How to know if a remote job is right for you
COVID-19 lockdowns shook up the job force, forever changing its landscape. Many employers are offering more remote options. While this is great news for some, others work better in an office environment.
Both options have their pros and cons. Consider these challenges before determining which option is best for you.
An office can have its drawbacks. Working alongside others during a health crisis can be risky. Beyond that, there are some challenges office workers contend with regularly.
One of the most challenging aspects of working far from home is the commute, which can impact your health. Commute times vary with every job offer. Sitting in traffic longer than 45 minutes can strain your mental health.
You’ll also need to think about your personality. Commuting may be even more difficult if you’re susceptible to stress or dislike uncertainty. Additionally, you must factor in the cost of the commute, whether using public transportation or your vehicle. Will the money spent be worth the salary offered?
Some of the common workplace difficulties involve co-worker relationships. Disagreements in the workplace, bullying, or complicated relationships with colleagues could affect your ability to work without distractions. However, if you can maintain good relationships with the people around you, the office can be a rewarding place to grow your career.
Employers set weekly work schedules for their staff, giving little or no flexibility to staff. And some positions may require you to work more than 40 hours a week. That can challenge your ability to maintain a work-life balance, especially with a long commute. If you have family commitments, health struggles, or other challenges that require flexibility, a remote position may be a better fit.
Other office challenges
Your career impacts your mental health and well-being. Office environments can be uplifting and supportive, or they can be a cause of drama and stress. Discrimination, harassment, inappropriate behaviour, or high-stress atmospheres also sully the workplace. Remote work could reduce your exposure to these problems.
What you need to work remotely
Working remotely requires certain skills and personality traits. Focus, discipline, and self-management are all characteristics you’ll need to complete your work in a professional manner. Good communication and time management skills are also necessary.
To help you be successful when working remotely, you should set up a dedicated area to have time and space where you can work without interruption. You should also be aware of the labour laws and how they affect your rights as a remote worker.
One of the typical challenges is being able to stand out when working remotely. Be proactive when communicating with your colleagues and clients. Ask questions, offer input, and keep everyone aware of your progress on a project. Instant messenger and frequent video calls help your co-workers get to know you better.
Final considerations about working from home
If working remotely still sounds like a good fit, there are just a few more things you’ll need to know.
- Working from home could mean less commuting costs but higher utility fees. Take practical steps to lower your utility bills, such as buying energy-efficient appliances, unplugging devices that are not in use, and setting up your desk in a sunny area to reduce electricity use.
- Make sure your technology needs are covered. You’ll need enough bandwidth from your internet service provider, a reliable phone plan, and a dedicated laptop. Hopefully, your employer may be able to cover these costs. If not, negotiate an adequate salary that will cover the difference.
- When you live with others, your housemates or family members should not have access to your technology. A secure system avoids issues with theft, hacking, or data corruption that can cost you your job.
Staying engaged enough to build a solid work reputation is more difficult when working remotely. Your skills, personality, and living arrangement must be a good fit to keep you productive. However, if you possess the traits necessary to stand out, why not strive for a successful career and peace of mind by working at home?
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com