Once referred to as “telecommuting,” now known as remote employment, this position has emerged as both beneficial for companies and employees alike. It can afford improved work-life balance for those lucky enough to secure one of these jobs, and for companies, it can spell major savings. By eliminating the overhead associated with a physical location, businesses save millions with remote offices. For those organizations with a physical HQ, employing remote staff allows them to broaden their talent pool by looking outside their own locale.
For those individuals eager to score the coveted “work-from-home” or “remote” positions, you’ll need to prepare for the reality of working independently. Despite collaborative tools and communications systems that have remote employees integrated as one-of-the-team, working remotely requires a degree of self-direction. In addition, you should consider the following when contemplating working exclusively from home:
It goes without saying you need connectivity if you’re working remotely, and that archaic dial up isn’t going to cut it. You need a reliable internet provider and/or strong hot spot with router that will keep you connected to the office during working hours.
Storms happen. Along with other unforeseen issues that could knock out internet and derail your productivity, be prepared to always have a back-up plan. Whether it’s an internet café or friends who don’t mind sharing their fiber optics, you’ll want to ensure you are never offline for very long.
Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean during YOUR 9-5 hours. Time zones may vary, as does your own schedule with work/life stability. However, being committed to the organization that hired you means being readily available during their pre-determined working hours unless otherwise agreed upon.
You’ll want to have a dedicated workspace that offers the privacy and quiet needed to fulfill your responsibilities. Conference calls and conversations with clients or colleagues will be easier if the dog isn’t barking, the kids’ cartoons aren’t in the background, or your roommates aren’t throwing back a few during working hours.
Dress for Success
You may be able to ditch the suit and tie for most remote positions, but you’ll still want to at least keep it corporate casual when scheduling video-conferences or connecting with colleagues over Skype, Hangouts, etc.
While some industries may be better suited for remote employment than others, the reality is that more companies are accepting the advantages of this type of employment. Innovation and mobile technology has made working from home or remote location a convenience that is difficult for businesses to ignore. It’s proven to be a valuable asset in attracting top talent and retaining senior level staff. Companies leverage the advantages, and employees enjoy a more independent working environment where they can thrive.