How often have you seen a picture about working remotely; where the authors are hanging by a beautiful beach with their computer and sometimes a margarita by their side?
This is how “working remotely” is portrayed by social media and some entrepreneurs, and though it can sometimes be that beautiful and relaxing (like my photo) most time it is very very challenging to be productive and structured while working remotely. So here we will explore the objective pros & cons of working remotely.
PRO: you actually get to choose where, how and what you work, whether you do it at home, at a coffee shop or traveling, that is for you to choose, and I have to say: it does feel great. To be able to take a week and go to a beach place, or visit family and as long as you take some hours every day to focus you will be just as productive.
CON: whether you choose to work from home or traveling or your own office, it can get a bit challenging to focus, it is easy to get distracted by trivial stuff like TV show, Social media or a book, simply because you can. So it requires a lot of commitment and self-structure.
PRO: you save tons of time not having to a). commute to your work’s office every day, b). get dressed up (or presentable) to go to your office. You also save tons of time that nowadays is wasted in completely useless meetings.
CON: unless you outsource everything you spend tons of time doing things from different areas like : accounting for your business, or selling acquiring clients, implementing systems, etc etc besides your core work/job.
PRO: if you work for your own company your income tends to be much bigger and grow much faster than working for a company while you expect your boss to give you a raise. It all depends on how hard you work to grow your business, and since (hopefully) you are doing what you love, you will work very very hard and motivated for it. And if you work for a company remotely you get tons of flexibility, so you can work on side hustles or build your own company on the side.
CON: you won’t get a safe&stable monthly income with an amount you are already counting on, so if you are not structured with your expenses it can be extremely challenging to manage an unstable income.
PRO: Since you have tons of flexibility in time and space you can participate in events, meet ups, take some time every day to read articles, and meet up with inspiring people from other fields (all of these are very very recommended). In my own experience I really rely on all these activities to stay inspired and get more creative ideas and perspectives to face my company’s challenges. Instead of seeing and talking to the same group of people every day (from your office) you get to choose and explore “outside your box” to get more perspectives and inspiration.
CON: It is very challenging, and not for everyone; if you dont feel comfortable reaching out to people it will be a challenge (but you could rely on events and reading articles to stay inspired and updated.) It can also get very very lonely; when you are at an office everybody shares some of the burdens and challenges of working for that same company, but when you are alone (or even with a partner) it can be very lonely and challenging to commit to do the activities above to stay inspired and updated.
PROS: you get the freedom to build your own habits on your own best times for each activity, for example; if you prefer working and concentrating at night, you can schedule your concentration hours at night with no problem. If you like working out during morning hours you can do it without a problem it is all up to you and not up to a company’s rules and structure.
CONS: it is extremely challenging to build habits on your own, for some people more than others, but if you have no place you have to be at a specific time, or meeting to attend (which you will once you have to interact with clients) it gets very challenging to build up constructive habits if there is nothing and no one “pushing” that is why people hire personal trainers for example, and nutritionists, and coaches… must people do better when they have something or someone structuring their lives. So unless you are a self motivated, driven, committed and structured person on your own, it can be very very challenging.
An extra one:
TRAVELING : it is so beautiful to see all these photos (like mine above) of people smiling by a poolside or ocean view or a new city they are exploring etc etc but you dont get to see the full picture; when you are traveling your brain is receiving so much new information from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep that it becomes very difficult to on top of all that demand your brain to produce and work.
Think about it, if you are in a new city or place, you might have to deal with: a) where are you going to stay: new space to adapt to.
b) what are you going to eat (from breakfast to every snack and dinner it will be different structure from home so your brain has to think about all that actively)
c) space and time for work: since you don’t know the place you are at, it will be an other task to find a proper workspace for you during the time of your stay.
d) workout or health habits and time zone: if you actually traveled far (like me this time to Singapore) it will be 100 times harder to adapt to the time zone and stay productive.
So my tips would be: if you want to travel while working, travel for longer periods of time in each location, adapt fast to the time zone oversleeping the first day, and set alarms for 4 of your most important activities/habits: eg: meditate 6am, workout 7am, focus time 10am, read 9pm. and commit.
So it is not impossible but it is very very challenging. I hope this has helped you look at the whole picture of working remotely. 😀
Thank you so much for reading! go to my podcast to listen to more on the subject, including: how almost all professions can work remotely in 2019, and a bit more on the challenges you can face.