Ahh yes, working remotely. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working remotely for many years now.
I once told my husband that I’ll never go back to working in an office. Do you know why? It’s not that I don’t like people or that I’m some sort of recluse….I promise.
The truth is, working remotely has been the backbone to building a successful artistic career, balancing a family and promoting my wellbeing. It’s a very sturdy backbone.
Today we review the pros and cons of working remotely and the rules you need to be successful from my perspective. I think I’ve nailed it, so this should be interesting.
Working Remotely Pros
Let’s get one thing straight. Working remotely is not for people who are lazy, unorganized or poor at time management.
If you think working at home is about lounging on the couch, eating Cheetos and watching Netflix, you are mistaken. I have never worked harder in my life than when I began working remotely. You will be busy. You will be very busy.
This insane infographic from Work Remote has unbelievable stats about remote work in 2020. Over 54% of people feel it made them more productive to work from home. I’m definitely one of those people.
That being said, working remotely has a lot of pros! Here are a few reasons why you should consider working remotely:
- Ability to take care of your body and mind.
- Ability to take care of your family (and pets).
- Ability to work more hours because there is no commute.
- Ability to eat food out of your own refrigerator and cook on your own stove.
- Ability to wear comfortable clothing (yes, you have to put pants on).
- Ability to balance life events, schedule small tasks and handle chores.
- Ability to be in your own creative space to work.
I am 100% positive that there are more here, but these are the most important to me. These pros of working remotely allow you to work better, more efficient and have a good attitude while you do it.
It’s amazing what a little comfort will do for the soul.
Working Remotely Cons
Wait a minute, what? There are downsides to working remotely?
The answer to that is yes, if you let it. There can be cons to working remotely if you’re doing it ineffectively. It can be a path to a very different life if you don’t follow the remote work “rules”, which we will cover.
Here are the cons of working remotely:
- Ability to lose touch with the outside world (IRL).
- Ability to feel isolated.
- Ability to feel lazy.
- Ability to slack on your physical well being.
- Ability to fear public places and travel.
- Ability to get inside your own head and create anxiety.
Notice here how all of these “cons” of working remotely are choices? You can choose to become these things or you can choose not to. Working remotely is a balance between what you need to get done and how you are going to do that successfully.
However, that’s why there are rules put in place so you can overcome these things. Keep reading.
Remote Work Rules
Yes, there are rules! This isn’t like Fight Club – we CAN talk about it.
Working remotely is not a free-for-all chance to do whatever you want. There are rules to abide so that you are successful.
Rule #1: Get up early and move your body. Do not roll over and get on the computer right away. You don’t have an excuse, there is no commute. 😉 William Vanderbloemen of Forbes writes about how these successful start their day, take some notes.
Rule #2: Eat breakfast and take care of your body first, before work begins. Drink water, eat some good, clean food…drink your coffee (or tea if you prefer). Make sure you are fully nurtured before you flex your brain muscle all day.
Rule #3: Get cleaned up. Whether this means showering, putting real clothes on, putting your makeup on or brushing your hair for you, you need to do these things. Even if you don’t have any calls that day with the outside world, you need to feel worth for your emotional wellness. Sometimes that means putting mascara and pants on. Trust me.
Rule #4: Keep a tight schedule. Your calendar should be organized, full and colorful – that last one is optional, for all you creatives. Stick to that schedule for the most part and don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. Here are some apps to help with health and wellness during the work day.
Rule #5: Take small breaks and stand up often. When you work remotely, you tend to get so into it that time slips by. You need to keep track of your time! Every hour or hour and a half, be sure to get up, stretch, stand up, play with your dog, do cartwheels, make a snowman, whatever your thing is. Just move for a few minutes.
Rule #6: Stay organized and be clean about it. If you’re a slob at your home office, that’s a reflection of your work ethic. You need to organize your work life just like you have to do with your home life. Keep your workspace tidy so your work reflects that. You can be messy in your closet if you really need to.
Rule #7: Balance your work life with your personal life. At work, you are dedicated to doing your job and at home you are dedicated to yourself and your family. So when your work is at your home, you need to balance both without failing to do either job. That means you need to separate out your time spent on work and your time needed for life stuff. Be mindful that you are being paid to do a job and you need to respect those parameters.
Rule #8: Communicate clearly, often and with purpose. When you work remotely, you’ll need to be in touch with your team (across the world) consistently. It’s not a “micro management” thing or a “checks and balances” thing, it’s a respect thing. Pop into your chats, emails or calls and let them know what you’re working on, what you are up to and how much you love them, often.
Rule #9: Keep the distractions to a minimum. Yes, you can watch, listen or view something while you work. Playing music or podcasts can be incredibly inspiring and motivating to your work flow! Just be sure not to tune in too deeply to something else that distracts you from your work. That goes for the 300,000 notifications that go off daily too! Keep that noise to a dull roar, please.
Rule #10: Know when to turn it off. The biggest thing that I had to remember when I began working remotely is how to turn it off at the end of the day. I often would be working way beyond the eight hour day because it is hard to shut it down. Keep your eye on the clock and unplug when you need to. Give the blue light a rest.
Optional Rule: Get a furry co-worker! Getting a dog was the best decision I have ever made. Sophie has made me healthy, enjoy my breaks and she provides much needed camaraderie during my daily work grind. I couldn’t do this life without my pup!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Remote for Life
I will work remotely for life. Or at least try!
I’ve known people that are not suited for remote work and I respect that! I know there are certain industries that are simply impossible to have a home office. I feel very fortunate that I have had the chance to work in an industry where I can make a difference from the comfort of my own home.
When you choose to work remotely your life will change, drastically. It will be a wake up call for you either in a positive or negative way. Another choose your own adventure situation! #workremotelyTweet
I am very careful that when I’m in the art studio that I am mindful of time and I get my work done first. I think it’s important to know when and where to get things done when you are working at home.
If you follow the rules of remote work, you will thrive! It’s that easy, people.
Tell me your remote work stories, how you got there and what you do to be successful! I want to know so I can add it to my arsenal.
If you need me, I will be at my desk. At my house. Because I work remotely, remember?
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@marcosrivas