So you want to work from home, eh? Well, hold your horses. There's more to remote work than just staying in your sweatpants all day.
I've been working remotely for the past six years (even before Covid-19) and during that time, I've gained valuable experience in:
managing my workload
collaborating with team members
staying productive while working from home
1. You Need Reliable Technology
A reliable technology setup is important to make sure that you can work efficiently and effectively without any interruptions.
At the beginning of my experience as an online teacher without reliable technology, I experienced:
Computer crashes and slow Internet, which meant looking unprepared for my job.
Difficulty accessing files and software.
These issues can quickly become frustrating and time-consuming, and may even impact productivity and job performance.
To ensure a smooth and successful remote work experience:
Invest in reliable technology — a good computer/laptop, comfortable headphones, and a good quality camera.
Upgrade your internet service if you experience connectivity problems.
Take the time to learn and troubleshoot new tools and software.
2. Flexibility Can Be a Double-Edged Sword
Remote work offers a lot of flexibility, which can be both a good and a bad thing.
On one hand, the flexibility of remote work allowed me to create my own work schedule that fits my lifestyle.
On the other hand, it was a bit challenging to separate work and personal life, and I found myself working for long periods of time, clocking insane hours.
Self-discipline and good time management skills are crucial for remote workers to stay focused and productive.
Set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Take regular breaks!
Create a workspace that is separate from your personal space.
Develop a reliable and predictable schedule for your work hours and do your best to stick to it consistently.
3. Isolation is a Real Challenge
I'm a friendly and social person that loves to be included in collaborative environments.
If you're like me, you might struggle with feelings of loneliness if you don't seek out social interactions actively.
Schedule regular check-ins using video conferencing tools, such as Zoom and Discord. Seeing your coworkers' faces and body language can help you feel more connected and engaged with your team.
Participate in online discussions. Stay connected throughout the day. Make sure to participate in discussions, even if it's just to share a quick update or ask a question. Join virtual interest groups, attend online conferences or events, or participate in online communities related to your hobbies or interests.
Let's take a look at Emily's situation...
Emily is feeling lonely and a bit stressed from work...
She takes a break to refresh and revitalize...
What can she do during her break to feel less lonely and isolated?
A. Read a book.
B. Join discussions on Discord about her interest in plants.
C. Watch a TV series.
D. Have a virtual snack/coffee with her coworkers.
Select all that apply:
While there are certainly challenges to working remotely, such as potential isolation and the need for self-discipline, I've found that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks!
To be at the top of your game while working remotely: