At first glance, remote work can be an attractive arrangement. You can walk your dog in the morning, eat a light breakfast, do a bit of work, meet a friend for a quick lunch, return for more work, and spend long hours with your family. It sounds like a picture of the ideal work-life balance, right?
Yet when I visit my LinkedIn account and stumble upon unofficial polls, many people still express their preference for the corporate office setup. Why? Some employees find remote work is not for them. That’s understandable. We are inclined to relate well with others in person, as we are social creatures by nature. We thrive from connecting with others when done face-to-face. So, removing that element is equivalent to removing an essential part of our nature as social beings.
That very reasoning is why I find remote workers special. Remote work isn’t always the easiest work style to adjust to, and it’s something many thoughts was easier and somewhat a joke for a long time.
Many brave souls were already engaged in a work-from-home setup before the COVID-19 pandemic sent everyone home from the office to become remote workers. And in a way, I’m thankful so many workers got a chance to experience this work style so that they can understand it’s not easier, but more difficult in many ways when compared to traditional work.
Suppose you are thinking about doing remote work long-term. In that case, I recommend that you take a step back and assess your ability to adjust to and embrace the remote work lifestyle. Your assessment can include asking yourself if you have the following qualities that make remote workers successful (these are the same traits companies look for during their recruitment process.)
Independent and Adaptable
You will find job posts that state companies looking for remote workers want independent people in their fold. It calls for an understanding of how remote work operates. In an office setup, you can immediately contact a manager about a concern. You may not have that luxury with remote work where your boss or teammates may be working in a different time zone.
Yes, you will be oriented and trained. Yes, you will be provided with tasks and a list of instructions. But when there’s a crunch and there’s no one around to call for help immediately, you must be independent and adaptable to make decisions, find solutions, face the consequences, and ensure that work still gets done.
Organized and Disciplined
In hindsight, it’s still the same number of hours in a day. What makes remote work life very attractive is that you have more control over your time. You get to organize—and live—your idea of work-life balance. This is not as easy as it sounds.
There are more distractions at home than in an office. This is why it is crucial to make your family understand and appreciate your need for your own dedicated space and time for work.
Being organized for remote work-life goes beyond ensuring that your tasks get done on time. It involves setting up your work-from-home equipment that supports what you do. It also puts your time management skills to a daily test to ensure that your schedule includes taking care of your health and your family.
You can check out my own remote work-life setup at home:
Tech-savvy and Resourceful
Remote-first companies, especially the ones I have worked with through my consultancy, always look for remote workers who can quickly learn to navigate through systems and different software.
Remote workers are required to engage in digital communication. This shows that you must be adept at using messaging applications, email, and other online platforms that will keep you connected with your team. Digital tools help remote workers save time and be more efficient. But when a system is down, how tech-savvy and resourceful are you to find a solution that will still enable you to deliver your tasks or stay connected?
If you are positive about having these skills and if you are ready to be a remote worker, here are your next steps:
2. Download the work-from-home equipment checklist and set up your home office.
3. Find and land a remote job using the help of this mega list of jobs I curated for you.
Good luck in your search for remote work! I know you can do it!