Working Remotely: Perks, Challenges and Trends (Pt. 2)

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The first image that pops into mind is a relaxed person lounging around in PJs with a coffee in hand and a laptop sprawled on the couch. Contrary to popular belief, remote work is anything but a vacation. In reality, remote work requires enormous amounts of time management, communication, and independence skills.

With over 70% of the workforce already working remotely at least one day per week, the dynamics of work are shifting as technology continues to advance patterns in recruitment, communication, and skills-based learning.

We’ve outlined some pros and cons of working remotely to help you understand if this lifestyle is for you.

Here are the perks that come along with remote, nomadic work life.

Flexible Schedule

This is by and large the biggest plus of remote work. You’re free to run a quick errand whenever, go on a jog, or a stroll through the park—and come back to work with a clearer mind and fresh eyes.

Grab a snack, walk the dog, or (shamelessly) dance around to some music. You’re completely in charge of your time, which comes with added responsibility and accountability.

No Dress Code

Lounge around in pyjamas, or sweats if you want to. At the same time, studies have shown that getting dressed for work (i.e. formal attire) can help get remote employees in the right mood to perform optimally. It’ll also come in handy during those unexpected video calls.

Freedom of Location

Tapping away in Indie coffee shops are the stereotype, but with a stable Internet connection, virtual work can be done anywhere, in any country. This allows ample time for travel and exploration along the way.

Go sightseeing along a river or hike through the mountains. Squeeze in a spin class or go indoor rock climbing. The possibilities are endless, and you have the choice to create and map out your own wellness journey.

Increased Productivity

For the right person, working sans schedule or office can fire their productivity several notches upward. And by the “right person” we mean self-starters — those who can take a project, ask the right questions and run with it (in terms of the Big Five personality trait: high on conscientiousness or self-discipline) tend to be the happiest in remote positions.

There are, however, some challenges that we must address.

Time Management

Without a clear agenda on the clock, it can be a challenge to manage those minutes with care. Using a calendar app such as Google Calendar or setting alarms for 30 minute focus intervals can help make time management much easier.

Other remote employers swear by time-tracking apps such as Toggl. You can pick and choose what works best, which is a long-term experimental process.

Motivation

Calling in sick is no longer an option for remote employees, and the flexibility to work whenever and wherever can pose challenges in motivation.

Without the physical presence of a boss or teammates, self-motivation may pose some challenges. Sleeping in on a weekday might directly translate to working additional hours over the weekend.

A balanced diet and sleep schedule can do wonders in this situation. However, this is easier said than done, so start early to reap the benefits later on.

Communication

Laggy Skype calls (technical mishaps are guaranteed at some point), misinterpretations of tone, or an inconsistent Internet connection can all make communication all the more difficult. Since face-to-face engagement is replaced with video calls and texts, communication is a critical skill to learn to use effectively.

You’ll be collaborating over the cloud with coworkers across different countries, cultures, ethnicities, and ages. It can be a very eye-opening and meaningful experience, but you have to prepare yourself for it.

Remote work has arrived at the party and is only here to stay. Companies are now able to effectively source exceptionable talent regardless of their geographical location while saving costs of office furniture and rental space!

This is a rapidly shifting era for work as connection is now easier than ever with e-meeting apps and platforms. What better time to tread the waters of remote work than now?

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