Remote work is an interesting topic that applies to more people and that affects more industries nearly every single day.
Nowadays there are plenty of Instagramers, YouTubers, Programmers, Digital Content Creators that spend a huge amount of their time online, working remotely and not being bound to any particular place. The only thing they need is a working laptop or a mobile phone. Such work gives a lot of freedom and gives room to multiple new opportunities – remote work knows no boundaries and gives people a lot of unobvious opportunities. Needless to say nothing comes without at price.
As a person who’s been working remotely for the past 8 years I would like to share couple of tips, outline pros and cons of such work and share my own, personal experiences. These may come in handy to those who are thinking of such a career and are still wondering whether or not they would make a good fit, to those who are afraid and are looking for some valuable tips that would help them making up their mind, or finally – to those who are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of chances, different ideas and are feeling alone in front of the computer screen.
I will start the article with cons of remote work and finish the article with pros. I will try to post my personal suggestions and tips on how to fight some negative and over-optimistic ideas in one’s head. I personally think that the latest thing you think of sets your subconscious mind and inner feelings towards the most recent stimulus, hence I prefer to keep the positive stuff at the end.
1. Feeling of loneliness and bury
Remote work requires a lot of self-discipline, hard work and motivation. Unless you are a well recognized specialist or an influencer you might feel overhwlemed, you may lack motivation and waste your time. My personal tip of sorting this out is to stay focused. Try to focus on a single task for at least 25 minutes and take a break. Make sure you recognize the fact that you actually moved forward and did something. Such a small gift of gratitude is extremely important.
2. Lack of immediate (especially financial) effects of one’s work.
Internet is huge, actually imho Internet is infinite just like the solar system. Unless you are extremely lucky and find a niche right off the bat your work may seem counterproductive and pointless. This is quite hard to fight – there are people who want to discourage you, there are friends, family members, ever occuring problems and with every time not spent online you might feel like losing yourself, especially knowing that your competition is growing. My personal approach to such negative thinking was solved by small celebrations, successes and never back down attitude. You have to prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, devotion and wise thinking.
3. Frustriation and anxiety
Most of us are sociable. We like to hangout with friends, motivate each other and finally we have to move. Sitting in front of a PC (for solo freelancers usually all by yourself) is quite hard on one’s head. To avoid feeling of frustration or anxiety I try to make sure I live a balanced life. I think that considering oneself a Sim helps a lot. Take breaks, go out, speak to the others, speak of your plans, look for help in the Internet – avoid overthinking and make sure that whatever you do now will benefit you in the future.
4. Lack of understanding from people around you
In my personal case this has been the hardest thing to fight. People didn’t consider my way of living (that is programming, blogging and working on my side projects related to YouTube and Instagram) a work. Given the fact I like to work from home most of the time (mostly due to the fact that I don’t “waste” any time in the traffic) people thought I am usually available and they have been constantly distracting me, thinking I was available – obviously that wasn’t the case. It took me a lot of time to make people realize that I am occupied and I prefer to stay focused on a particular topic and need some time personally – both from work and from my those surrounding me. I managed to work this through by showing them my duties, explaining the problems related to such work and the fact that there are times where I have to work more than usually and that my work is not bound by the time. Make sure you are patient and balance that.
5. Constant distractions
This and the above are imho the two key factors that influence the effectivness of remote work. As pointed out above I like to work for 25 minutes on any given topic avoiding distractions. My personal reccomendation for focus and never ending amount of incentives is DO NOT DISTURB mode. Turn off your phone, disable social media, pause notifications (honestly you don’t need to be available to everyone and response immediatelly to every problem). Once you realize that you will have this inner feeling of peace which is necessary. If this requires you to work during the night – then do it. Noone may force you to work in a way you don’t want to.
1. Remote work opens you up to new opportunities and new friends
My career started with the Xfive team (formerly XHTMLized). At first I didn’t realize I would meet new people or even make friends with them, heck I only wanted to earn for a living and get out. The main idea behind remote work was the inner feeling of liberty which after all those years I realize I have achieved. Not only I made a lot of friends and manage to meet with the team pretty often I also have the liberty of working anywhere. This is a huge opportunity and is a so-called workation.
2. Remote work gives one a lot of liberty (if not wasted on bullsh*t!)
In my personal opinion remote work gives one a lot of chances of achieveing more in the same amount of time. If you are focused, devoted and self-disciplined you may finish your work sooner than the others who have to stay those “legendary” 8 hours at work. Why won’t take advantage of that and be your own time keeper? I would like to recommend an intersting book here Getting Things Done by David Allen and Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Both of these books have given me a lot of tips on how to handle myself in different situations related to remote work.
3. You are not bound to any particular place
Working remotely doesn’t require you to stay anywhere. If working home alone makes you feel bad then go ahead and make use of co-work spaces. There are more and more such places, especially in bigger towns. If there’s none around then go ahead and find a friend who’s willing to work in a similar way. If none of your friends is willing to work like that then go anywhere public. I remember back in the days when I couldn’t stand the feeling of staying alone I worked in restuarants, parks at my friends houses.
4. You have the freedom of making a break whenever you want to (most of the time ;))
This is probably the most important pros of all of these. Most of us have a lot of duties that from time to time require one to take a day off. If you are working remotely you can most of the time take a break, do your stuff and get back to work. For instance I have been taking care of my god-daughter while working at the same time. Isn’t that beautiful?
5. You may have access to anyone and any knowledge you seek – the choice is yours
Not many people are aware of the fact that the connections you make via Internet open you up to a lot of knowledge and improving connections. If you are ever feeling alone and anxious feel free to take advantage of your situation – use forums, seek help find people with common needs. It’s up to you what you will do with the limited time you have in front of PC. You either waste it or take advantage of it.
I hope you find this article interesing. Feel free to join the comments section and give your own, personal insights into the topic.
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