Me, celebrating working

How To Know If Remote Work Is Right For Me

For me, true freedom is getting to do what I love from anywhere I want.

Remote work has reached an all-time high in recent years and I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to be all for it. As someone who has dreams and goals outside of the work I do, my hope is for everyone to have the opportunity to experience the same freedom I have now that my work is remote based.

However, how do you know if remote work is the right fit for you? 

Will you be able to build a profitable business? 

Let’s get some answers…

Let’s Look At The Stats

Is it for you?

Statistics show that about 28% of employees work at least part time remotely while a little over 12% work fully remote.

Will this trend continue to rise?

Yes, it’s believed that it will.

According to Upwork, by 2025 an estimated 32 million Americans will be completely working remotely.

So is remote work for everyone?

I have to say no to this one.

I believe there are specific qualities one must cultivate in order to make remote work right for them.

Some of the most used skills I’ve had to use are great communication skills, ability to work independently, excellent time management, daily self-motivation, and continued adaptability.

All of these are key to being productive, getting work done on time, and keeping yourself accountable while staying part of a team from afar.

It is no surprise so many people, including myself, are willing to put in the work necessary to stay consistent because the benefits of working wherever there’s a WiFi connection are plentiful.

Work-Life Balance

To start, I have to mention that my views on this topic have changed recently. 

If you’ve ever read The 12 Week Year by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington, there’s a really good point made that there really is no such thing as work-life balance. 

They go on to say that you cannot spend equal time and energy in all areas of your life because that’s impractical. But moreso, it’s incredibly unproductive and frustrating. 

It’s more important to spend your time intentionally and understand that there will always be an imbalance… “the intentional imbalance”.

This is the most common benefit most people who work remotely have sought out, and it’s no surprise.

Finding a happy balance has always been a struggle for many traditional 9-5 workers. Some have families and want to be fully present parents while also providing for their families. Others have hobbies, pets, elderly parents to care for, and even volunteer work.

Yet there are a few, like myself, that want to explore the world.

Traveling has always been on my list but it only became a possibility when I started working for myself. 

These days, I get to pick up my laptop and work from wherever I choose and that, for me, provides the perfect work-life balance I’ve sought out for so long.

Most typical careers only allow for two weeks of vacation per year. Working 50 weeks only to get two in return doesn’t feel like balance to me, intentional or otherwise.

Savings

I’m not meaning the typical type of ‘savings’, although that one is important too, but other types of savings that get from working remotely. 

What am I referring to?

For one, there is no commute.

I’m saving on gas and regular upkeep on my car.

I’m saving time stuck in traffic.

And if you’re a parent, day care costs could be a huge savings for you.

No more money spent on food outside of the house or possibly even the regular expense of new work attire.

What does this all mean?

I get to keep much more of my paycheck, or at the very least, I won’t have to dedicate as much of it to the expenses above.

Self Care

Working takes up a big chunk of the day when required to be at an office.

I have to take into account the time it takes to get ready every morning, and the time it takes to travel back and forth.

Let’s walk through it…

I’m going to use my mom as an example because, even with her traditional job, she had a lot going on.

My mom was a teacher at our public schools for 33.5 years. With two children, she had a fairly ‘normal’ life depending on what you think is normal.

My dad was either gone for work by 5am or out of town for work on a weekly basis and only home on the weekends.

Here’s the rundown:

6am – Wake Up (I have no idea if this was when she actually woke up but I do know she was up before we were.)

6:30am – Wake up kids, get them dressed and ready for school, make breakfast and sit us down eating

7:15am – We were out the door. Drop off both kids at school.

7:30-7:45am – She was at work.

3:30pm – Get off work at school.

3:45pm – Pick up kids (if we didn’t ride the bus to her school)

4:00pm – Home (aka, start her second job as the ‘mom’)
She would monitor that we got our homework finished and cook dinner. Then it was baths, reading time with us for our school books, and then bed.

9pm – After we were in bed, she did the dishes and cleaned up the house prior to getting a shower and going to bed herself…

All to do this again the next day.

This hasn’t included as we got older and were in different sports and we had to be shuttled here and there for practices, competitions/games, etc…

Reading all that alone could easily make one tired. There are a lot of people doing that every day, every single week, year after year. I’ve been one of them!

There is very little, if any at all, time for you to care for yourself when you’re working for someone else, much less if you have others to take care of as well.

It is no surprise that, more than ever, mental health issues are on the rise.

The physical and mental load for many gets to be too much.

Studies have shown that productivity levels from those working remotely are way higher than when in office. Which goes to show that we are, in fact, finding that balance between our work and what we crave out of life when we work remotely.

Create a Peaceful Space

Most people don’t think of this as a major benefit when you look for remote work but it truly is amazing to experience.

Have you ever heard interior designers talk about how a color can change your mood?

The same goes for your work space at home or anywhere else your heart desires to work from.

Imagine waking up in the morning and heading with your laptop to your favorite local bakery. As you put your drink, breakfast, and laptop down on the table, you can’t help but notice the relaxing view that will be your backdrop today.

Then you say to yourself: I am grateful I get to work from anywhere I want.

But for the most part, I truly do work from home regularly to limit additional costs.

But my office gets to be set up how I want it to be.

I don’t always work in pajamas, but I do get to be comfortable while I work.

I can play whatever music helps motivate and keep me on task.

And my office is decorated in my aesthetic… which most importantly does NOT include fluorescent lights.

I can take a break for a walk while the weather is nice, a long lunch with friends every now and then, or watch a friend’s kid for her, as long as I get my work finished on the timeline I set with my clients.

Bottom line is that I get to customize my space the way I like or work from a different place if I choose. All of this helps with productivity and focus.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

So what do you think? 

I’ve pointed out key benefits of remote work and some characteristics I feel we can all develop (if we don’t already have them), what’s your conclusion?

Is remote working for you, or an avenue you would be interested to explore?

It has been fantastic for me.