A decade ago, working from home was termed as an indiscipline act contrary to a company’s norms and in rare cases there had to be a special reason for working remotely. Times have changed and now online jobs are considered a full-time career. Remote working is on the rise and this is for a good reason. Technology has adversely advanced over the past few years. An example is the video conferencing that is used to hold meetings, trainings, interviews and even business negotiations. New inventions and innovations arise day by day with an increasing need for high skilled personnel. These technological changes have contributed towards the growth of country’s economy. Most businesses thrive having their teams working remotely. Many youth- facing challenges such as high level of unemployment and poverty- have gotten a chance to earn a living through using their skills and talents to innovate these. In turn they have opened up job opportunities for their fellow youth. This is what I call “a second chance” in life.
A greater percentage of the world’s population has embraced online working and ventured into it. You have to have an understanding of what this entails and how to go about it before you begin working remotely. I’ll walk you through five things that will act as a guide to a successful remote working.
- Before embarking on this journey, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
Like any other career, it has pros and cons. Advantages will motivate you to go extra miles whereas disadvantages will encourage you keep persisting until you overcome those obstacles. You should be prepared to handle every situation or challenge that you may face working remotely. Some of the advantages of working from home include:
- It is cost friendly. This helps you save money by reducing costs associated with commuting to the work place daily, money spent on fuel and other little expenses that may incur during the day.
- It is flexible. It gives you the ultimatum of deciding when to work and how to go about that particular job. This includes choosing an environment that best suits you while working.
- It increases productivity. One would ask, how? Deciding when to work, choosing a suitable environment and working at your own pace not only makes you comfortable but also happy. Happiness yields productivity; productivity births success.
However, there are also disadvantages that come with this form of working and some of them are as follows:
- You tend to easily get distracted when working from home. This involves postponing and piling of work as well as incomplete work.
- Poor working relationship. Failing to complete a client’s work on time will build a bad rapport and this may affect your ability to get more online jobs.
- Risk to burnout. Due to unspecified working hours, you may overwork, get emotionally drained and be unable to meet demands or deadlines.
- Be well conversant with the skills required to work from home
These skills range from research, typing, comprehensive, language skills, active listening, to mention but a few. In order for you to deliver quality services online you should equip yourself with such skills that will enable a smooth running of your programme, ease your performance and increase productivity rates. You should be able to manage your time and be self driven. Possessing strong written and oral communication skills will make you stand out and earn you more clients. Be well conversant with cross-cultural literacy as this increases participation in the social space including access to institutions and services.
- Be comfortable using digital tools
Remote workers need the right equipment to enable them complete their work. The increase in WIFI and internet software systems has contributed to make working from home more accessible. Examples of such software are:
- Web conferencing tools, like Zoom
- Communication tools, an example is Skype
- Noise cancelation software
- Slice Audio File Splitter
- Storage software
- Zip software
The list goes on and on. In order to make your work efficient, ensure that you have access to internet that is of high speed. This is the core requirement of working remotely. Always have a backup plan in case you experience power shortage or poor connectivity. Other tools to have are a computer, headphones and ergonomic chair to ensure you are comfortable even if you sit long hours working.
- Have an entrepreneurial mind
If you decide to work remotely, you should be ready to take up that particular job as any other career job. You should accept that in every business there are profits and losses. Ensure that you set goals to achieve within a given period of time. Always have objectives to act as a guide and as a shaping tool towards achieving your set goals. Be focused and have an open mind; that you may face challenges along the way and be prepared to face them and soldier on. That’s the mind of an entrepreneur-regardless of what comes your way, focus on your goals and the effort you need to put so as to be successful in the end.
- Create barriers
Working from home may be the best environment to work from especially in terms of comfort. This however may not be a bed of roses since you may encounter distractions from friends and family. You may postpone work so as to complete household chores or even end up procrastinating since you don’t have a specific working-hour rule. Setting schedule requirements from the start eliminates any possible frustrations and distractions from family and friends. For you to be able to successfully work remotely, you need to make a big decision- set boundaries and inform those affected the reason behind that. The next step is to set your working hours in a day and put up measures to settle this. This will ensure discipline in your work, you will be able to meet deadlines and it will lead to growth in your business eventually.
The overall assurance of an effective remote working is internet connectivity and discipline. It all starts with being honest with yourself, honouring your schedule and putting more effort towards achieving your set goals. In the end, this will ensure a happy, free and comfortable remote working.