Are you considering working remotely? Remote work means working from home: all day, every day. People often get wrapped up in the idea of working from home. After all, it sounds pretty glamorous: more time with family, no commute, flexible schedule. But, not everyone is cut out to work from home—and that’s ok. If you think you’re ready to take on a virtual position, here’s a checklist you might want to review and consider before making the change:
- Office interaction
How important is the brick and mortar office environment: coffee breaks, snack closet, spontaneous coworker interruptions? If you need the social interaction that the water cooler chit-chat brings, you may be better suited to a traditional brick and mortar office environment.
- Do you have a healthy local network for friends or family?
Are you a social butterfly? Or maybe you’re an introvert. Do you crave the social interaction of co-workers? Have co-workers typically been your friend base? Working remotely may mean you’ll never physically meet your co-workers. It’s important to have a friend base outside of work when you’re a virtual employee. If you’re new to an area—that could be tough. You’ll need to get creative and really put yourself out there to make new friends. Church, gym, volunteer organizations, parent groups, and book clubs are all great ways to keep you social when you work form home.
- Keep the routine
If you never left your house for work would you still keep your regular routine: shower, get dressed in work clothes, take breaks to grab a snack, coffee, lunch? Would you still go to the gym before work/at lunch/after work? When you work remotely, you don’t have to shower, do your make-up, or even get dressed up. It’s easy to “let yourself go.” If you are the type of person that needs to be motivated to shower, take breaks, and stay active, working remote may not be a healthy route for you. Keeping a routine is important to keep the normal rhythms of life moving in the right direction.
- Setting boundaries.
Are you good at managing set work hours? Can you put down the phone, turn off the email, and “walk away” from work at 5pm? Working from home can easily turn into working 24/7 if you let it. Many virtual employees will tell you that since you technically never leave the office, you must be diligent to actually “shut it off.” It’s easy to check the computer multiple times a night or over the weekend, because it’s right there. Setting boundaries when working from home are important to keeping a healthy work life balance.
- Commute/transition time
Work commutes are often super stressful—especially if you live in a bigger city, like Los Angeles. The commute could be hours. When you work form home, there’s no commute—which sounds lovely, right? However, no commute equals no “transition time” between work life and family life. A remote worker will often immediately go from worker to parent/spouse in a matter of minutes. If you need that time to clear your head and transition to your home life, working from home may mean you’ll need to carve out some transition time to make it work.
So, do you think you’re cut out to work from home?