For some people, the idea of remote working is a dream-come-true. After all, you get to work from the comfort of your own home, avoid awkward interactions with colleagues, and potentially set your own hours too. Remote working could even mean that you can continue to work with the same business when you move abroad. However, remote work isn’t the perfect opportunity for everyone.
While working remotely does give you more freedom over your environment and schedule, it also means that you:
- – Have to find the dedication and drive to meet deadlines without someone hanging over your shoulder or keeping track of your plan.
- – Don’t get as many interactions with other people in your office as you would in a standard employee environment. This leads to feelings of isolation.
- – Struggle to separate your work life from your home life. 39% of people in home working environments consistently work additional hours to complete their tasks.
Many different factors can determine whether a remote role is right for you. The nature of the job, as well as the business benefits you can access, will help in making your decision. However, it’s also worth noting that your personality could have a significant part to play in whether your remote working experience is a success.
Here are just some of the questions you can ask when figuring out if you’re suitable for remote work.
Are You an Introvert?
Introverts can have a particularly tough time in today’s modern business environments. Open-plan offices and coworking facilities make it difficult for people who prefer their own company to concentrate on the task at hand. If you’re an introvert moving to a new country, then the anxiety of moving, mixed with the nerves you feel in group environments can lead to a hellish work environment.
Alternatively, remote working allows you to pursue your career and make new friendships at a time and pace that suits you. Remote working will enable you to stay firmly within your comfort zone when it comes to interacting with new people. You can control how and when you meet with new friends and avoid unnecessary group experiences whenever possible.
On the other hand, extroverted people might have a hard time thriving in a remote working environment, because they won’t be able to bounce their ideas off other people as often or connect with colleagues over water cooler conversations. Though collaboration tools, instant chat, and video conferencing help to reduce feelings of isolation, they may not be enough for an extrovert.
Are you Self-Disciplined?
Some people are more disciplined than others. While some of us can create plans for success at the beginning of the week and follow them down to the letter, others find that they’re frequently distracted by opportunities for procrastination. In the workplace, if you’re a generally distracted person, you’ll have the peer pressure of your manager and the demands of your boss to keep you on track.
Unfortunately, in the remote working environment, you don’t have those things to influence you. This means that it’s much easier to fall victim to the little voice in your head that tells you it’s okay to watch a few YouTube videos before you start your next project or sleep in for another half hour.
When you’re working from home, distractions are everywhere. Whether it’s the dog barking because he or she wants to go outside, or the piles of clothing and belongings you still need to unpack from your recent expat move, it’s difficult to keep your eye on the prize. Some employees need an incredible amount of discipline to thrive in a remote environment.
Are You Prone to Worry?
This may seem like a strange question to have to ask yourself when you’re deciding if remote work is right for you. However, the Harvard Business Review published a study into office workers that worked from home at least part of the time. In that report, HBR found that remote employees are more likely to assume that their coworkers are saying things behind their back, or that their employers are mistreating them from a distance.
If you’re the kind of person who’s always worrying about what people might be saying about you when you’re not around, then remote working might not be suitable for your mental health. It’s easy to feel like you’re deliberately being “left out of the loop” when you don’t hear about a piece of news until after the rest of your team.
Additionally, emails and instant messaging relies on text to convey feelings and tone, which can mean that short messages come across as annoyed or distasteful when they’re not intended that way. Calls and video conferencing can help to alleviate some of these fears. However, if you find yourself always trying to read behind the lines of emails, you might find that remote work is too much of a headache for you.
Are you Comfortable Selling Results Instead of Time?
Finally, as a remote worker, you might find that the nature of your employment changes slightly. In some companies, it’s easy for a worker to simply turn up to an office and look busy until it’s time to go home. As long as you get a few things done, and you’re available for the right number of hours, then you might be able to keep your employer happy doing the bare minimum.
On the other hand, as a remote worker, you’ll need to constantly show your value to your boss by completing tasks according to strict deadlines and demonstrating exceptional productivity. Your business might even ask you to download software that tracks your activity on certain programs so that your manager always has an insight into how productive you are each day.
Ultimately, becoming a remote worker means that your company begins to judge you by the results you deliver, rather than the time you spend working. To truly thrive in a remote environment, you need to be dedicated to the job that you’re doing, and willing to go above and beyond every day.
Remember to Make Sure the Role is Right for You
Ultimately, even if you have the perfect personality for remote working, it’s important to remember that the job itself can also affect your chances of success. We all have a much harder time staying focused on tasks and accomplishing professional goals when we’re not truly committed to the role we’ve chosen. Before you decide to jump head-first into a remote working role, remember to analyse the job and ask yourself some important questions:
- – Does the company offer good benefits? Some companies manage their benefit options in-house, while others work with a PEO to give their employees the widest selection of opportunities to tap into. Learn about what the business can offer you beyond a salary.
- – Do you believe in the business? Is the job you’ll be doing meaningful to you, or can you see yourself running out of motivation and inspiration quickly? A job that you’re genuinely passionate about is crucial when it comes to remote working.
- – What support can you get? Is there a technical support team you can call when you’re having issues with your computer at home? Will your manager take part in video calls with you when you need extra guidance, or will you be expected to go it alone?
The more you learn about the role, and how it blends well with your personality and situation, the easier it will be to decide whether remote working is truly right for you.
Bio: Jock runs his own business with an entirely remote workforce. He knows the value of flexibility but also knows the remote work lifestyle isn’t necessarily for everyone. When he’s not running Digital Exits or traveling, he enjoys writing about his experiences and sharing tips with others.