There are millions of posts online about the perks of remote working, but what about the less glamorous side of working from home. While landing a remote job most definitely has its positives, if you’re looking to apply for a remote position for the first time, then there are some things you may want to consider before submitting your application.
1. Remote Working Can Get Lonely
While working a remote job from home may seem like an introvert’s dream, the days, weeks, and months can soon start to feel a little lonely. Depending on the requirements of your remote job, you may not speak to anyone for days at a time, and when you do, it’s often via messaging software or video chat.
Good remote employers will try to foster a sense of community amongst their workforce by providing their employees with the chance to socialize online or in-person wherever they can. But ultimately, how frequently and how actively you engage with your co-workers is down to you.
If you find that remote working starts to get lonely, then take yourself to a café or co-working space to see some new faces or seek out some of the tools designed to help tackle remote working loneliness.
2. Communication Takes More Effort
In an office environment, it’s easy to grab a co-worker from across the room or pop into someone’s office to discuss a project. Communicating as a part of a remote team takes a little more effort. Not only can remote teams span multiple time zones, but it’s a lot easier for ideas to get lost in translation when you can’t explain them in person.
Platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams certainly make remote communications more manageable. Still, you are responsible for ensuring you keep up to date with announcements and follow the correct Slack etiquette.
When it comes to communicating clearly and effectively with a remote team, the little things such as setting your online status are just as crucial as remembering to send a follow-up email or engage in a group chat.
3. Your Remote Employer May Span Multiple Time Zones
Working in a remote team means getting used to talking with people from all over the globe. While this is easy to do online, you still need to consider everyone’s time zone and National public holidays.
Working remotely with a global team will sometimes involve setting meetings at strange times or compromising on your work hours to give your team time online together. If you like a rigid 9-5 and want access to all of your colleagues at all times, then remote working as a part of a global team across multiple time zones may not be for you.
World Clock Apps are an easy way to keep an eye on the time in different time zones. Certain communications platforms, such as Slack, allow users to input their timezone so that their local time is visible to all other collaborators.
4. You May Not Get Paid in Your Local Currency
One of the perks of hiring a remote workforce is that employers get to pick the best people worldwide. As one of those remote employees, you may need to get used to having your wages paid in a different currency.
How you get paid will differ from employer to employer. Some remote businesses may pay you directly into your bank account, but others may use a third-party payment platform such as Payoneer, Wise, or PayPal.
Regardless of which payment method your employer uses, receiving your paycheck in a different currency leaves you at the mercy of fluctuating exchange rates. Not to mention, there are usually hidden fees associated with foreign transfers and withdrawals.
5. A Good Remote Setup Can Be Costly
It’s not until you leave an office environment that you appreciate how handy it is to have access to office resources such as printers, stationery, ergonomic chairs, and standing desks.
While some remote employers will provide you with an allowance to set up a productive remote home office space, most expect you to have access to the equipment you need to do your job. This could include a desk, erganomic chair, computer, a second monitor, a printer, headphones, a webcam, a fast internet connection, as well as little things like pencils and paper.
If you aren’t already set up for remote working, then be sure to check the job advertisement carefully to ascertain whether your new company is willing to pay anything for your remote setup. If they aren’t, then be aware that this is a cost you will need to incur. Similarly, if your computer dies, the internet cuts out or your dog eats your new wireless headphones, then you won’t have IT support to fall back on.
6. Self Motivation Takes Work
Lastly, while you may think yourself to be a highly motivated person, this may change after a few months of working behind a screen from the comfort of your own home. Self-motivation takes work, and it’s also crucial to understand that your motivation levels will fluctuate. Even if you have a manager, you need to be prepared to hold yourself accountable.
Most remote teams use project management software such as Asana or Trello to help employees visualize their assignments and stick to deadlines, but you may be entirely responsible for planning your own workflow.
Rather than wait for your motivation to disappear, it’s best to proactively embrace productivity techniques and remote working tips that will help to keep you focused and wanting to work. If you still can’t muster the motivation you need to perform remotely, then try taking yourself into a co-working environment or speak to your manager about more regular check-ins.
Remote Jobs Aren’t the Easy Option
Remote working is often seen as easier than working in an office, and while it may have its perks, it most certainly isn’t any less work. Working as a part of a remote organization presents a whole host of new challenges for employees, and candidates need to see both sides of the coin before choosing to make the switch.
While this article isn’t intended to put you off applying for a remote job, it should give you a few things to think about when you next see a remote job advert that seems too good to be true.
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