As the cliche goes: it’s different strokes for different folks. Remote work cannot appeal to everybody, but the fact remains that for “some folks” their unique circumstances make sure they can only work remotely.
For others, they just love the flexibility and ease that it affords, and some just want the opportunity to make some quick cash on the side.
Whichever category you belong to, below are 7 experiences from highly seasoned freelancers and remote workers, give it a read.
1. YOU’LL GET A HIGH REWARD AND AN EQUALLY HIGH RISK
Sounds confusing? Allow me to explain. Yes, people make a decent amount of money as remote workers especially when they work with multiple clients and have many different streams of revenue.
However, it doesn’t come without its risks, top on the list of the most important fears facing every freelancer or remote worker I know is what if my clients decide they are no longer in need of my services?
Here’s how Andrew Falchook, Owner and Creative Director at Falchook, puts it:
“For how long can you stay afloat before going broke? As a freelancer without a traditional employment contract. These questions will constantly harass you.So not only do you have to be your own boss and focus on staying productive, but you also need to run a business; market yourself aggressively, make sales, and be intentional about making sure you know where your next paycheck is coming from.”
2. IT TEACHES YOU LOFTY WORK ETHICS
A lot of people think lofty ethics like grit, doggedness and a can-do-will-try attitude can only be learned when you work a traditional office job. But a lot of remote workers have been turning this myth on its head.
“People sometimes make quips about home-based workers slacking off, but I’ve found it to be the opposite: Often, those who pursue and succeed at remote gigs tend to be driven and entrepreneurial, and they’re the types who tend to work overtime and on weekends by choice.” Says Chloe Brittain, Owner, Opal Transcription Services.
“That can be a downside in terms of work-life balance, but again, it’s more of a personal choice. I think the pros of remote work far outweigh the cons — the ability to eat when I want, take a walk to stretch my legs, or start my workday extra early and finish early if I have somewhere to be — all these are perks I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
When you recall what you’re benefiting from a home-based work, you’ll be further motivated.
3. YOU MIGHT GET MICRO-MANAGED
No one likes being micromanaged, it feels like someone is looking over your shoulder all the time. It’s suffocating, stifling and demotivating.
“My boss had me install a time tracking software on my laptop to better help track what I am actually doing during the day. It has a timer and it logs my time and it takes screenshots periodically of what I am working on. Then at the end of the day, it tells me my productivity percentage.” says Tess Thompson SEO Outreach Specialist at Money Done Right.
Thompson empathizes with his boss, but he thinks he’ll be more productive if left to his own devices.
“I completely understand his reasoning for this as I would do the same thing. However, it does really stress me out at times because I don’t know how much of a break I can actually take without it reflecting negatively on my productivity,” he says.
4. YOU NEED A HEAVY DOSE OF SELF DISCIPLINE
Sometimes you just don’t feel like waking up, and then before you know it, the whole day is almost gone.
“This is one big challenge I face in my current position. I get to sleep in and work at any time that I want. However, as a result of this, I usually sleep in too late then start work and have no time during the day to go anywhere or do anything else,” says Thompson.
“I could also go to a coffee shop and work from there if I wanted to or a friends house. However, this can be tempting to want to goof off, talk and relax or do other non-work related things on my laptop. So it is definitely difficult to find the work/life balance without each encroaching upon the space of another. “
To navigate this tricky situation you’ll need some instill some self-discipline in yourself.
5. NOT COMMUNICATING PROPERLY AND NOT BEING ABLE TO ACCESS FACILITIES
On the outside, working remotely seems like the utopia we should all crave, but mind you, it can be quite challenging.
“It makes work more difficult because you’re not regularly dealing with co-workers or your supervisor face to face. That can slow down the workflow and lead to mistakes when things don’t get properly communicated or you miss out on asking questions.” Cautions, Daniel A. Gillaspia, CEO & Founder UponArriving LLC
“You might even feel out of the loop with others who do work in the office. You miss out on the little things like random donuts in the kitchen mornings and while you may not think those things matter, it’s still missing out on interacting with others and creating those relationships,” he says.
6. TIME AND LOCATION INDEPENDENCE
As a remote worker, you can choose to tweak your schedule to suit any circumstance no matter how bizarre it seems.
“Remote work gives the flexibility to work your own schedule. So with a lot of remote work, you work when you feel like it as long as you get the work done on time.” Says, Ron Auerbach, MBA. Author, Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success.
“Remote work also allows you to work from anywhere as long as there’s Internet access and/or access to whatever equipment is necessary. So instead of being cooped up in the office all day, you’re free to move about and work from wherever. This allows you to have a much more relaxed, comfortable, pleasant, and enjoyable environment and atmosphere.”
Heck, you can even work from a beach if you so care.
7. CUTTING DOWN EXPENSES WHILE STAYING AWAY FROM OFFICE CONFLICTS
Ever felt like not going to work because of the torture a difficult co-worker is likely to put you through?
“One more advantage of working remotely is not having to deal or put up with the office drama. So being away from office conflicts and/or personality clashes can make you feel more relaxed and happy. You can also be more productive because you won’t be distracted by office interruptions, noises, the boss looking over you, etc.” Auerbach says.
He also notes how not having to show up at the office saves you money and time. “The last plus I’ll mention is your not having to commute into the office. So you can save the gas, public transportation pass, and time spent traveling. And you might not even need to dress up, so if you want to work in your PJs, you can,” he says.
Working remotely does have its perks, but it’s not without difficulties and downsides. The trick is not to abandon remote work altogether, rather it is to recognize these downsides and adequately prepare for them.
Without a doubt, remote work is where the world is moving towards right now so if you can jump on the bandwagon, do not get left out.