Who would not want to work from home? Doesn’t it sound like a dream? All you would have to do to get ready for work is roll out of bed and turn on your laptop. The best part of working remotely is being able to set your own schedule. The flexibility allows you to work around the rest of your priorities in life. If you have young kids or take care of aging relatives, this work situation would be ideal. This is also the perfect scenario for individuals who have been bitten by the travel bug. Having a remote job means you can work from anywhere in the world, as long as you are plugged in, organized, and self-motivated.
The following is what you need to do in order to become a remote worker.
Assess Your Situation
You think you want to begin working remotely, but you have not thought much beyond that. This is why you need to take a step back and evaluate your life. What are you doing now and what would you rather be doing? What is keeping you from moving forward?
Think about your needs. Does your home/life situation require you to stay home 24/7? Or can you go into an office environment a few days out of the week? How flexible do your work hours need to be? Once you figure out what your ideal work-life balance looks like, you can better communicate that with your current or prospective employer. It will also give you more confidence in your plans for the near future.
What is your current job situation? Is your occupation or industry conducive to a remote working environment? As long as your position or dream job does not require you to be in an office to oversee local staff or see clients in-person, then you probably have a shot at working from home.
Of course, it would be easier to stay on at your current company rather than starting over in a new and unfamiliar organization. It would be a good idea to find out what your options are before hitting the job boards in search of a new gig. There might be a way for you to work something out with your manager. Some companies have processes already in place for certain positions or employees with permission to work from home, either full-time or part-time. You might need to get set up with a company laptop that has built-in securities, depending on your industry. Many departments with remote workers utilize programs or software, such as Slack, in order to keep all team members abreast of progress on active projects. You will never know what is available to you if you do not take the initiative to ask.
One important thing to be aware of is that some states are not eligible for work from home. Be sure to look into this information for your state. To take advantage of this loophole, some companies may offer you remote work instead of a promotion or change your employee status to an independent contractor. This is where knowing your needs comes in handy. How much money do you need to make in order to live comfortably and feel that you are getting the amount that you are worth?
Get a Remote Position
Finding a remote job is pretty similar to finding an in-office job. Start searching the online job boards to see what positions are available. While more remote jobs have become available in recent years, there are not as many remote openings as there are onsite jobs. What’s more, is that competition is fierce. Many other candidates want the flexibility of working from anywhere just as much as you do. That is why the general process for finding a remote position may take quite a bit longer than another position. Be patient and be aggressive. You will find that perfect role when the time is right.
Setting Up Your Workspace
When you finally land the job of your dreams, it is time to set up your workspace. This includes equipment and furniture. It might be easier to do this if you choose a dedicated spot in your home as your “office” versus being completely mobile. If you travel often, you will need to make sure that all of your equipment meets your portability standards.
Here are examples of potential items you will need:
- Laptop or Desktop computer
- Laptop stand or Standing desk
- USB Keyboard
- USB Mouse
- Organization kit/ties for cables
It is important to make your workspace as inviting as possible. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can design your own special spot. Set it up in such a way that makes you feel comfortable and welcome. It needs to be a place that you want to get up and go to for extended periods of time. It can be your second sanctuary (your bedroom being the first). Pro-tip: Avoid working from your bed. Your bed is meant for rest and relaxation, not work and stress. Keep the two separate.
Tips for Successful Remote Work
Here are some additional tips to make sure that your venture into remote work is met with success:
- Keep specific work hours - It would behoove you to make yourself a weekly schedule with specific work hours mapped out in advance. This is a good way to stay on task for projects that have strict deadlines or for those who have the tendency to procrastinate.
- Take a shower and get dressed - As a remote worker, it can be really easy to wear the same pajamas for days on end. Unfortunately, this habit can negatively affect your work. If you force yourself to freshen up and put street clothes on before starting on work, you are more likely to be awake and productive.
- Take breaks and go outside - Another bad habit of those who work from home is the tendency to stay inside all day. You might get so consumed with a project that you forget to take a break or step out into the world. It is vital to your health that you focus on something other than work every so often during the day. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. This will revive you and provide a second wind.
- Spend time with people - Since you are no longer in an office environment, it is likely that you are seeing and speaking to fewer people on a day-to-day basis. You need this person-to-person interaction to keep your brain stimulated. Have lunch or dinner with friends at least once a week, in order to remind yourself that you are human.
- Communication is key - Working remotely might make it a bit more difficult to communicate with your team or manager. Be sure to have meetings scheduled often and keep in touch via Skype or via another messaging tool. Do not go off the grid. You will need to keep the doors of communication open in order to lead or work successfully.
There are plenty of ways to look for the perfect remote job, but the best way is to partner with ICS. Click below to view our open jobs. Apply today to get started!