Working remotely is a dream for many people, and for good reason. You don’t have to worry about waking up early so you can catch a bus or the subway to get to work. It’s also much more flexible in terms of working hours. For the most part, you work to your own schedule. There’s definitely less drama when you work remotely with no office politics weighing down on everything. Yet, it is not always sunshine and rainbows. There are quite a few things that you need to worry about when working remotely. Here’s what you need to know.
When you’re working remotely, whether it’s freelancing or working for a particular client, motivating yourself isn’t always easy. In an office environment, even with the usual office interruptions, there’s no question that work is the focus. But when you’re working from home, there are a million other things vying for your attention — and no-one is checking up on you! It’s up to you to motivate yourself to work, which isn’t always easy. Having a set schedule really helps here. If you let chaos reign, waking up whenever, and working at random hours, you won’t be anywhere near as productive. Always set fixed hours in which you will work. The thing about motivation is that, according to the latest research, we have a set amount each day. So the more of the steps in your day that you standardise, like getting up at the same time, the more motivation you have in reserve for whatever unexpected challenges the day has to throw at you.
Absence of Structure
Unless you’re freelancing with several clients, then you’d be working remotely with a company. In that case, lack of a proper structure can be problematic and it is a problem that many remote workers suffer from. Work getting assigned haphazardly, lack of a defined hierarchy to relay complaints, and the absence of a proper reward/supervision system can be quite challenging, especially for someone who is used to working in a structured environment with a system in place to get the job done the best way possible. You can avoid this problem by taking the initiative yourself to make sure that your development and support needs are not forgotten about. You are a human being, not a robot. So ask the person that you report to if you can schedule in regular review sessions that don’t just look at the tasks but that also give you the opportunity to talk about challenges and successes that you are having in your role and any training, development or support needs that could enable you to work more effectively.
If you’re working in an office, there is an IT department dedicated to solving any technological challenges you might face. When you’re working remotely, that isn’t the case, which can be a bit frustrating at times. Maintaining a level of security, in particular, can be difficult on your own, which is why getting a Secure Data Room for your remote work is a great idea. It will help you to share private data securely without having to worry about hacking attempts or any of your documents leaking. With such a virtual room, you can keep all the business-related information safe and secure so you could access them with ease whenever you please.
Networking Is Harder
One of the major downsides of working from home is potential isolation. That isn’t just a social issue, it can also be a career and business development issue. People hire people they like and it is much more difficult to built positive relationships if you don’t get the chance to meet in person. Networking becomes much more complicated when you’re working from home, rarely meeting people.
This is where social networking comes in. LinkedIn is an essential network for any professional. Join and follow everyone in your contacts list. Post updates and comment on your contacts stories and updates. Some industries are particularly active on other social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. Find out where your colleagues congregate and put some effort into joining in.
The other positive outcome of the COVID crisis is the improvement and increase in online conferences and events. Small zoom groups can be quite interactive and often follow through with Facebook or Instagram communities.
And when the virus has calmed down there are other things you could try like joining professional groups for people like yourself working remotely in your city. This will help you form new relations and network with like-minded professionals.
It Gets Lonely
There’s no subtle way to say it, but working remotely often gets quite lonely. You’d often be spending your working hours throughout the day without the presence of co-workers, which can be a bit draining at times. This lack of social interactions is why a lot of people often revert back to full-time jobs, so it’s something you need to prepare for. The best way to handle this problem is by engaging in a ton of activities aside from work. Go to the gym, take classes, and make sure you meet people throughout the day. This way, you won’t feel the loneliness of working remotely creep up on you.
Self-Learning Isn’t Optional
If you’re working in a full-time job at an office, you will have the chance to meet with other more experienced people and you can learn from them and grow professionally as well as personally. When you’re working remotely, that might not always be so easy. You might not even ever meet the people you’re working with. This is why self-learning isn’t optional if you’re working remotely. You need to invest in improving your skills and go the extra mile so you could grow. This is not necessarily a bad thing, learning never is, but it requires some self-awareness on your end so you can move forward.
Working remotely comes with a ton of benefits, from time and location flexibility to often higher pay rates. But it is not without its accompanying challenges. The key to making it work is acknowledging that, like everything in life, there is a downside, and you need to work through these challenges so you can achieve your personal and professional goals. With enough dedication and effort, working remotely can be rewarding. Just remember to keep these points in mind so you can overcome any challenges you might face.