Where do you work? Are you in an office, medical facility, retail store, restaurant, or even outdoors? If you are one of those lucky workers out there who has found a place that suits you, Congratulations! Having a place that you feel productive, content, and comfortable can allow your talents to flourish and let you be your best, is not always easy to accomplish. There has been a transition in thinking with respect to office work and where it can be performed, with many opting to work remotely for various reasons, whether through self-employment or through telework arrangements with their employer. In this article let’s look at the good, the not so bad and the manageable of being a remote worker.

The Good

Many choose to be remote workers to improve how they look at their jobs in general. Sometimes just the trust demonstrated by an employer by putting a telework agreement in place, tells the employee that their employer trusts them to complete their work, without being monitored. Even this action can be a much-needed motivation boost. The remote worker may feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work knowing that they are in control, leading to a boost in productivity. Productivity can also result from the ability to work at a different schedule, taking advantage of more productive periods of the day rather than being in an office from 9 am to 5 pm trying to find that productivity.

Some remote workers find they have a better sense of well-being with no commute to provide an extra source of stress, eating home-made lunches instead of office take-out and perhaps taking some of the old commute time and turning into a work-out or walk. That is not to mention the ability to have medical and other appointments during the day, if needed.

Not sure how to talk to your employer about a telework arrangement? The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of telework arrangements, which may give you some ideas on how to approach the subject.

The Not So Bad

For those planning to work remotely and as with any job, one needs to be prepared. This includes making sure you have invested in the proper tools to be a productive, content and comfortable worker.

Working in a traditional office comes with many things that the worker is not responsible for providing, but when working remotely some of those things may fall to the worker to provide such as an internet connection, computer, printer, headset and other peripherals, as well as supplies and paper. All of which comes at a cost, so it is important to understand what you are responsible for providing and what your employer will assist with.

If you are wondering what you would need to set up an efficient home office, check out this article.

The Manageable

For all of these wonderful benefits of being a remote worker, there are some pitfalls that are important to address. While technology issues and a shortage of physical supplies or equipment may prove challenging, the solution for these is a simple fix, purchase or pick up from the office. However, there are some challenges that take a little bit more work and a little more effort to start some good remote worker habits.

Managing procrastination, distraction, and time are key to get the remote worker in the best situation to be successful. Yes, it is true that these are also needed in the traditional office but they are even more important when working remotely. Working in a traditional office when distracted or procrastinating can be managed easily as there are other people around you still working which can give you that little extra push to get back on track, but alone this is more of a challenge.

Either way creating work habits that are conducive to getting the job done, but leaving it when the work day is over is incredibly important in being a successful remote worker. Consider having a closed office, letting family and friends know your work schedule, and having a good pair of headphones to cut down on extra noise.

Maybe time between work and home tasks have become blended together when they should be separate, so leaving the home tasks for after work and leaving the work when it is time to take care of personal tasks can help. For more ideas on dealing with distraction, flex-jobs has a quick list of solutions.

If you think remote work may still be for you, start investigating just how you can manage the pitfalls and get yourself organized to start. Good Luck!

Do you have some projects to organize? Check out our upcoming “WUT?” newsletter (sign up here) on April 24, 2019, where we look into some of the top Project Management Applications.

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