Chances are, you’ve heard a story or two about working remotely.
You know, being able to work from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and a reliable internet connection.
Chances also are that, at some point, you’ve thought something along the lines of, “It’d be nice if I could work from anywhere in the world.”
Truth is, you can.
The Truth about Working Remotely
Even if it’s just working from home, anything outside of the typical office environment is generally considered remote work. That said, it isn’t far-fetched to get work done from the house, the beach, or even from a hotel somewhere in Spain…or any other country.
It’s 2018 and telecommuting—the upscale term for working remotely—is the future of work.
The benefits of working remotely are quite extensive for both the telecommuter (you) and the employer, and at the top are freedom and flexibility: telecommuting gives you the freedom to be anywhere while you work, while giving employers the flexibility to secure talent no matter where they are on the map.
We know a thing or two about working remotely because the Jay Nine team is located a little bit of everywhere—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, based on our experience with being a 100% remote team, here’s the scoop on what it’s really like to work remotely in 2018—3 pros and 3 you-should-knows:
Pro: Working remotely means work on your terms—for the most part.
This is perhaps the most obvious and most sought-after aspect of telecommuting. What this equates to is working when you want, from wherever you want, and for as long and hard as you prefer.
However, sometimes there are conditions. In some cases, you may be required to adopt a solid schedule where you’re putting in a certain number of hours each day or week. For example, if you’re a part of a remote team, it may be necessary for you to be working or readily available during certain windows of time (ex: from 11am to 4pm).
Nevertheless, for the most part, you’re the boss of your time, and you have both the ability and authority to change your schedule as you please.
In our case, there are a few times per week where we all come together for a couple of hours. During that time, we bring each other up to speed on project progress, check-in on deliverables, and do a handful of other team stuff. Other than that, we make our own schedules, and as long as everything gets done, we’re good to go.
You Should Know: Working remotely requires an entirely new level of accountability.
Now for the dimension of working remotely that you must always be mindful of: accountability.
The freedom to work wherever and whenever you want is all fun and games until you miss a deadline because you underestimated your time commitments.
And this isn’t the same as making sure you’re clocking into work on time—this type of accountability is a different. Everything will depend on it: your output, your sanity, and your success as a remote worker.
When you work remotely, you’re your own supervisor, mentor, motivation, and go-to person—for the most part, that is. In other words, it will be on you make sure you’re delegating your time properly, making and tracking your progress, staying in touch with clients, and everything in between.
Pro: Working remotely is as cost-effective as you want it to be.
The beauty of being able to work from anywhere but an office means that the need to spend money on travel can be nearly eliminated.
As a remote worker, you can literally wake up, brush your teeth, make a cup of coffee, and set up shop at your kitchen table.
Working off the coast of Isla Ixtapa or from a hot air balloon is fine, but it isn’t mandatory to be considered a remote worker, and it doesn’t necessarily make you any more remote than the person who’s saving money by working from their own bedroom.
Instead, the choice is entirely up to you. So, you can either spend money to travel while you work, or save money and work from home or a local coffee shop—either way, it’s considered working remotely.
You Should Know: Working remotely can get lonely at times.
This, my friends, is one of the downsides of removing yourself from an office environment. For some, being lonely may not a big deal. For others, the desire to be in the company of others may interfere with productivity.
But, looking at the bright side, being able to choose and change your work environment whenever you want to keeps you in control of the amount of distractions that you have to tolerate.
And when complete focus or head-down productivity is what’s necessary to get through your work in a timely matter, loneliness can actually be a good thing.
Pro: Working remotely makes you more intentional and productive.
Inc.com published an article back in February about how telecommuting and increased productivity go hand-in-hand.
And it’s true. Being the captain of your own ship means you’re wearing a lot more hats than you would be if you were a regular office worker. As such, you naturally become more aware and more intentional in your work practices: you’re delegating, double-checking, decision-making, and a ton of other things that’ll help you work smarter.
Productivity is a natural byproduct of working smarter. With increased productivity, you’ll be in a better position to take on more work (should you so choose) and get stuff done in a shorter amount of time without compromising on quality.
You Should Know: Working remotely means semi-consistent income—sometimes.
Depending on who you ask, working remotely can either mean money in the bank or surviving on Ramen noodles and coffee for 16 days out of the month.
But, don’t let the latter discourage you.
There are a combination of factors that will determine the amount of income you bring in, like:
- The amount of work you’re able to take on
- The rates you set for yourself; and
- The type of clients you secure (those who value quality vs. those who value quantity), among other things
But again, the standards you set up for your work and the clients you work with play a large part in how much income you generate from working remotely.
Is Working Remotely Right for You?
From a work perspective, working remotely is the ideal set up: no driving, no bosses, no strict 8-hour schedule, no annoying coworkers (we’ve all had them), and the list goes on.
But, this type of work setup isn’t for everyone.
If you’re able to, try incorporating a few remote work days into your schedule for a few months to determine if this is something that could work for you.
In addition to introducing you to the ropes of remote work, this would also give you the opportunity to establish a working foundation and small client base before making the decision to work remotely full-time.