Over the past couple of years, there have been major shifts in the employment sector, including the broader adoption of remote and flexible work. As a result, employees rediscovered work and most found out that working at home is possible and even more preferable.
Remote work is becoming more appealing for employees as it offers many benefits, such as flexibility, no commute, better work-life balance, and independence. Flexibility is now the fastest-rising job priority in the U.S. as the workforce now places more value on health, wellness, and life in general.
On the contrary, some are daunted by remote work, which can be overwhelming. Some fear they are not organized or productive enough, which leads to overworking and fatigue—the opposite of remote work. However, when done right, great liberating benefits come with working remotely while also getting the job done satisfactorily. Here’s how to find your freedom in remote work.
Set Your Hours
Having the flexibility to work when you want allows you to make time for the important things, like going to a midday yoga class or dropping your kids off at soccer practice. But having a lot of time in your hands can sometimes be overwhelming. Proper time management is key when opting for remote work or flexible work arrangements. As you do not have a regular 8-hour office shift, you will be responsible for setting your “productive hours” or office hours and scheduling other activities outside work. This will help you focus on work while having a work-life balance.
Some companies may stipulate when an employee needs to be logged online. However, this shouldn’t be too strict of a policy and may not require logging in all day long. More so, establish with your employer the type of flexibility you are looking for in remote work, so you can live by your priorities and set the schedule as you wish.
Choose Where You Work
Working remotely means you have the autonomy to work at different places while still maintaining employment. You can stay at home, go to a coffee shop or co-working space, or even take work on the road and visit places. But moving around a lot can affect the focus, not to mention connectivity and network accessibility. Therefore, decide on where you will work carefully.
Try to establish a work environment that allows you to focus and feel like you are not just sitting at home all day. Some home-based workers used innovative ways like mounting laptops on treadmills or setting up a desk for working while standing up. When you choose to work outside your home, choose a workspace conducive to a relaxed yet motivating environment. Only take work on trips when you are confident that you can carry out tasks efficiently and access your work’s required equipment and network capabilities.
Independent Work Style
Not being in an office with your manager or supervisor all day gives you the freedom to work how you see fit. This means you will rarely be asked how your work is going, but you will not always have someone to guide you. This is not a bad thing, though. It only means you will have to self-supervise, track your progress, be responsible for your work, and give yourself credit and appreciation.
Managers of remote teams often focus more on outcomes and less on how those outcomes are achieved. So be responsible for coming up with the working method that will allow you to deliver optimum quality of work while still being challenged and able to use and hone your professional skill. Always try to create a style of working that works for your team and your unique needs.
Working remotely allows you the opportunity to manage yourself, which may be a pro or con depending on the type of worker you are. At first, it can be challenging to create your schedule and stick to it, but it will be second nature with practice. Just do not let your workload or the pressure of performing well get into you. You will be your manager, so be patient with yourself the way you want your supervisor.
If you are a self-starter who likes taking on new challenges, you can even start picking up freelance jobs and not feel you have to commit full-time to only one company. Freelance is booming, so take advantage of the many platforms and freelance opportunities available to make working from home even more liberating. You can choose who you work with and the types of projects you work on when freelancing. By properly managing your work and time, you and the organization you work with will enjoy more of the benefits of remote work.
With Great Freedom, Comes Great Responsibility
As ironic as it may seem, freedom comes from control and self-management in a remote work setup. Remote work saves you from being contained in a monotonous 9–5 and helps keep you on your toes as it gives you the freedom to be creative in managing your schedule and work style and developing your career at your own pace. Managing remote work sounds challenging, but when mastered, it can be blissful, freeing, and overall beneficial for your professional and personal life, as well as your wellbeing.