Is Remote Work Right for You...?
Well, it's not the remote in the picture...
Remote work is something I used to be a huge proponent against.
People out of the office, able to do as they please, maybe they do well, maybe they goof off...
The reality is though, that the thoughts I held just 3 years ago aren't exactly progressive or true in this day and age.
In fact, it's about bloody time we eliminated the commute!
If I can make the same production at my house without spending money on gas or the various other things that come with driving a vehicle of any sort to work, what's the difference?
I also get 90 minutes back in my day to write articles like this rather than fighting Milwaukee Traffic.
That's a major plus. People drive like morons in this city!
Remote work is becoming more and more common.
So much so that this week's episode was dedicated to it with our fantastic guest, Demi Yang, from Careervault.io .
But is remote work right for you?
3 things to consider:
1. Can I be as productive at home as I am at the office?
This can be a challenge, especially if you have young children. Setting boundaries and times where they have care so you can focus on the things that pay the bills is critical.
Thanks to COVID, some of this has relaxed a bit, and having a precocious toddler check in on a Zoom call is becoming more normal.
Unfortunately, if you're trying to land a major client deal, that cuteness may work against you if it were to be perceived as unprofessional by your client.
2. Are the noise levels in my home conducive to working?
No house is completely silent, but even if the kids have care, the dog is out, and your spouse isn't vacuuming, is there a place where you can focus on what you need to focus on and not be disturbed.
When we get interrupted, we spend almost 3 times the amount of time getting back on track than we did with the interruption.
So if your dog needs to go out and that takes 5 minutes, say goodbye to 15 more getting back to what you were doing.
Even if you're a music lover like my wife is, having your noisy husband clomp by every so often to get a snack, soda, or hit the rest room is going to be a pain. Make sure you can find a space that insulates you from as much distraction as possible if you're working from home.
3. Do you miss the social-ness of a workplace?
We as humans are social creatures.
We succeed by talking, smiling at each other, interacting.
When you remove a physical work building, it's really hard to get that feeling.
Making sure that you're comfortable with your interpersonal interactions being primarily over non-face to face mediums is incredibly important when considering whether a remote position is correct for you.
Factor that in with timezone challenges and you can find yourself quite isolated.
BONUS: Company culture becomes exceptionally more difficult to maintain.
This is a very unique consideration, because not every company has a strong culture, but for those that do, the cultural responsibilities shift when everyone doesn't come to a central or branch location every day.
The culture responsibilities fall to employees so much more when there is no central structure to orbit around. Therefore, those employees choosing to work in environments like this need to be sure that they are not only contributing to the culture, but also that those who are at the top of the organization are actively doing so as well.
There's an interview question to be had here: "How does the C-suite contribute to the culture of the organization when we don't see them face to face on a regular basis?"
Keeping these concerns in mind will help you decide if remote is right, or if you still have traffic to fight.