Nowadays, employment and income avenues are more diverse than ever, and we have more and more ways of earning a living online, whether that’s running an online business, freelancing, selling art online, or working for a company remotely. And while remote work is more and more popular, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges, so it won’t be the right option for everybody. Here are 7 signs that remote work is a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
You’re a self-starter
This comes down to the way you work and complete your everyday tasks – are you excellent at solving stuff someone else throws at you and successfully completing assigned tasks, or are you the type to self-start and take the initiative?
The difference can be massively important in a remote working environment, because you’re likely not getting direct orders or tasks from anyone, anymore; it’s up to you to take the initiative to self-start, whether that’s just admin tasks or investigating why something isn’t working with the project you completed before.
With no overhead to kick their ass into gear, some people struggle with organizing their tasks, ideas, steps, and can easily fall into chaos. A self-starter will have none of these problems and in fact, will be happy that there’s no one to order them around anymore.You don’t depend much on other people
Some lines of work are more independent than others, and this is going to depend on your industry and your position. What is your work like? Do you rely heavily on a team? Do you have to check in with others frequently, or co-work with people on key aspects of certain tasks? Or are you pretty much on your own?
Not saying that teamwork cannot be done remotely, it’s just more difficult. If your line of work is more reliant on yourself than on others, you’re a perfect fit for working at home (or anywhere else you want!), because you don’t have to set up a hundred meetings or be in a constant back-and-forth trying to liaise with different counterparts.
For example, if you’re a fiction writer, you may still occasionally need to work together with others (editors, proofreaders, agents, publishers, etc.), but the bulk of your work is going to be done alone. Compare that to a copywriter working for a publishing company who depends on several moving parts to synchronize or approve the work – that’s going to be more inconvenient to do remotely.
You do creative work or develop independent ideas
Certain types of work simply don’t fit into the traditional corporate environment, with a 9 to 5 schedule. If the work you do is for clients or you are completing tasks, then that’s something that can still be performed in an office environment. But if you’re more of a creative individual who is exploring different avenues, you’re better off at home, or wherever you are most inspired.
This isn’t only true for artists and creative workers, but also for entrepreneurs, and people who generate ideas, products, inventions, etc. That’s a very specific type of independent work that cannot be constrained into a space or timeframe that is easily tracked or monetized. These types are better left to their own devices to create and produce results on their own timeline.
You move or travel often
Moving often or traveling a lot can be really exciting, because you get to see quite a bit of the world and experience new places and cultures – but it also makes it super difficult to work a traditional 9 to 5 job in an office. Who can hold down a regular job, when you never know where you’ll be tomorrow, and for how long?
That’s why remote working may be the ideal solution for you; the digital nomad community is growing every day and there are thousands of people just like you, who are working online while they’re on the road. As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can achieve almost anything you would if you were back home at your regular office.
In addition, depending on what your work is, your travels may even serve as inspiration or topic for your work, in which case the ability to work remotely is essential to your job. It’s always better to get the ideas down when they’re fresh in your mind than later on, in the office.
You have an active social life outside of work
One of the primary challenges remote workers face is the inherent isolation and loneliness of being on your own all day, every single day. You may find that you miss the community, the idle chit-chat by the water cooler, or the sense of camaraderie.
Even if you’re not socializing at work anymore, you can fill that void if you have a full social life in your free time, or you’re just not that bothered about talking to people. It’s completely possible to still maintain the same level of social interaction, as long as you are very good about setting up coffee dates, nights out, etc. every day or make sure you have some sort of contact with other people. Another solution is to look for a co-working space where you can do your work alongside other freelancers just like you.
You’re an effective communicator
We’ve already covered the fact that independent workers fare best with remote work, but what about teams who work together, but remotely? How do they manage? Well, the key is communication, and you’ve got to be proficient at it.
Luckily for us, there are all sorts of tools available to bridge the gap and facilitate connection between moving parts of a project, so with the help of software like Skype, Slack, Trello, etc. teams working remotely can keep in touch and stay updated on their shared work.
However, your personal communication skills are also essential – you can’t shut everyone out and do your own thing, if you’re meant to be liaising with managers, co-workers, or clients. Sometimes, working remotely means communication more, not less, because of the decrease in proximity and face-to-face time that is sometimes essential to efficient common work.
Your most productive work hours are non-traditional
Let’s face it – early mornings aren’t for everyone, and that 9 to 5 schedule doesn’t work for all of us, either. Peak productivity levels are different for every individual, and while some may do their best work early to mid-morning and be re-energized after an afternoon slump, others are barely recovering by mid-afternoon and starting to get into the swing of things.
That’s why, if you’re a night owl, or just one of those people who achieve peak productivity outside traditional business hours, working remotely might be for you. Now, depending on what this work is and whether you’re doing it in collaboration with anyone, you may not have complete liberty when it comes to schedule, but you’ll at least eliminate the mandatory early rise and awful commute out of your routine.
What’s the bottom line?
Working from home can have a lot of advantages, including a very short commute (ha!), a later start, flexible working hours, and increased productivity, but you have to be a certain type of person in order for remote work to be a good fit for you. If you are a very motivated person who travels often, doesn’t necessarily stick to traditional business hours and has an active social life, remote work may be perfect for your needs!
About the author:
Aaron has been working remotely for six years as he was keen to embrace the flexibility it often affords to workers. He loves to travel and has most recently toured Southern Europe while working full-time. Remote work has broadened his horizons and allowed him to learn new skills and work with a diverse team while doing so.