I am proud to say that I am one of the millions of Americans whose house is their work location. Yes, I am a proud remote employee! In my mind, it is the ultimate have your cake and eat it too scenario. But, the cake is only yummy if you are taking advantage of this amazing opportunity. There are pluses and minuses with working remote as there are with any situation, but it is essential to maximize the advantages.
Let’s start with the minuses. The biggest minus is that you can feel isolated and alone. You do not get the friendly water cooler banter that occurs in the office. It is difficult to form meaningful relationships with your co-workers, and there are no after work social gatherings. It can be easy to misconstrue interactions that occur through email, and words can come off as harsher than intended. While Johnny might just be a sarcastic person, since you’ve never met him, you simply think he’s an ass since his “humor” alludes you.
While yoga pants and hoodies can be great “work attire”, you can start feeling like a bum. Waking up and working for 8 hours in your sleep clothes only to remember that you haven’t brushed your teeth yet, does not make you feel like an adult. It can be difficult to separate work time from free time. It is very easy to take lunch at your desk and to get a total of 500 steps in 8 hours. You don’t have to walk into the office and even restroom breaks don’t result in a lot of movement. Your house can feel small. If you live where you work, you end up spending a lot of time in the same location.
Now onto the pluses, which in my mind are a lot more than the minuses. Additionally, there are ways to work around the minuses which I will detail. The biggest plus is that you can work from ANYWHERE. Anywhere can be your bed (boring) or at a small bungalow along the Mediterranean coast line (carpe diem). Take advantage of not having limits to your work location. Go to awesome local coffee shops, work from friends’ houses around the country, travel the world, and take advantage of not having to go to an office. Your house can feel small and isolated only if you let it be the only place you work from. Use the money that you save from not driving to work and put it towards getting drinks at local coffee shops during the day.
Traffic and commuting are a thing of the past with remote work. Say adios to sitting on the interstate for 45 minutes to go 5 miles. If your meeting is at 7:00am, you can set your alarm for 6:57am and arrive to the meeting on time. Working remote ensures the least amount of downtime in your day. Your 8-hour work day can truly just be 8 hours. With that said, be sure to take breaks and take care of yourself. Ensure that there is a definitive end to your work day and it doesn’t stretch out to infinity. Log off your work computer and do not check it throughout the night, you need to maintain balance. Get out of the house during the work day, walk, go to work out classes and make time for lunch. Be sure to schedule breaks into your calendar so no meetings can get scheduled over that time.
Working remote gives you the ability to not have to appear busy when you’re not. Sitting in an office and looking at websites just to give the impression that you’re working hard sucks and is a waste of time. If you’re working remote and your work is slow, you can be cleaning the house and doing laundry and no one will know. Take advantage of being able to multi-task and get things done around the house during the day.
Have fun and take advantage of the freedom of working remote.