Thought of being able to live and work in the same space is incredibly attractive — and more and more people are taking advantage of remote workplaces. The benefits are many: workers save time, money, and energy by not having to commute and share their workspace with others. And employers save money by not needing to supply office space to 100% of their employees. Not to mention the benefits employers gain from being able to attract top talent from all over the country or even the world. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows: there are pitfalls to working from home. It's important to know what they are to be able to prevent or alleviate them.
You shouldn't be afraid of working from home. Everyone in any workspace will encounter similar challenges. But being aware of these pitfalls is necessary in order to be prepared to deal with them.
OK, let's dive in...
This one's an obvious one. For some, working at home is the ideal situation because you don't have to be...
Updated as more tools
Want to find remote jobs? You have a few options to start with:
This blog post will cover the resources you can use to find jobs in any industry at any level. Skill, industry, and level-specific posts are coming soon!
There are a ton of job search sites out there, as evidenced by a Google search.
There is no way that I could list all of them here — and anyway, that’s what a search engine is for, after all.
This list is meant to be abbreviated so that it is manageable. When you are first starting to look for a remote position, it’s more helpful to explore a handful of excellent resources than waste your time combing through every job site that’s out there. That’s why this list only has five resources...
You're already searching for remote jobs using job search engines and boards and you've probably already applied to at least some. If you're looking for other ways to boost your search for the perfect remote job, here are 5 things you can do today. These 5 things are simple enough that you can do in just one day that will improve your odds of landing that ideal remote position.
When was the last time you really took a look at that resume of yours? Are you sure it has all the most up-to-date information possible? Take some time today to really look through it, and use this list as a guide to create your amazing resume.
Reach out to someone in your network to let them know that you're looking for work. If you're not sure how to do it in an email, ask them to catch up by phone or in person so you can bring up the topic more organically. Remember that your personal network is very likely to help you land...
Think of your resume as the very first example of remote work that you can provide a potential employer. It will tell the hiring manager whether you've read and understood the job description. It will also tell them how much you pay attention to detail and care about your work.
As you conduct your remote job search, make sure your resume accurately reflects you and how you wish to present yourself. Make sure it is accurate and well-designed so that your experience and skills stand out.
Make sure you tailor your resume to the job you're applying for. For example, if you are seeking a teaching job, but you don't have much experience, you need to highlight any background that gave you valuable skills that could be applied to teaching. Remember that it’s up to you to show your potential employer what skills you have that would help you perform your expected duties. Your resume is your first chance to show that you would be a good fit for the team. If...
Did you know that the online education industry was valued at $107 billion in 2015? And that’s just elearning. The general education industry is much, much bigger. That’s good news for job seekers — including teachers, curriculum developers, administrators, and tutors. Traditional education institutions are also exploring more online options and incorporating more infrastructure that allows telecommuting, so you don’t necessarily have to be in the elearning industry to work remotely in education. All this to say: if you’re in the field of education, you’re in luck — there are lots of remote education jobs. If you’ve already checked out the four places to start looking for remote work and haven’t had any luck, try these options.
There might not necessarily be a “Remote” or "Work from home" option in the location search field. If that’s the case,...
Tell me this has never happened to you: You were hyper-focused, and you finish up an important project. Then you decide to check your phone or social media as a quick mental break. 30 minutes later, you’ve gone down the internet rabbit hole and you realize you’ve just wasted a huge chunk of time. In the amount of time you spent following meaningless links, you could have gone through your inbox, provided some feedback to another team member, started another project.
If this happens every now and again it’s not that big a deal—if your schedule is flexible, you can tack on time to the end of the day to make up for lost time. The problem happens when this kind of slacking off happens repeatedly and it affects your performance. Believe me, I understand the temptations of social media! But there are ways to keep temptation at bay.
If your company has a history of allowing telecommuting, then your conversation will be pretty straightforward. Since there is already a precedent for this practice, you can refer to specific examples or to that particular policy if it exists in writing.
If there isn't a history of telecommuting in your organization, then it's a little less straightforward. But that doesn't have to mean that it's impossible! It just means you will have to put a little more work into making your case.
To actually get your boss to let you work from home, you need to present a detailed plan. You can't just ask, "Can I start working from home?" and expect a positive result. The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that your boss will recognize the importance and feasibility of this option.
There are tons of tools out there that can help you get more done. These include time tracking tools like Harvest, timers, or productivity trackers. My absolute favorite tool is a time budget. A time budget is just a simple spreadsheet that tracks two things:
There is a finite amount of time in a day. And no matter how much you want to, you can't fit everything into the 16+ hours you're awake. So to make sure you actually have time to:
It's way too easy to get burned out because we underestimate how long tasks will take. Also, we tend to overestimate how much time is in a day. Sometimes, this is because our time gets eaten up by meetings and interruptions.
If you use a tool like this, you're setting realistic expectations for your day. When you have realistic...
Goal setting is crucial for any kind of work, but if you work remotely it becomes especially important. Being able to set and meet goals will allow you to accomplish the work that you're hired to do and also prove your value.
There are many approaches to goal setting. This post outlines how to approach goal setting in the context of projects. Whether you are a freelancer working for clients, or an employee with a boss, you need to know how to break down projects into small, measurable, and achievable tasks.
For tips on how to set more broad, far-reaching goals, visit this helpful resource.
Make sure you completely understand what is expected of you. For a large or small project, that means identifying exactly what the components are. It also means determining what success or failure looks like for each of those components. Finally, figure out when each component needs to be completed.
Putting this information in a simple table will...