How to tell if you’re a good fit for remote work

By Noelle Woon

While working from home may sound appealing, it does come with it's own set of challenges.

Managing your own time. Waking up any time you want. Or even working in your pyjamas. These are some of the perks that make remote work sound super exciting. As the gig economy is expanding, remote work is becoming more popular. Remote work generally comes in two forms: some do freelance work as a side hustle, while others get the chance to work from home instead of at the office.

Remote work sounds amazing and most of us would jump at the chance to work from home if we were given the chance. However, as good as remote work sounds, it’s also important to figure out whether you’re the right fit for this working style. How do you know if you’ll suit remote work, then? Here are a few traits that every person who works remotely needs to have:

Self discipline

Having no superiors breathing down your neck constantly means you have to be self-motivated. Working away from the office or freelancing requires a good amount of time management to get things done on time. While working remotely allows you to do things at your own pace, it’s also important to remember to stick to deadlines. If keeping to a schedule is something you excel in, then remote work could be right for you!

Take initiative

Since you’re working from the comfort of your own home, or perhaps a cafe near you, it means you’re not working next to your coworkers. Not being physically present at the office means you need to take extra initiative to email or call your coworkers if something is amiss. You can’t just bump into them to ask a quick question or drop by their cubicle to hand over a document anymore. Working remotely saves you the time of travelling but it also means you need to carve out more time to communicate with those you’re working with.

You’re fine with working alone

If you thrive on social interactions and love to chat, you might find remote work a bore after a few days. Working remotely means having your own lunch plans and working alone. For extroverts, this might feel even more painful than having to haul yourself to work on a Monday morning. However, if you find office chit chat distracting or if you simply prefer working alone you’ll definitely love working remotely!

You need to be IT savvy

One of the cons of working remotely is that you don’t have easy access to IT support like you do in the office. You can’t just get someone from IT to come and help you with troubleshooting and wait for your desktop to be up and running again. If you frequent co-working areas and have to share a desktop with other users, you’ll know how much of a pain it is when you’re facing technical difficulties. Working remotely means you have to find solutions on your own and figure out how to deal with technical difficulties by yourself - it’s important to keep this in mind.

You need to know how to market yourself

This probably only applies to freelancers and not employees who are working from home. If you’ve toyed with the idea of turning your freelance side hustle into a full-time job, you’ll need to learn how to sell your services. You need to learn to network, cold email, cold call, set up your website and become your own marketing team! While being your own boss means you can have full control of your time, you’ll soon realise that much of that time goes into marketing your business. That alone can add up to quite a lot of work and dedication.

Are you the right fit to work remotely? Or even  towork as a full-time freelancer? It really depends on your personality and your working style. One thing’s for sure - trust is essential to if you want to make it work. After all, your clients or your superiors won’t be able to see when you’re working so being accountable is essential to building trust in the relationship.

If you want to try working remotely but your company doesn’t have that working culture, talk to your superiors about it. You can arrange a trial period to work from home and see how things pan out. Being able to work from home is beneficial for both you and your employer if it means you can become more productive. Furthermore, working from home also means you get to spend more time with your family and friends - the people who mean the most.

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