Working from home sounds like a dream come true. You can work in your pajamas, you don’t have to worry about commuting, and there are no coworkers to bother you. What could go wrong? Well, a lot of things could. A lot can go wrong — especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Weird hours, high stress, and no breaks are but common issues of the remote worker.
Your dream job can turn into a nightmare overnight if you are not prepared — but that doesn’t have to be you!
Here are 8 things you need to consider before starting a remote position. That way, you can turn a remote position into your dream position.
1. It’s the same game but played differently
Switching from an office-based to a home-based job is nothing but an environment change. You will be doing the same job — but that small change will shake things up in a big way.
Whether you’re a data analyst, a programmer, or a translator, it doesn’t matter. Your responsibilities are the same. What you need to figure out is how you’re going to deliver.
Do you need to show results once a week or once a month? Is it a daily thing? How does your boss expect you to do it?
In an office, you sit down at your desk and work. At a home job, you need to figure out how (and when) your work goes from your house to your company. You might need to set extra time aside to figure that out.
2. You’ll be in total control
Without having your supervisors a few feet away from you, things can get a little lax. Working from home means you’re in charge of choosing your hours and how to use them.
A lot of people doing remote work from home get caught up in the snooze trap. They start to wake up a little later every day — and before they know it, they are missing out on deadlines.
Even if you’re doing easy part-time jobs at home, you can fall for this trap. Since you have to do something easy, you decide to postpone it. And one day, you forgot about it entirely and got fired. It’s not a good look!
Disciplined workers can get away from working from home. If you’re not one of them, you’ll have to figure out a rigid work schedule you cannot escape from, as long as you’re working remotely.
3. You could need a “time’s up, hands up” policy
Some people need a rigid schedule to follow. Others need a designated time to relax — especially when it comes to work-from-home jobs.
Once you’ve escaped from the 9-to-5 hours, you need to tread carefully. If you’re not paying attention, you might end up working all day every day — and that’s nothing but a fast way to burn out.
When you have a remote job, you need to set working hours and resting hours. If you fail to follow either one, you will have a terrible time working from home. Once your work time is up, you put your hands up and move on.
Working from home required being disciplined with both work and leisure!
4. Remote work doesn’t mean working alone
A lot of people think they are a one-man show when they work remotely — and that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Even the easiest jobs from home have coworkers. They might not be right next to you, but they are working from home too. You need to acknowledge that and coordinate with them to make sure everything goes as planned.
Reaching out to coworkers is also different. You need to set up a communication system if there isn’t one in place. You’ll have to get used to conference calls, e-mails, and more.
5. Setting boundaries will be more important
There might be times when you think you’re on a 24-hour call if you don’t do things right.
Even if you have a part-time remote job, your coworkers might contact you after you clocked out — and that’s when you need to set some boundaries.
You’ll need a work email and a personal email. And you need to be willing to look the other way when someone calls you after work hours. Otherwise, part-time jobs from home might feel like full-time jobs — and you won’t be getting paid for that.
Full-time jobs from home are no different. After your work hours are done, you get to disconnect from your job — or it’ll take over your life!
6. Real estate’s rules ring true: location, location, location
When you’re working remotely, your house will be your office and your office will be your house. Feeling like you wake up in your office is a dreadful thing — one you need to prevent from happening.
You need to designate a special place to work. It could be a desk, a table in the dining room, or wherever you feel comfortable. Work happens there and nowhere else. Making sure you are capable of doing that is key if you want to work remotely.
7. You’re not going to be a digital nomad right away
If you’re looking for real work from home jobs because you want to travel around the world, stop and take a deep breath. The digital nomad life is possible — but it takes more than a remote job and a passport to get there.
Before you even think about it, you need to pass a trial of sorts. Work from home for a couple of months. See how you react to it. You might be perfect for it or you might crumble under the pressure. Imagine if the latter happened when you’re thousands of miles away from home!
When it comes to this lifestyle, it’s best if you take it one step at a time.
8. Going back to the office isn’t a defeat
Working from home isn’t for everyone. There is nothing bad about working in an office! If things aren’t working out at home, you shouldn’t feel defeated because of it. All you have to do is take the hint and move on.
Some people feel at ease in their house. When you start a remote job, you could lose that sense of peace you have at home. That might be more important to you than the many perks of a remote job.
Don’t worry about that! At least you learned a lesson there — and going to the office won’t feel as bad!