Work and freedom. The two typically don’t go hand in hand, when someone says “work”, most people think to roles in fast food, or office cubicles. Boring, dull, and detested by most; however, in today’s society, with technology becoming more prevalent than ever, and with the options to travel and explore other countries becoming far more accessible, remote work has came to be more relevant than ever before.
What is remote work?
Remote work is, simply put, working from somewhere other than where the company is based. This can be from home, from a coffee shop, or even from another country! Typically, your hours and work days vary far more than a regular office job, providing far more flexibility and freedom over one’s life.
Can I work remotely?
Do you have a personal computer? Do you have an internet connection? Do you have a job that requires a computer to deliver the work? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then in most cases, you can!
What’s the benefit?
Remote working allows for a slew of benefits for both the customer, and the worker. It starts with a flexible schedule, in most scenarios one is not typically required to be on call during the normal 9-5 Monday – Friday, but instead can dictate their own schedule and work hours, under the assumption that the work is completed on time, and to the same standard of which it would be acceptable in normal working conditions. The only real exception to this rule, would be for meetings, in which it is primarily up to the worker to fit it into their schedule.
This allows for immense freedom and flexibility and opens up opportunities to make plans around other people’s schedules, not your own. Suddenly, catching up with friends becomes easier, long lies in the morning start being an option, and so much more. This also is hugely beneficial for the employer, as they are now able to find employees on a global scale, rather than being limited to their local community or country. It promotes a healthy work-life balance and promotes accountability and responsibility for ones work in the workplace, where it is truly up to the employee to perform in order for them to reap the benefits.
On top of this, working in a remote team enables co-workers to share the workload and responsibility for a project at a far greater scale, meaning one does not have to remain available at all hours in the event of a server going down or a deadline coming up sooner than expected, as a co-worker in a more convenient time zone can help shift some of the weight and in turn, pick up some additional work hours.
What’s the catch?
Remote work does come with a few catches which manage to sneak up on people who are unused to the work style. The main one that has a fairly prevalent amount of people falling into, is the feeling that they do not have to work as much as someone with a regular 9-5 job. The reality is usually the opposite, where one has to be far more proactive with their work to maintain the lifestyle. It is incredibly easy to get carried away on the idea of “work can wait”, when in reality, it can’t. However, the simple solution to this is to plan in advance, take days in which you can pump out huge volumes of work to result in less needing to be done later in the week. The work will always be there, so structure it accordingly.
The next trap that is easily fallen into is that of lack of responsibility / laziness. This more or less ties into the previous point of forgetting that one does indeed need to keep working on a regular basis for the lifestyle to remain plausible. All too often I see people fail to plan for meetings and the like, instead deeming them “non-important” and getting on with other things. It’s a swift way to lose your job and is an easy trap to fall into when you’re defining your own work timelines, sure the occasional missed meeting isn’t the end of the world, but if you’re abusing the freedom that comes with remote work, then you’ll find yourself not having any freedom to abuse in the future.
What’s your personal take?
Without remote work, I would not be able to sustain the lifestyle that I currently lead, that being one that involves heavy amounts of travel and exploration of foreign countries, digital nomadism if you will. I see it as an amazing opportunity that grants a huge amount of personal freedom and allows you to have far more time doing what you love, and spending time with those you care about it. It also promotes a very tight-knit team that can rely on one another to get the job done. It is something I intend to keep doing for as long as I can, as the experience, as opposed to working in a cubicle, is phenomenal.
Remote work is becoming more prevalent with every day, more companies are becoming digital, and with the internet being available practically anywhere, it is quickly becoming a very common work type. So much so that in recent reports, it is predicted that as little at 1 billion people will be working remotely by 2050. If the company you work at offers it, it may very well be worth looking into.