborhood friend come in for a few hours to watch your children while you work, or work only when your spouse is at home and can keep an eye on the kids.

Just be realistic with what you can get done with children around, and have a plan in place to ensure your work hours are productive.

Job Satisfaction. 

This is SO important! Right now you’re probably thinking, “I don’t care what type of work I do, as long as it brings in a regular income.”

We can guarantee you that attitude won’t last long.

As mentioned above, you’ll need to be extremely self-motivated and self-disciplined to work at home, and your job will be a lot easier if you actually like what you do!

Think about the type of person you are, and the type of work that suits you best. Are you creative and free-spirited, or nose-to-the-grindstone efficient?

Give some thought to your “vision” of working from home, and try to find a job that will complement that.

Remote Job Versus Starting Your Own Business.

When some people decide they want a remote job so they can work from home, they don’t actually want a regular J-O-B at all.

What they want is the freedom to set their own schedule and do work they love. It’s certainly possible to find those qualities in a remote job, but it can be difficult.

If this describes you, consider starting your own business instead, focusing on your existing talents and abilities. And if you don’t know much about business but have an interest, start learning!

There are so many great resources on the Internet today. If you’re still not sure what type of work at home is best for you, grab a pen and paper. Write this sentence along the top of the page: I want a remote job because . . . and then write down as many endings to that sentence as you can think of.

If most of your answers have to do with freedom and passionate, fulfilling work, a “job” might not be the best thing for you.

But if a remote job does seem to be the right fit, be sure to check out our remote job board for some inspiration.

Regardless of what type of work you decide on, understand that working from home can be difficult and challenging. But for most of us who do it, it is also wonderful. And once you find the right type of remote work for you, you’ll probably feel the same.

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

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