We know how great it feels to work from the comfort of our own home – or anywhere we choose.
Wanting a job without the daily commute is not a sign of lacking commitment. It’s about earning a living and developing a career while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Remote working may not be for everyone, but it’s a great option for many. It’s especially popular with parents, carers, military and expat ‘trailing spouses’, retirees, those with physical or health disabilities, digital nomads wanting to work while travelling and anyone else wanting flexibility and greater control of their time.
Here are some tips for getting started in a remote career:
1. Think about why you want to work remotely.
What are the financial and personal pros and cons? What opportunities are available in your field? Make a list of Pros and Cons and find out if remote working is going to suit your lifestyle and career goals.
2. Talk to family members who might be impacted by your change of work status.
It’s best, however, not to involve everyone in your decision making progress. There will always be naysayers, just try to stay positive and remember, nothing great will be gained if you aren’t prepared to take some level of risk… and even a ‘traditional’ job has risks.
3. For those presently working in an office, discuss your options to work remotely with your employer.
Approach your boss with a formulated plan so your proposal is taken seriously. Perhaps propose working from home for part of your schedule to begin with as they might be more comfortable with that. Then suggest you review this arrangement in, say, 60-90 days’ time. If all goes well for both parties and your employer sees the benefits, they may be more open to you transitioning to a 100% virtual working arrangement.
4. Consider ways to avoid feeling isolated.
What can you do to avoid feeling isolated from your colleagues? A change of scenery can help so perhaps work from a coffee shop or co-working space occasionally. Be social and arrange to meet with a friend for lunch every week. Regular exercise is also very important so why not join a fitness class or exercise with another workout buddy who might also work from home. You just need to be proactive and look into ways to combat any loneliness issues before they arise.
5. Do some short courses to up-skill yourself.
Planning, organisation and structure are important aspects of working remotely, successfully. These are skills that can be easily learned and refreshed. If necessary, take a short course – there are plenty of courses available online – and many of them are free. There’s really no excuse.
6. Set a routine as quickly as you can.
It’s important to set a routine with specific daily objectives to help keep you on track. Many remote workers are surprised with just how resourceful and efficient they become, they just hadn’t had the opportunity to manage their own workflow in the past.
7. Manage expectations.
Working from home means just that. Childcare and other home duties still need to be delegated during work times. The most successful remote workers are those with clear boundaries between home and work life.