As a huge introvert, I was surprised by how lonely I felt when I first started working remotely. It definitely took time to build both online and offline friends as well as making the additional time to prioritize that.
It also takes a lot of discipline to work remotely and I think that can be a big adjustment for many people, especially if you're used to a typical 9-5 work environment. This concept is a big reason why I started writing about remote work on my blog. It was to help others who found themselves struggling with the transition to remote work.
Betsy Ramser is a content manager, blogger, and teacher who helps other remote workers thrive while creating a daily routine that works.
Read full interview from Interview with Betsy, a head of content and remote work routine expert.
I guess it can be a bit lonely at times, since interacting with coworkers face-to-face is no longer a huge part of my day.
I lean towards that being more of a good thing than a bad thing, though, because I’m so introverted, and I can always see friends when I need to.
Also, working remotely forces me to be self-motivating and hold myself accountable, and that can be a challenge at times, especially when dealing with depression.
As a freelancer in particular, I have to get used to putting myself out there, and dealing with a lot of rejection, which can be really emotionally difficult.
I knew that going in though, so I prepared myself, but there are certain days where it still gets me down.
Jenna started working remotely after realizing her office job was causing health problems—now she works as a freelance writer and writes about self-improvement
Read full interview from Interview with Jenna, a freelance writer who works remotely to help manage her health.
For me, the hardest part of working from my computer is that it involves a lot of sitting. Too much sitting is terrible for your health. I’ve even heard people say that in some ways it’s as bad for your health as smoking.
Since right now I’m a complete digital nomad without a home base, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a standing desk. Some coworking spaces have standing options, but that’s not always the case, and I don’t always have a coworking space.
This means I need to get creative to keep healthy blood circulation flowing. There are a lot of tasks I need to sit for, but you can bet that if I don’t need to sit for a task, I’ll try to avoid it. If I’m on the phone, I’ll try to walk around. If I need to watch a video, I’m watching it while I’m doing squats or stretching.
Another tough aspect of remote work is that it can be isolating not working near other people. If there is a social coworking space nearby, I highly recommend signing up for it.
Coffee shops are a bit too noisy for me, but it’s another option. If a significant other or friend can also work remotely, try working in the same room. It may seem silly to have somebody nearby if you aren’t communicating frequently, but it’s still nice to have someone there for occasional chatting.
Hannah is a freelancer writer and social media manager that travels the world while working remotely. Read her interview to learn how she works.
Read full interview from Interview with Hannah, a freelance writer that travels the world.
This is a hard question to answer.
I think if my goals were different - if I wanted to be more part of a team, if I wanted to move into management - I think working remotely would work against those goals.
But I am very happy doing what I do and my goal right now is to ensure I'm able to work this way for as long as I can.
I think that it can be helpful to work face to face for certain tasks. For instance, when doing deep design work, standing at a whiteboard together (or even at the same table) can be much faster than doing things in sync online. I think this can be solved with an occasional in-person meeting, though.
This may just be my computer, but video conferencing software often leaves me wanting. I look forward to better software in the future.
Kevin is a developer and consultant working on many different projects - learn which tools he uses to optimize his time management.
Read full interview from Interview with Kevin, a developer and remote consultant.
I'll admit that remote work is not for everyone.
There is a social/psychological aspect that takes a certain amount of self-awareness to overcome (e.g. not being able to interact face-to-face with your co-workers on a daily basis).
I tend to work better independently and don't have trouble communicating my personality over an email or text. This helps stave off the loneliness/distance that some feel when they work remotely.
Some people believe that you aren't able to advance your career if you work remotely because it's harder to maintain a presence with stakeholders that would have a direct affect on your ability to get a promotion or a raise.
But I'm living proof that it IS possible! I think it depends on a number of factors like the culture at the office as it relates to remote employees, what tools are in place to maintain contact, and whether there are regularly scheduled video conferences or retreats.
I have managed to advance at my current remote job because I worked hard to stay in front of people I work with as well as the fact that I'm not the only remote employee at the organization. Leadership at my organization has embraced a hybrid team to get more done and as a result, put in place certain procedures and culture that supports everyone involved.
Sarah is a digital marketing manager who travels the United States with her partner and two dogs while working remotely in her RV.
Read full interview from Interview with Sarah about working remotely from an RV.
It's difficult when your home is also your office, so I've always struggled with drawing the line between work time and home time.
I feel as though I've improved over the years, although the challenge increases if I'm approaching a deadline on a project.
Harry has worked remotely for almost 10 years as a senior mobile, web and desktop developer—learn how he balances work with family.
Read full interview from Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home.
It is very inconsistent to say the least. There are times I may get to work for 6 months which is great, and then no work for 6 months.
Some of the clients aren’t very understanding at all. When Hurricane Harvey hit south Texas I was in the middle of a contract where the power went out. They were so angry with me telling me to use my hotspot and a laptop to finish, but it was a natural disaster there was no power anywhere. After I went through all the extra effort to turn in something I wasn’t even paid for the work.
Some clients won’t pay out for the work you do for them, which is one reason I started at Upwork. I had one client I told not to update the software without reworking all of the scripts and they did it anyway a year later. Came back and told me to fix it because it was my fault it doesn’t work anymore.
I’ve even had a client not like the fact the person they hired wasn’t the person they wanted to see.
So a summary of not enough work, rude clients, chance of not getting paid unless you use something to manage your accounts such as Upwork, and slow.
Do not get me wrong, not all clients are like these I’ve had about 5 really horrible clients and about 14 good ones so far.
Documenting everything that includes chat logs, phone conversations, emails, contracts, company name, contractor information, phone numbers if given, literally every time I have had an issue with a client I go back to my documentation.
People in general are human and if they don’t understand why something happened or they don’t remember it is your job to make sure you can go back and find where something was done or said.
Skype saves message chat logs forever in your settings. No one should be able to rip you off if you keep everything filed. Upload it to a secondary cloud server so you will never have to worry about it.
Michael is a freelance visual effects (VFX) artist, creating 3d models, mockups and videos while working remotely.
Read full interview from Interview with Michael, a VFX artist that works remotely.
Not getting to meet my clients face to face often or at all, especially when I've built up a good working relationship with them, or even made friends.
The perception from many companies that remote workers are lazy, or that you have to be in an office to work this job, or to be effective.
Strong communication is so important to being effective, but also, you don't have to have eyes on me to know I'm working.
Interruptions from family and friends. This is hard one sometimes, because some people don't listen to this, and try to interrupt you because "you're home, so you're not doing anything important."
Learn the tips and tricks Ben uses to stay productive while working remotely on a hybrid team
Read full interview from Interview with Ben, a web developer who freelances from home.
"With great power comes great responsibility".
With the flexibility and freedom offered by remote work, that also means that you're accountable for that time. It can be easy to let it slip - start work a little later each day until now you're an hour or two late and have to make up the time. That's why I stick to my 8-5 schedule with some flexibility built in.
Learn more about how Steven works remotely, including his work routine, habits and how he found his remote job
Read full interview from Interview with Steven Wade, a software engineer working on a remote team.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to communicate with clients. Given the fact that we do not meet in person, it is sometimes difficult to really understand the customer’s point of view. Nevertheless, we still have Skype and can have video calls to talk about projects.
It is also difficult to get quick responses from clients if I need to check something with them for a design element. Some clients have other jobs and are only able to talk at night and because of the time difference, we struggle to find a time frame for us to talk.
Many people do not even know Mauritius exists and they are sometimes afraid that I might not have the required qualifications and knowledge to design a nice product. Some businesses or individuals only hire designers from their country (e.g. America or Europe).
Nelvina is a freelance fashion and graphic designer that works remotely while working with clients all around the world
Read full interview from Interview with Nelvina, a fashion designer who designs bags and clothing.
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