With more than 80 percent of companies offering telecommuting (or teleworking) opportunities across the world, it’s becoming more prevalent to want to join the club and work from home. You may think teleworking will make you lazy or that it’s an industry full of people who can’t make it in traditional workplaces. With technology growing and changing every day, these stereotypes and others are falling by the wayside.
For me, mobility in my workplace is common. I’m in the public relations and writing profession, and honestly, I can write from anywhere. I’m like a modern-day Ernest Hemingway, writing my latest magnum opus from the comfort of my own home or in the hustle and bustle of a local coffee shop or restaurant. I like people watching; furthermore, being in public gives me inspiration for my works. Also, seeing my PR clients’ work up close and personal on site helps me know more about their inner workings and causes.
Only… I own my own business and mostly telework. Sometimes, it’s liberating, and other times, it’s constricting. I have had my fair share of office-working experiences. While I enjoy other people, I’m a natural introvert and recharge behind my computer screen in my home office. I’m the lone ranger, but I do work with others when my workload deems it necessary. I remain involved with professional organizations and attend networking luncheons. I help with local events and keep my name out there locally and online.
Teleworking has its pros and cons, and here are some things to consider before you telework. For employers, teleworking can increase productivity (there are limited co-worker distractions, for example) and decrease overhead costs (like equipment purchases and some health insurance plans). Learn from my example and read this tips if you are considering a foray into your own teleworking experience.
Manage your time.
If you’re working at home, you may be tempted to not work at all. We all fight lack of motivation, but it could be worse if we’re still in our pajamas in our home office with our cat on our lap (or wreaking havoc somewhere else in the house). While working from home has flexibility, depending on your employer’s guidelines or freelancer timelines, you will still need to allot time for work. This allows you to eliminate stress and ensure you are getting enough work done. You will have better work-life balances and be more efficient with your time. I have to say, not driving (or riding the subway or bus) to work is pretty awesome. Learn how to prioritize your time and your goals and say “no” when you have to. This is easier said than done, but with a little practice, I am learning how to better do this. You can, too.
Learn what works for you. You may be able to work in your pajamas, but you also may feel more productive putting on “adult” clothing, even if that’s jeans and a T-shirt. Do you work better at night than at 8 a.m.? Find what works for you, and go with that. You have the freedom to decide certain aspects. And blast your favorite music or binge watch a Netflix show, if that suits your work style.
Join online professional networks.
This is so important and can lead you to more full-time, part-time and freelance job opportunities. Connecting with people in your industry can help you formulate your own personal and professional goals. Join a site like stackstreet.com to link your LinkedIn profile and begin sharing content with others like you. Keep a professional blog and build your thought leader network. You never know what you will come across and who you will meet on these networks. It could lead to your next great opportunity, and plus, you will keep learning the tricks of your trade, which keeps you on top of your teleworking game.
Don’t get discouraged.
Just like you don’t like everything, there will be people who just don’t like your work. It’s not that it’s not exceptional. People just have their own preferences. Sometimes, we tend to lose patience when we aren’t getting jobs right away. Don’t get discouraged. Sites like upwork.com, LinkedIn and FlexJobs.com are good places to start when you want to begin earning money while freelancing. You can write, help someone with his or her accounting, write website HTML codes and more. Find a site that works for you, and sink your teeth into it. Have a plan and goals to do your best to adhere to your work goals.
Talk to someone.
Make time for some social interaction. Go to lunch with a friend, attend local events, run some errands, etc. It can be easy to get tunnel vision and just stay in your own little cave. You’re not Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. Get out there in the world and engage with people, even if you’re an introvert. We all need human interaction to feel productive. And if you’re feeling stressed out because of work, time management or something else, talk with someone about it. Talk with a mental health professional while you’re teleworking or on the go. Chat with someone on a site like BetterHelp, which can help find solutions to your mental health issues as well as learn about them wherever you are located. Chances are, you are tech pro, so take advantage of these resources.
^ betterhelp.com. Accessed April 5, 2017.
^ Teleworking: The Pros and Cons For Employers. Greg Rokos. Green Job Interview. http://greenjobinterview.com/2014/09/teleworking-pros-cons-employers/. Accessed April 5, 2017.
^ Work Life Balancing Act. Sheryl Antonio. StackStreet. https://stackstreet.com/work-life-balancing-act/. Written October 28, 2016. Accessed April 5, 2017.
^ Photo Courtesy of www.freeimages.com.