The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Avoiding These When Working Remotely
There are a lot of benefits to working remotely and more and more people are seeking telecommuting arrangements with their employers. If you’re not careful and prepared, transitioning to a job outside of a traditional office setting can actually hurt your career. Here are the top 5 mistakes that you should avoid when you start working remotely.
Office environments have distractions in the form of phones ringing, colleagues interrupting your work, or other loud noises. However, working remotely has a lot of other distractions. If you’re working in a coffeehouse or coworking space, you can get easily distracted by the coming and going of other people and you might be tempted to start chatting with others. If you’re working from home, you might get put off by personal chores or be tempted to watch an episode of the TV show you started bingeing.
It’s important to be aware of what distracts you the most and make your environment work for you, like hiding the TV remote, or using chores as mental breaks from your work once you’ve progressed.
Remote arrangements are often praised for having great work-life balance, but you can actually end up having a terrible work-life balance if you’re not careful. As Mary Wilson, a career blogger at Big Assignments and Paper Fellows explains, “if you’re working from home and just starting out, you might be tempted to keep adding extra little tasks all day and evening, and it can be hard to know when to stop. In the opposite way, you might find yourself running errands and adding extra stops until the day’s passed and you haven’t done any work.”
Instead, set yourself a schedule to identify times you’ll be working and when you’ll be off, with a bit of flexibility. By setting clear working hours, you can keep a boundary between your work and your personal life and avoid a burnout. Once you turn off your computer, you should consider your work done for the rest of the day.
You won’t enjoy your remote work if you’re finding that you’re always missing the tools you need or your workspace is too cramped. Look at your different space options before you decide where to set up and make sure you’re giving yourself enough space for your work, whether it’s in a corner of your bedroom or at the kitchen table. Think about whether you need to store supplies and documents, how many monitors you need, and more so that you don’t become frustrated mid-task.
Many remote workers end up working as digital nomads, from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re doing a short trip or hopping from town to city, with a laptop and a good internet connection you can work anywhere. The mistake here is assuming you can work from anywhere without doing any serious planning. Is the WiFi spotty or are there often electrical blackouts that cause internet failures? Is your phone plan actually going to work as it’s meant to? Is the bus you’re taking going to arrive on time for you to make that conference call?
By planning ahead, you can make sure that these issues won’t affect your life and you can live as a digital nomad. A suggestion from Bill Leeson, a recruitment writer at State of Writing and Elite Assignment Help, is to “look into tools that can help you manage your schedule around different time zones and manage your workflow. There are even tools that can help you manage other remote employees.”
Being socially isolated as a remote worker can be as damaging to your health as smoking tobacco. If you’re working remotely, it’s important to have some human interactions in person in your daily life, even if you’re an introvert. Coworking spaces are a good option for remote workers to get their job done while still in an office-like environment. These spaces also host happy hours, networking events, and many other options to create a community and meet like-minded people.
This is a relatively new concept, so if you’re not in a coworking space, look for other meetup groups and social activities in your area. You’ll find that by increasing your interactions, you’ll be more productive, less lonely, and you might even meet someone that helps you professionally.
About the Author
Ellie Coverdale is a marketing and career blogger at Essay roo and UK Writings. She researches lifestyle and work trends in North America and writes about digital nomad and flexible work arrangements. She is also a writing skills teacher at Boom Essays.