What is remote work?
Remote work or telework is a work option in which employees
do not commute to a usual or central place of work.
In other words, with remote work, you can do your job from anywhere as long as you have a reliable internet connection. But to understand how it works and if it’s the right move for you, you have to understand that it brings challenges, it can affect people a certain way, and if doing it pushes businesses to adapt, innovate and essentially change their way of being.
Common remote work challenges and how to overcome them
One of the main challenges of working remotely is communication. When you’re not in the same physical space as your team, it can be challenging to stay on the same page and communicate effectively, but it has solutions.
- Use video conferencing for important meetings or when you need to have a face-to-face conversation. If not, try to keep your communication clear but short.
- Nowadays, chat companies rise to the occasion with various easy and fun ways to make communication something no one dreads but praises, such as Slack or Teams.
- Use project management tools to stay organized and on track with your team. A project manager can be an asset to productivity and morale.
- Set clear expectations and boundaries for communication. By being “at home,” time is more precious than ever, and to avoid any challenge is good to have the ‘communication’ conversation early on in a team creation or have it constantly to check everyone’s on the same page.
Isolation and loneliness
To overcome this challenge, try to:
- Schedule regular social time with friends or family.
- Join a co-working space or meet-up group.
- Make time for yourself and do things you enjoy outside of work.
The pandemic changed how we see work and interact; there is no shame in asking for team buildings or meet-ups to co-work; remote work doesn’t mean working alone.
There are a few things you can do to stay focused:
- Create a dedicated workspace that you (and your family or roommates) respect.
- Set regular work hours and stick to them. Block time and objectives to fight procrastination.
- Some tools that can help you with productivity while working from home
- Invest in noise-canceling headphones.
- Take breaks throughout the day!
Managers might be concerned about social media, deadlines, and focus time on their tasks and responsibilities, but these questions were difficult to answer in a monitored space. In a remote situation, it takes three essential components for the business to thrive in this mode.
- Trust. Your teams to be built on trust to reach the goals and still let them have flexibility in hours and objectives.
- Communication. Good communication is the key to most world problems and challenges, which is not the exception. As a leader, building trust with honest communication can avoid many errors in the future and improve loyalty.
- Delegation and encouragement. All three elements go hand in hand; lastly, an encouraged team that trusts each other makes delegation easier for any leader and makes the employees feel worthy.
Should you choose remote work?
Benefits of working remotely
Time and money-saving
The alarm sounds early in the morning, waking up two to three hours before your punch time, quick coffee runs before your day starts, and eventually getting stuck in traffic (before and after the office), which means gas money or fare money, etiquette-office clothing, not seeing your family and your friends as much, missing events or not being able to take certain trips, etc. That was time and money spent on huge amounts, and it appeared normal just two years ago. But things have changed.
Now, businesses that choose to switch to remote or the hybrid option are seeing the benefits that not commuting brings to the table, such as money that can be invested and redirected to other efforts.
Changes of schedule
Flexible work arrangements allow employees to work more during the most productive hours. According to Forbes, remote employees worked 1.4 more days yearly or 16.8 more days than office workers. And on those days, they were more productive.
Can it be really?
A survey conducted by Airtasker showed that office employees reported an average of 37 minutes “off,” meaning they were distracted or not getting much work done. On the other hand, remote employees only lost 27 minutes of each workday to possible distractions.
In the survey, the differences in the capacity to focus in and out were minimal: 8% of remote workers found it difficult to focus, compared to 6% of those in the office. This fact is critical to denote because, in this transition, many companies hesitated regarding remote or hybrid work, yet, the results and the benefits overcome the concerns.
Learning about new cultures, ways of life, meeting different people, and living new experiences are now possible thanks to this opportunity. People can now grow as professionals and travel to fulfill personal goals all at once.
What do you need to make it a reality?:
A Digital Nomad Visa
Working remotely can be illegal! And many were doing it while working abroad! Using the tourist visa is a way many remote workers sneak into their favorite countries because the world hasn’t caught up yet to this way of living, but now it has!
An online nomad visa is a visa that was specifically designed for remote workers. This visa allows you to stay in a specific country for a certain amount of time and work while there, of course, with certain conditions and forms that will vary according to the country.
For example, Costa Rica presents this visa to nomad workers called the Rentista visa, which asks for a proven income of over $2500. The procedure can be done online and opens its doors for you to work with an ocean breeze or natural rainforest sound in the background. Or, if you are looking for a Europe setting, Portugal allows digital nomads to apply for a D7 Passive Income visa, which resembles a lot to the Costa Rican visa. The main requirement is showing proof of sufficient income and where that money comes from.
Employees who can work from home or have more flexible schedules are more productive, take less sick time, and are even more engaged with their work. New statistics show that companies can double employee output by embracing flexibility.
Flexible work gives the autonomy to create a schedule that benefits physical and mental health. That could mean going to a yoga class, spending time with family, or going to the gym. With more control over time and freedom, completing work tasks and taking care of their responsibilities becomes a healthy routine.
Companies who embrace remote work and offer more flexible schedules will see a tremendous boost in productivity, loyalty, and happiness in their employees, thanks to the possibility of enjoying a better work-life balance.
Remote work can be a true adventure!
As employers, companies must weigh the benefits and challenges of remote work, individual employees’ needs and desires, and the social ramifications of remote work.
As an employee, remote work can be a true adventure, a luxury, and a dream if treated with balance and effort. Being conscious of these possible challenges and the options to overcome them will lead to success and professional growth. It takes responsibility for your own goals while working in a chosen space, but it can be the best for your personal and professional life.