How Does it Work?
Working remotely or telecommuting is the ability to work somewhere rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or offices. A person working remotely does his job mainly from home or anywhere else and communicates with the company by email, telephone or VOIP (voice over internet protocol).
Another widely used term for this is digital nomad. A digital nomad is a person whose location independent and uses modern technology to carry out his job. Through a number of developments in telecommunications, including inexpensive internet access, working anywhere is now possible. Working remotely or digital nomad lifestyle is the best option for those people who would like to pursue a stable career while travelling the world.
I was working as a full time account manager until a job offer came along the way. I remember asking myself if I have the courage to quit my long-time job and pursue a new full time career. Working for 10 years with no straight direction where my career is heading urged me look for better opportunities. I contemplated about everything that I had to give up if I resign from my full time office based job. I had to let go of the things that somewhat matter and other perks and of course, the people that I worked with. It was a major decision that I had to make, but I would say I made the right choice.
My new employer is located in United Kingdom and I am located in Manila Philippines. I was working for him as a part-time virtual assistant for more than 2 years until he offered me a full time position. One of the most important reasons why I grabbed the opportunity is not just because of the higher salary, but also because of the opportunity to work remotely.
If you are looking to start working remotely to travel more or for any other reason, here are some things that you need to consider:
1. Reliable Internet Connection and Adequate Equipment
Do you have a working computer and reasonable internet speed to perform your work? What about a working headset in case you need to phone in for a Skype meeting? Stable internet connection, sufficient internet speed and other adequate equipment are the fundamental requirements if you’re working remotely.
- Quality laptop computer – Most companies provide this to their employees, but if you’re working as a freelancer, you need to invest on a laptop with higher specs. Make sure that it can last for years and even better if it’s covered with extended warranty. Choose what you think is the best as it will be your number one tool to work remotely successfully. Don’t cheap out! No doubt, buying a cheap one can save you money, but it can also cause you a lot of headaches in the future.
- Reliable Internet connection with sufficient speed – You no longer have to rely on your office’s fast speed internet. When you’re travelling and working remotely, it can be difficult to know if the destination you’re going to has good internet service. It’s wise to ask for a speed test result from the host of your chosen accommodation before checking in. Just so you know what to expect and you can prepare ahead of your trip. Always bring a back up mobile dongle or a pocket wifi just in case. If you’re working from home, check with your provider if your internet subscription has enough bandwidth and download quota. Unlimited plans are highly recommended. If you’re sharing internet with someone else, like a roommate or a family member, make sure that it’s not being over utilized as this can cause slow speed. You might need to upgrade to a plan with higher speed just to be on the safe side. Always remember that being available and reliable is very important when you’re working remotely, since you’re not physically in the office.
- Others things you need – Depending on the nature of your work, a functional headset and earphones are also important. Make sure you have these if you need to be on a Skype meeting or other video conference call from time to time. It’s also good to have it if you’re working in a public area. Get all the software you need, like authentic operating system and anti-virus. You might also need to invest on a laptop bag with considerable quality.
2. Working Remotely Requires Self Discipline
If you choose to work remotely from your home or somewhere else, it can be tempting to abandon your work and just do other things that you see as more important at the time. You might be caught in the middle of whether to run an errand or do your job. And if you’re travelling, chances are your attention will be drawn to your surroundings and you will be enticed to leave your work to have fun.
Working remotely requires a bunch of self discipline. Although you have the license to work anywhere you want, following a work schedule will ensure that you’ll get things done. It is even easier to set aside your work if you have the freedom to work on a flexible schedule. You have to formulate a good scheduling system and be creative to accomplish your work and not miss deadlines.
3. You Need Self Motivation
Working remotely needs a certain amount of self motivation to have the will to get up and carry out your work, just as if you had to go into the office. But the difference is there will be no boss or co workers around to look after you. Being location independent also means being totally self-reliant on almost everything that you need to achieve without physical supervision. This can be challenging to some. But with sufficient motivation, working remotely will not be that hard. If a task seems too difficult and daunting, don’t let that lead you into hesitation. You can always start small and establish a baseline of what your status is so you can progress little by little and make things happen. Always aim for more accomplishments and don’t forget to reward yourself after.
4. Fight the Loneliness
Working remotely without anyone around you to interact with can be lonely. If you worked in an office environment and used to having other people around you, then working remotely might be difficult to deal with, and adjustment will not be easy. There are times that you will think of the happenings at the office. You will also miss your friends at work, which can make you, begin to feel sad at times.
To overcome this loneliness, try to avoid thinking about it in the first place. The more you think about the loneliness, the more you put yourself in a distressing situation. Loneliness is a feeling, not a fact. Play some music while you’re working, music that is fun and positive to listen to. You can choose to work somewhere with people around you, like in a coffee shop or a restaurant. If you’re into social media, be active and engage yourself in online conversation. Just make sure that it won’t affect your productivity.
On the lighter side, if you like working alone and take pleasure in the peace and quiet, working remotely can be a good replacement of the traditional office atmosphere.
You may also like: Easy Things To Do While Travelling Alone and Not Feel Like an Outcast
5. Look for Job Stability
Does your work provide a stable source of income or is it mostly contractual? If your goal is to travel more, try to settle into a stable position. You will likely achieve more of your long-term career goals while travelling, rather than having just a seasonal job. You also need to position yourself financially capable to sustain your chosen lifestyle. Rack up marketable skills that can appeal to future employers. These factors provide sufficient reminders about the importance of striving for job stability.
Working remotely may sound easy for some, but everything has its pros and cons. It has challenges but it comes with advantages as well. If you feel that working remotely will benefit you more, then go for it. You might struggle to adjust in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it eventually. Just be prepared and always give your best at whatever you’re doing. If working remotely works for you, it could lead to something even better in your career and a major addition to your happiness.
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