Most of us are have become so accustomed to the daily grind that we barely notice it anymore; it’s simply ingrained into our daily schedule: wake up, go to work, punch in, work for 8-10 hours, punch out, and then we proceed to make the most of our ‘leisure’ time (ie. time spent away from work) as we see fit.
However, this routine is rapidly changing on a global level; workers are no longer tied down to set hours, employers are allowing more flexibility during the workday and what’s more, the possibility of working remotely is becoming a more concrete reality.
If your company allows working remotely or if you’re considering delving into the world of freelancing, here are some things you should know before you take the plunge.
Time-Management is Your Mantra
There’s something to be said for walking into the office every morning; it sets our mentality to align with the fact that we are expected to do (at least some) work during our time spent there.
When working from home, the lack of fixed hours can often translate to a more lax approach to working, as well as easily getting distracted by other things around the house. Moreover, without your boss making an appearance throughout the course of your day, it’s much easier to procrastinate and waste time without even realising you’ve spent the last 2 hours scrolling through your Facebook feed.
Working from home means having to be more self-disciplined and separate your work and leisure time accordingly in order to be productive and stick to your deadlines.
Of all the benefits of working from home, this one definitely tops the list. With the traffic situation in Malta only worsening as time goes by, not having to spend hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams travelling to and from your place of work is a definite highlight.
Less time spent commuting means more time to dedicate to actually being productive and getting more work done. Moreover, avoiding the daily road rage will do wonders to reduce your stress levels.
Work/Home Boundaries Become Blurred
As many environmental psychologists have proven, our surroundings are likely to have a direct effect on our performance and behaviour; this is especially true when it comes to working. Sometimes, a certain office layout may actually hinder rather than encourage productivity.
When working from, this issue quickly becomes insignificant since most of us instantly feel more comfortable within familiar surroundings. Staying in your pj’s all day is another added bonus.
The fact that your bed and kitchen are just within a few metres away may also influence our working abilities. While there’s definitely an upside to this, again self-discipline is key to avoid spending your day taking frequent naps or making endless trips to the fridge.
No Human Contact
This can be a tricky issue; some people find they work better on their own, completely cut off from any human distractions. Others will inevitably look forward to lunchtime banter and small talk with colleagues. It all depends on your personal disposition as well as the nature of your job. Moreover, constant connectivity means that we’re always online and can instantly get in touch with others at the click of a mouse so we’re never really completely cut off from civilization in any case.
Moreover, leaving your house becomes a more desirable activity than if you had to trudge yourself to the office every day. Making plans to meet up with friends outside your working times will ensure you get your fix of human interaction.
Taking the step to work from home may be daunting. Be prepared for your daily schedule to longer revolves around a strict set of hours. This increased flexibility allows you to manage your day according to your personal needs and commitments; you get to make time to go to that gym class you enjoy or practice a well-loved hobby.
There’s no denying it might take some getting used but setting your own work schedule will feel liberating and give you the freedom to adapt your job to your life rather than the other way around.