Remote work is all the rage these days and for a good reason. Covid has and continues to disrupt the traditional office environment. And, as cellular and satellite-based Internet options continue to expand to deliver blazing-fast Internet to even the most rural parts of the world, it’s never been easier to work from home or the occasional vacation destination.
There’s just one main problem: High competition for high-paying remote jobs.
And, remote work may not be the best fit for everyone. So, before we look at exactly what you need to do to secure a work-from-home position, let’s quickly weigh the pros and cons.
Pros of Remote Work
No more commuting!
This might be the biggest perk of flexible work options like working from home. No commute means less time in your car and more time getting your work done, which also means more time with your family or working on your side hustle.
More family time.
Not only does the lack of a commute provide more family time, but so does physically working around them during the day. Note that this can also be a distraction for some people, so keep this in mind as you consider remote work options.
No office distractions.
No more watercooler talk and overhearing your coworker complain about their job in the next cube.
Change of environment.
Studies show that we get more creative when we change up our work environment. For example, remote work gives us the option of working from home, a coffee shop, a friend’s house, or anywhere else during the day. So it’s okay to switch things up!
Cons of Remote Work
It’s not all roses with remote work, and it might not be right for everyone.
Your work is always at home.
When we leave a traditional office, we tend to leave our work there, too. However, working from home means our work is always right here at home, and some of us might end up overworking as a result. In addition, there’s less separation between work and play when working from home, which can quickly become a problem for many people.
No more in-person meetings.
Most of us hate meetings, but there’s no denying that in-person meetings can be more productive than video-based meetings held on Zoom. We can observe facial expressions and ask questions easier than over video when in-person.
Fewer social interactions.
If you are the type of person who likes to be around people and feeds off the energy of others, then remote work may not be the right choice for you. Working remotely may also make it tougher to plan after-work social activities with coworkers.
Depending on the home, working so close to your family, your television, and looming chores might distract you from getting your work done during the day.
What to Do If You Want to Work Remotely
If remote work is right for you, the first thing you should do is make sure your home is properly equipped to serve as your home office.
What Do I Mean by “Equipped”?
The best home offices are separate from the hustle and bustle of the house. Unfortunately, this means your dining room table probably won’t work as a long-term solution. So instead, pick a room in the house and dedicate it to office work if it has a closing (and locking) door, even better.
Second, make sure your Internet connection is fast and reliable. For instance, video-based meetings require quite a bit of bandwidth. If you don’t have a reliable or fast enough internet connection, then remote work may be challenging for you.
Next, ensure your home office equipment is comfortable and easy to use. Remember that you’ll likely be at your desk for at least eight hours a day, so your home office arrangement needs to be set up to encourage productivity throughout the day.
This includes a comfortable chair and desk, shelving for storage, natural lighting, and an area that is free of distractions and noises from the rest of the house.
Lastly, you will need to find a remote job. But, this may not necessarily mean scouring job boards for a new position. Many organizations are now offering more flexible working options for their staff. If you think your job can be done from home, consider talking to your boss about what that might look like for you.
Note that working from home part-time (i.e., a couple of days a week) might be a good way to ease your boss into letting you work outside the office. Some organizations haven’t yet fully embraced flexible working options, but many are open to the idea.
Where Can You Find Remote Positions?
If you do need to look for another position, here are some of the most popular job boards that cater to remote work positions.
- FlexJobs – One of the biggest job sites around dedicated to flexible work options.
- Remote Co – This is FlexJob’s sister site which is free to use, but doesn’t have as many postings.
- Remotive – Remotive bills itself as the world’s most popular remote work community.
- We Work Remotely – This is a well-established and highly reputable remote work site.
- Remote OK – A very colorful site that caters to remote working options worldwide.
- Just Remote – You’ll need to pay to join Just Remote, but they claim to help job seekers find “hidden” remote work positions.
Are You Seriously Thinking About It?
Think remote work might be right for you? First, weigh the pros and cons. Then, if you’re on board, spend some time setting up a productive and comfortable home office that is free of distractions and conducive to working at least eight hours a day. Lastly, talk to your boss about working remotely or use a job board to find a remote position that’s right for you.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.