If you’ve ever had to wait for public transport in the middle of a rainstorm after coming home from work, it’s likely that at one point or another, you’ve fantasized about working remotely.
Telecommuting is a fancy term for working remotely and can be the perfect arrangement. Companies that encourage remote work often report higher levels of employee retention, reduced turnover, increased productivity, and autonomy among other benefits.
Working from home sounds like it could be the perfect job: flexible hours, no commuting time, and being able to make your own lunches in your own kitchen. But there are some drawbacks as well – namely that people don’t tend to vocalize their complaints about telecommuting work environments. Here are seven things I wish somebody had told me before I took the plunge and became a full-time telecommuter!
Sad Truths About Working Remotely
Feeling Left Out
You might be the last person to know that your coworker had left for a new opportunity. You found out after everyone else, as an announcement was made at the monthly company meeting and you work remotely so it is possible you weren’t there.
You may miss the daily office banter. You may love your pets, but let’s be honest — pets aren’t the best conversationalists. Take a break from your new job as a remote worker for some quick coffee or cigarette breaks with colleagues, video calls and hangouts, or anything to keep up those essential social connections that you’ll need in order not to become withdrawn and/or depressed while working at home all day by yourself!
The decision of how involved you want to be with your company as a telecommuter is up to you. Many companies allow or encourage the use of Slack and other online tools, so take advantage if they’re available! Decide on what’s best for your work style that will fit in well with this type of job. Oh, and don’t forget about face time either–it doesn’t hurt sometimes just taking an hour out from working at home every now-and-then when it isn’t too much trouble.
Productivity Goals Are Different
I’ve been fortunate enough to have the good fortune of always having a quiet office environment. I don’t want this article to make it seem like an open-plan layout is some sort of torture device, but there are just too many distractions that come with working in any large company these days.
It’s not as though my lack of interruptions hasn’t provided me opportunities for reflection or contemplation – and I’ve found myself missing out on important meetings from time to time because they were happening at a different end of our floor than mine (my cat loves sitting by keyboards). But when you’re looking after your own work needs first, then those around you will understand why sometimes coming up for air matters more than staying put.
Working from home can be a wonderful thing, but it’s hard to stay focused when you have the world at your fingertips. Be honest with yourself and set boundaries for what work looks like so that nobody gets carried away on their day off while being productive.
Depending on how much time is in between clients or jobs, expectations of productivity may vary – just because there’s no commute doesn’t mean you should spend all hours working! Similarly, don’t let the silence make you think business will always run smoothly without interruptions- allow some downtime where possible as well!
I’m an introvert at heart. I can barely make small talk, and it feels uncomfortable when someone tries to maintain eye contact with me for too long because I don’t know what they want from me so my mind races like mad trying to figure out why they’re looking at me in the first place?
I get lonely as a remote worker. It’s not talked about much but being home all day is tough on anyone – you might be chatting online or answering emails while wearing your pajamas, sure – but there are some days where even though people try their best not to forget that we exist by checking up every now and then…we still end up feeling terribly alone most of our time spent working remotely.
There are benefits and downsides to being an office worker. Some people, such as long-distance workers who work from home or in a distant location for extended periods of time can find that they face isolation and loneliness on a regular basis which may cause them to become unproductive at their job due to distractions like boredom.
It’s Not for Everyone
Some people are very social and need the banter of an office. Others may lack the discipline to work from home or can’t focus in a new environment, especially if they’re working at home. Whether you have too much time on your hands with nothing to do when no one is around (like me) or just crave that buzz of a busy workplace, not everyone is suited for remote work – but it’s okay!
Benefits of Remote Working
You Can Work Whenever You Are Most Productive
Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. Some people say it’s the best because they no longer have to commute and are able to work in their pajamas, while others feel like giving up on an idea that requires solitude if they don’t know how disciplined enough of a person needs this sort of environment all day long for weeks at a time. I’m one who usually does not mind commuting but when someone told me about working remotely with moxie communications where there were plenty more perks than just being allowed to wear comfy clothes were too good to resist!
I used to be chained down by an office job, but now that I’m a freelancer, my productivity is soaring. When you’re able to control when and where you work with no set hours or deadlines (at least for the most part), it’s amazing how much more productive your day can be just because of one simple change in mindset. It took me a while to get used to being so free-spirited about getting things done–to take advantage of windows instead of waiting until they open up on their own–but once I got past the initial mental hurdle everything became easier than ever before!
You Can Save Money
If you work from home, not only will your bank account thank you for cutting out the costs of commuting but other areas as well. You won’t have to force yourself into a suit and polished shoes if that’s not your style – no more separate wardrobes for work! And don’t forget about food savings since whipping up lunch or coffee at home is quite easy now that you’re in charge of when it happens.
Avoiding Office Politics
Although people might not be best friends with everyone at work, remote workers tend to skip the gossiping and posturing that occurs in traditional settings. The lack of idle chatting can also make for a better environment since it forces employees to focus on their tasks rather than wasting time conversing during business hours.
Be More Independent
The working world is changing, and while you might not have coworkers who are just a few feet away or an engineering team on the floor below to turn to when things get tough, that doesn’t mean you should be left in the dark. You can always ask questions for help if needed; but with all of these new tools at your fingertips – Google searches, free guides online- it’s easier than ever before to find what we need quickly without having anyone else involved!