Remote work is becoming increasingly popular in today's job scene, with most companies allowing their employees to work remotely and more recruiters hiring remote workers.
Many professionals as well, prefer to ditch the working from office culture and are instead going remote. If you are one of such professionals, this guide to remote work will teach you all you need to know.
What Is Remote Working Or Telecommuting?
To be able to work remotely, you first have to understand what the terms "remote work" or "telecommuting" means, and what it entails.
Remote working or telecommuting is a system where companies allow employees to work for them from other locations, outside a traditional office environment.
Remote work and telecommuting work style are almost the same things because in both scenarios the employees have to work from a location outside their office.
However, they are slightly different due to the minor discrepancies between them and the way they are set up.
In a remote work setting, the employees can work from a location that is outside the company's geographic location. Remote workers can also work for a company from other countries.
For a telecommuting setting, the employees work from a location that is within the area where the company is located and have to be available to execute tasks at all times.
Remote work has been in the job market scene for a long time now, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has become a more sustainable way for companies to keep working while staying afloat.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, these are some remote work statistics:
Read more about remote work during Coronavirus –
Remote work does have numerous benefits for companies and employees alike. It's why companies continue to adopt it as a standard work style which their workers can opt for.
Here are 5 advantages of working remotely:
1. Increased Employee Retention
A good way company can keep their employees is by giving them the option to work remotely.
Remote work provides employees with the flexibility they need to take care of other responsibilities they have besides work, it allows them to work during the hours they are productive and contribute to the company from a location they are comfortable in.
Also, the option to telecommute is another benefit companies can offer to their workers, in the absence of a salary increase and other costly benefits.
2. Increased Productivity
If employees are lagging at work and low on productivity, one thing that helps is to offer them a remote working option.
This way, they can work from wherever they are comfortable, and whenever they feel most productive while skipping the stress they usually face in the office.
3. Less Time Spent On Transportation and More Money Saved
Let's face it, transporting to work every morning for 5 days isn't exactly a walk in the park, it's particularly hectic and exhausting for employees who use public transport or live far from the office.
Offering such employees the option to work remotely will be a big relief to them in terms of saving them the stress of the long commute to work and the time they waste on the way. It also saves them the money they spend on transportation.
Employees working from home can arrive at their desk fresh and ready to dive into work, without being exhausted from traffic and long bus rides.
4. Autonomous Employees
A remote work setting allows for more autonomy amongst workers and enables them to work on their terms, while still actively contributing to the company. Remote workers can have more control over their productive hours, or decide if an office is where they feel most comfortable working from, or their house.However, the company can have rules governing such employees, to make sure that they still complete their tasks promptly.
5. More Applicants to Choose From
Most times a recruiter comes across a professional who they feel could be a good fit for their company, but can't hire them because they are outside the company's geographic area and as such can't report to the office for work. But if you have a remote work set in place, you are not restricted to the type of people you can hire for a job or location, and you have access to a wider talent pool.
Disadvantages of Working Remotely
While remote work is seen as a sustainable system of work adopted to increase productivity amongst employees, it also disadvantages that lead to counterproductive work behaviors.
Here are some disadvantages of working remotely:
1. Decreased Visibility at the Office
Remote employees may feel like lack of constant facetime with their boss or managers can cause them to be passed over for promotions because they are not well known in the office.
When working remotely, it's easy to feel isolated and cut off from other members of the company, because you miss out on all the office banter and connecting with your coworkers.
Due to this, remote employees don't feel like they are a part of the company.
3. Lack of Rapport among Co-workers
Besides isolation, another issue faced by remote workers is them not quite knowing how to relate to or connect with their full-time colleagues.
Since they don't experience the daily office happenings or rarely attend team bonding exercises, it's harder for them to maintain good rapport with other workers.
4. Poor Work / Life Balance
Home is where you come back to after a hectic office day to unwind and relax from work. But once those lines between the office and home are blurred due to you converting your home into an office, it becomes almost impossible to separate the two.
Working from home makes it hard to stop focusing from work or disconnect from your laptop because you can continue working even after office hours if you please.
At home, it's easy to get distracted by a lot of things while working. Since your supervisor isn't around to supervise you, you can take longer lunch hours to catch up on your favorite TV show or chat with your family members.
To curb these distractions and deliver timely work, you'll need to set stricter work schedules and find a place where you can't be distracted from work.
Our How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged will help you find sustainable ways to keep your remote workers on track and productive.
How to Get Started With Remote Work
To get started with remote work and ensure continuity, you need to have a system in place. One that is easy to create and follow, and at the same time, keeps you on track with your work.
Your system could be:
1. Setting up A Designated Workplace
Have a designated workspace separate from the rest of your house and all distractions, where you can do all your work.
The workspace should be furnished with a table and chair, and have a power outlet where you can plug in all your gadgets, including your Wi-Fi.
2. Familiarise Yourself with The Company's Technology And Tools
Since you will be working from home, you won't always have the opportunity to ask your colleague for help with technical issues.
What you can do is to familiarise yourself with the company's technology and tools, and every other software used by your company. You can take tutorials online and do mock trials with those tools before you start working with them.
3. Establish a Schedule
Creating a schedule will not just help you stick to time, but it will also enable you to execute all the tasks on your to-do-list in a timely and efficient manner.
A schedule prevents you from slacking off or missing deadlines. You can also share it with your supervisor so they know what you are working on for the day.
4. Connect With Your Colleagues
Don't stay isolated while telecommuting, try as much as possible to keep in touch with your co-workers and members of your team.
Be present to contribute to brainstorming sessions, provide assistance, as well as have back and forth conversations with your boss or supervisor. Check-in on company communication channels too.
You can also learn your coworkers preferred communication channels so that you can easily reach them there.
5. Supervise Yourself
Your boss won't lean against your desk to ask you why you're watching videos instead of working, so you will be the one to supervise yourself.
6. Have Backup
Don't depend entirely on your Wi-Fi or the power supply at your home, those things could fail you in the middle of a project or a call with your boss.
To ensure smooth remote working, have a backup plan for your gadgets and most importantly power supply.
7. Set Boundaries
Learn to set boundaries between your work hours and the hours you kept aside for yourself.
Stick to your schedule, do your usual 9-5, and don't exceed those hours trying to meet your deadline or reply last-minute emails from your coworkers. Once it's the end of the day, step away from your laptop and don't go back till the next day.
As a remote worker, you need to find creative ways to stay productive as you work, because it's easy for your productivity level to dwindle.
Here's how to stay productive when working from home:
1. Get Comfortable Work Furniture
Since you will be sitting for long, comfort should be a priority.
Whatever workspace or furniture you choose for yourself, should be comfortable and cozy so that it doesn't in any way negatively affect your sitting posture, thereby interfering with your work.
2. Start Early
Getting an early start on your tasks for the day is one way for you to complete everything on your to-do list and still have time on your hands to spare.
Also, you can tackle all your hectic tasks in the morning when you have more energy, and live simple tasks for the midday.
3. Change Out Of Your Pyjamas
Before you start for the day, take a shower and change out of your pajamas into regular clothes.
Doing this gets you in the right mindset for work, but also makes sure that you are camera-ready in case you have a video call.
4. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is something you would do if you were working from the office, so you should also do the same when working from home. Set aside a time of the day when you can take a one-hour break to clear your head and unwind for some time before you go back to work.
5. Have a Routine
A fitness routine like taking walks or exercising or a morning routine like taking a cup of coffee helps you break the funk that could be created by long hours of work.
Your routine can be done early in the morning before you get into work, or after you're done working for the day.
Need other remote work productivity tips? Read How to Be Productive When Working From Home
Remote work is made possible due to the invention of the internet, and the development of tools that allow people to communicate with their teammates in other locations, and manage their businesses from the comfort of their homes.
If you are thinking about going remote, you'll need to have these tools in your toolbox:
Communication Tools for Remote Work:
Project Management Tools for Remote Work
Video Chats Tools for Remote Work: Check out a full list here
Social Media Management Tools for Remote Work
File-Sharing Tools for Remote Work:
Managing your business remotely? Then you will find 12 Tools to Manage Your Business Remotely [Infographic] insightful.
Please include attribution to MyJobMag with this graphic.
These are the best paying work at home jobs, which you can easily do from the comfort of your house:
Note: Having a strong internet connection and a good laptop is not enough to do these jobs, you have to possess the necessary skills and experience required to do them. Read more about remote jobs in How Do You Find A Remote Job?
Transitioning to remote work should be smooth and easy for the professional who is armed with information on how to navigate this work system. Check out our resource on remote working for more information.