As flexibility slowly becomes a must-have condition at any given workplace, having a remote job is the new dream for many Millennials. This is especially true among young graduates and creatives, who might fantasize about working in their pajamas in the comfort of their bedrooms while listening to their favorite band at maximum volume. But the truth is that working remotely isn’t always so glamorous or leisurely.
As a matter of fact, if done incorrectly, holding down a remote job can prove to be quite a challenging and overwhelming task. Since there’s no one there breathing down your neck to check your every move, you might scroll through Facebook a little too much before you realize it’s already 5 PM and you haven’t even begun your assignment for the day!
Here are 10 questions you should reflect upon before starting a remote job:
1. Have you discussed every detail of your work conditions with your employer?
If you’re employed at a company as a remote worker, you need to establish the ground rules with your employers first and foremost. You need to settle on the most important things such as your exact work hours, whether you’d be paid by the hour or after you complete a task, the benefits you can receive and even your vacation days. You’re just another employee, after all, even if you’re not on-site at all times.
If you’re a freelancer, then you need to decide upon these details yourself to avoid any confusion with collaborators on future projects.
2. Do you have enough space for an office nook?
Before you jump headfirst into this new phase in your life, make sure you have enough space for it in your home. You might not need an entire room, especially if everyone else is at work during the day, so a private nook ensuring a quiet setting should do. To help keep your business more clearly distinct from your private life, make sure your work place is separate from the rest of the house and that you’re not doing your working assignment on the kitchen table, for example.
3. Can you set up a proper office?
Another key question you should ask yourself is whether you can set up a proper, well-functioning office space which won’t let you down. We’re talking about having the necessary tools and equipment which will ensure smooth sailing when it comes to your daily workload, which involves everything from a good laptop to a well-structured notebook.
4. How is your internet connection?
Speaking of tools and utilities, a professional remote worker’s most important piece of kit is a speedy, reliable internet connection. Make sure your service provider can offer that, because there’s nothing worse when initiating a conference call with a potential client than a bad, slow connection.
5. Can you afford alternative office spaces?
If you don’t have the means or the space to set up a private office in your own home, then you’ll need to find a place in your area where you can have access to one (preferably a coworking hub). Before you pay for a monthly membership, ask yourself whether or not you can afford one, especially if you’re just starting out in your entrepreneurial journey and you client base isn’t too stable yet.
6. Can you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
As we’ve already mentioned, remote workers should have a set schedule of working hours. However, if you’re working from your own home, it might be quite difficult to get up from your desk and stop thinking about anything work-related. It’s much harder to disconnect from your workday if your screen is right in front of you.
7. Can you motivate yourself on a daily basis?
Before you make your move to become a remote worker, do a bit of introspection to see if you can truly motivate yourself on a daily basis. Without the regular check-ins from your boss, you’re basically on your own to do whatever you wish with your time. This feeling of freedom can make some people finish a project in a few hours, whilst others believe they still have plenty of time and will procrastinate through half the day. Which category do you fit into?
8. Can you handle distractions?
Since we’re discussing procrastination, what’s your stance on distractions? How can you handle them? Can you concentrate on the task at hand and ignore everything else or do you have a tendency to scroll through your Instagram feed every 5 minutes or so?
9. Can you handle working completely alone?
Isolation from others and loneliness can be a real deal breaker for many regarding the possibility of working remotely. While introverts may enjoy their undisturbed time, extroverts on the other hand get inspired by brainstorming together with their colleagues. Decide which team you’re on and choose your career path accordingly.
10. Is it truly for you?
As with anything, remote working is not for everyone. Go through these questions step by step, analyze your situation and give an honest answer to these questions so you have some idea about how you will manage working on your own.
Although it might seem like an ideal work situation, taking on a remote job comes with its own responsibility and can sometimes take up more of your time than a regular job would. The key to it is to aim for a healthy work-life balance, strive for good time management and develop a strong determination to do what you have to do when procrastination or distraction starts creeping in. With this in mind, maybe give yourself a trial month to see how it all works for you in real life before committing to any large project.