Remote work arrangements have grown in popularity in recent years, propelled by feature-rich SAAS (software as a service) tools that allow employees, teams, and entire companies to communicate and work seamlessly, regardless of their physical location.
Ask yourself if you have what it takes to embrace remote work. It is not for the weak or undisciplined. Experts recommend having a dedicated space to help you focus on work, as opposed to sitting on the couch with your laptop and the TV turned on. Do you have the space and equipment you’ll need to be successful? Co-working spaces could solve this if your home doesn’t have the space for a dedicated work area. For a weekly or monthly fee, you could have access to a modern work space, many of which have private meeting areas, high-speed internet, and even mail service.
But before you put a desk in the corner of your home or pull out your credit card for a co-working space, you need to ask yourself if you have the discipline to do a great job working away from the office.
Although bloggers make it sound glamorous, it’s not as easy as popping open a laptop in your PJs. Ask some hard questions:
- What are the costs I will incur?
- How will my living expenditures be impacted?
- Will I miss not talking to co-workers face-to-face (not to mention the occasional office birthday cake)?
While the idea of taking your laptop and your coffee to the backyard to work sounds ideal, there are definite inconveniences and disadvantages to living a remote work lifestyle. Are you ready to be in your home eight to ten hours more than you already are? Can you minimize the distractions like TV, kids, or friendly neighbors? Are you able to adapt everything you need to do your job to a cloud or paperless environment? If you are ready to look further at remote work, you may want to ask your current employer about their expectations for remotely working from home.
While remote work gives you the most control over where and how you work, it also leaves you with an entirely new way of getting your job done. Only you can decide if being a success at remote work is in you.