Guest blogger Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter.
Working remotely is an appealing alternative to driving into work. The stress of traffic, parking, and arriving at a physical location is cut out when you can simply teleport into work with the power of video conferencing, instant messaging, and email. But, working remotely is more than just a mode of work, it’s a unique approach to teamwork.
When remote work is a fit for you, and can lead to massive leaps in positivity, productivity, and wellness. When it’s not, however, it can be stifling for both employee and employer.
Telecommuting is becoming a more fashionable way to work. Cutting out the commute has proved to be helpful to many workers, providing them with a more peaceful, stress-free work-life balance. At the same time, Remote work requires extensive self-management, adept online communication skills, and an ability to advocate for one’s needs.
How do you know if remote work is for you? Below are 5 tell-tale signs that the digital nomad lifestyle may be a good fit for you:
1. You are an excellent communicator. Being part of your team requires every member to communicate to the best of their ability. What does that mean when communication is asynchronous? Clear, concise communication becomes even more important.
Writing ability also becomes of the utmost experience as much of your correspondence is likely to be written, whether it be through Skype messages, IRC chatroom exchanges, or email correspondence.
If you’re able to communicate clearly on all of these channels and retain the same tone and clarity, then remote work may be a superb fit for you.
2. You enjoy self-management. Every job entails a degree of self-management. Remote work differs only in that it requires just a bit more. If you are able to finish projects most efficiently without the oversight of daily management, then telecommuting may be a possible avenue for you to explore. Managing the minutiae of your day-to-day duties doesn’t sound like a hurdle to you, then working remotely will prove a good fit.
On the other hand, if you’d like to check in with your coworkers and managers often and in-person, then you may want to reconsider working remotely. Also, some find remote work blurs their personal from their professional lives. If you aren’t prepared to create this division, this can harm your work-life balance.
3. You can advocate for your needs. Every team member has to speak up in order to be heard. This is true everywhere but is especially true when it comes to remote work. Remote workers need to speak up if they need tools they don’t have, clarify things they are confused, and bring issues, ideas, and comments to management if they encounter anything that needs to be shared. Being honest and open about your needs will ensure you can help yourself and your team in the best way possible.
4. You are most productive at home. Everyone’s different. Some people are most productive during the night. Others are most productive in the early morning hours.
Ask yourself: when and where am I most productive? Am I most productive within a traditional office setting or am most productive on my own at home?
Coworking spaces, traditional office spaces, or a home office space are all viable options. Exploring which is best for you will supply you with the answers you need to go forward. Knowing yourself is key to understanding whether or not working remotely is right for you. Wherever you’re most comfortable working is often the answer.
5. You’re adaptable. Working remotely means you’ll need to be comfortable with change and responding to challenges. This means more than addressing practical issues yourself, such as Internet outages, this also means being open and adaptable in order to solve more abstract problems.
Remote teams have to evolve quickly to address bottlenecks. Needs change based on a number of factors and the number of factors are increased when dealing with a fully-distributed team. In order to avoid breakdowns in communication, teams have to respond rapidly to challenges by embracing change.