Remote work is a dream come true for all the introverts of our generation. It brings countless benefits for both employees and employers: higher productivity, lower costs, no time lost in traffic, no need to socialize on every break and no annoying mandatory meetings. You set your own schedule and only interact with a bunch of people without even seeing their faces or hearing their voices. Can it get any better than that?
However, anyone who’s been working remotely even for a day knows that it comes with its own set of challenges. From time management to team collaboration, telecommuters need to find solutions to perform from the comfort of their homes or from a cozy cafe just as well as their peers who are enjoying all the facilities of an office environment.
If you are new to telecommuting, here is our list of advice that should help you keep overcome the challenges and make the best out of your working time.
1. Set realistic goals
Even when working from the comfort of your living room, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have difficulties in getting things done. Your dog needs to go outside, your cat decides she wants some snuggles, your kids need to be fed, and your mother expects you to pick up the phone every time she calls.
Sometimes, these can even happen all at once and the only way to get around it without affecting your job is to leave room for interruptions in your schedule right from the beginning. Don’t assume you will be working during 100% of your scheduled hours. Include hourly short breaks in your schedule and don’t be disappointed if you’re not getting everything done right on time.
2. Avoid boredom and loneliness
Telecommuting can feel really boring and lonely at times, especially for young freelancers living all by themselves. Luckily, remotely doesn’t necessarily mean from home.
You can always get your laptop and go to your favorite coffee shop, or rent a spot in a coworking facility. Being around other people doing the same thing as you can be a quite a motivator too, especially if you are more prone to procrastination.
3. Show your face
Networking is an important part of anyone’s professional life. Remote workers can have a hard time meeting other professionals in their own field. Employees who go to the office each day get to bond with each other and create personal relationships a lot faster and easier.
As a remote worker, it is important to put some effort into networking by actively seeking opportunities. Join discussion forums, connect with people on LinkedIn and other dedicated social media platforms and attend events open to the public.
4. Keep yourself updated
If you are working for a company that offers training programs for employees, make sure you attend as many seminars as you can. However, if you are a contractor, it is up to you to find resources and courses that will keep your skills relevant and competitive.
Be proactive about learning new skills and don’t miss out on any opportunity to update your knowledge base.
5. Stay in the loop
Staying connected to your colleagues can be quite challenging while telecommuting. Luckily, with smart team communication apps like Hubgets, you can get the full social experience of an office environment and settle down your FOMO (fear of missing out).
Besides work-related discussion topics, you can always use the Team Board and stay engaged to the company’s social life. Share funny memes and GIFs or an interesting link, post a picture, or just talk a bit about your day. Don’t complain about your boss though 😉
Bonding with your peers will definitely improve your work experience and keep your spirits up.
6. Be a team player
Being part of a team that doesn’t gather around the same desk every day can give you the feeling that you are on your own. But even if you work independently, the success of your project depends on everyone who takes part in it.
Sharing your work with teammates and collaborating to improve your end results is an essential part of a successful project. So be a team player and don’t hold on information just to prove to your managers that you are the best. A good manager will notice your contribution to the team’s efforts and will praise your merits anyhow.
7. Keep your motivation up
One of the greatest perks of telecommuting is that there is no one behind your office chair to make you close YouTube and get to work. But at the same time, that is also one of the biggest challenges. It means that you have to make the decision all by yourself, without anyone pushing you from behind. And it’s a decision that you need to make every single day.
If you struggle with finding the right motivation, pen down all the reasons why you love your job and what would your life look like if you would lose it. Place that piece of paper above your desktop and read it whenever you have a hard time getting yourself to do the work.
8. Avoid multitasking
You might have heard this before but it’s so true that it’s worth repeating: multitasking is a myth. There is absolutely no way for an average person to do two things at the same time and excel in both. As soon as you choose quantity, quality will have to suffer.
How many times did it happen to watch a movie and get water on your chest while trying to drink from a glass? If you can’t accomplish those two very simple tasks at the same time flawlessly, what are the chances with more complicated things that require even more focus?
All in all, you’re in charge
Working remotely might be challenging but all those challenges can be overcome with careful planning and responsibility. In the end, for things to work out, it all comes down to you and the choices you make. Your managers can only guide you so far when you are totally out of their sight.
Therefore, it is totally up to you to make your telecommuting experience one that brings value to your company, your career, and your life in general. Following our advice will hopefully make it a bit easier for you to make that happen. Good luck!