There’s something appealing about working remotely; you’re in charge of your own schedule and can work out of your own home. For millions of people around the globe, this dream has become a reality as the ability to work remotely becomes more available in the well-connected modern world.
Unfortunately, the remote work “dream job” doesn’t always turn out to be just that. People start their remote work jobs with misconceptions and feel bummed when they don’t seem to be achieving all of the things they thought they would. Below, we have a few simple tips that will help you master the remote-work lifestyle so it can be the dream job you imagined.
Do your research
Before anything else, make sure you truly understand what working remotely will mean before you decide to make the switch. For example, many professionals think that working remotely means working less hours … but that isn’t always the case. The difference is that your work can be done any time you want, versus a set, predesignated shift.
Have the right tools
Having the right tools will make mastering the remote work lifestyle a thousand times easier. Physically, this means a good computer at the bare minimum. It also helps to have a wireless hotspot (so you can work on the go), a printer, and a really great desk.
You’ll also want to have the right digital tools or software to make your life easier. For example, Skype and the Google Suite will allow you to communicate easily with people on your team. There will be other useful digital tools or software based on your specific industry.
Experiment with your process
Like most things, the adage “try and try again” applies here. Figure out what you think will be the best work process for you, and test it. After a week or two, review that process and find what hasn’t worked–as well as what has. The things that do work can stay, but the things that haven’t been working need to be altered or replaced with something better.
For example, think about the time of day you will work. Some people like working early in the morning, others are at their most productive in the evening. Also consider whether you work best with one solid block of work, or whether you would do better breaking it up. Remember to consider your non-work schedule and personal commitments.
The most important thing? Never be content with your process. Always be revising it to make it better, so you can become a fine tuned remote working machine.
Get on a schedule
This is a big part of experimenting with your process, but it’s important enough to deserve a more in-depth explanation. Remote workers need a schedule. The key isn’t to hope you’ll get your work done whenever you feel like it, but to create a schedule that works best for you.
Let’s take a work-at-home mother for example. She may start her day at 5 a.m. and get an hour of work accomplished before she wakes the kids. After getting the kids to school, she might spend an hour running errands before heading home. After another four hours of work, she cleans the house for half an hour, and picks up the kids from school. While they do their homework, she makes supper and spends the rest of the evening with the family. If there is work remaining, she does it after she puts the kids to bed.