28 Jan Remote Work, What in the World
The alarm clock goes off as a swift kick to the stomach that your day needs to get started. You hit snooze a few too many times, and by the time you roll out of the comfort of your bed, you’re rushing to make coffee while looking presentable for the office. You speed out the door and hit the road just to get stuck in the morning commute with all of the rest of people meandering to another workday. But what if you didn’t have to go through those motions? What if you just rolled out of bed, made a cup of coffee, and enjoyed it in your pajamas while getting to work, or, better yet, you sit poolside while on a trip out of the country while checking through your week’s tasks? Well, my friends, remote work might be your style.
I spent the better half of 2018 working remotely after I moved my life into a van to live in full-time. While that alone had its challenges (turns out wifi is everywhere yet still super hard to connect to), being self-employed was also a new way for me to structure the way I organize my workdays. I tended to work three to four 12-hour workdays just so I could get the remainder of the week free. It definitely was quite the challenge, but to me it was worth it. However, that’s not always the case for everyone, and if you’re intrigued by the sound of working from wherever you want, proceed with caution. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the basics.
What is Remote Work?
Remote work is basically working from anywhere that’s not in-house (unless it’s your house). This is particularly awesome if you want to work from home or travel while still working away at your career. Many companies are moving toward remote offices as technology continues to advance (try telecommuting thirty years ago) and many are offering flexible vacation time with the promise of remote work being completed. Here at Muse Group, we work remotely every Friday, and we can vouch that coffee does taste better while working in our pajamas.
What’s the Upside?
Every year, more and more employees and companies are leaving their traditional 9-to-5 offices to work from a remote location, and can we blame them? Whether you’re imagining yourself working beachside in Mexico, sitting amongst other professionals in an urban coworking space, or simply just cozied up at home on your couch, it seems pretty cool. But other than that, is it even worth it for companies or employees?
Well, it seems like it is. Many studies have been conducted as of recent on this very topic. These studies all have a common theme, and that is remote work increases productivity, boosts efficiency, appeals to young professionals, helps the environment, keeps older people in the workforce longer, and so much more.
To get more specific, studies have shown that 82 percent of remote workers reported having lower levels of stress. In another study, 86 percent of employees hit maximum productivity while working remotely. With numbers like that, it seems pretty difficult for employers to argue against it.
What’s the Downside?
But again, that’s not to say that remote work is for everyone. Take it from me: it can be really, really hard to motivate myself to sit down in front of my computer to work while the beach is literally half a mile away (spoiler alert: the beach doesn’t pay the bills, so work usually won). Telecommuting works well for those who are extremely (and I mean extremely) self-motivated, organized, and disciplined. It can get pretty hard to stay focused to work when a margarita or your children are constantly calling your name.
Plus, not everyone thrives working independently for that long. Creativity often comes from bouncing ideas off of each other, and while team communication apps like Slack and video conferencing now exist, I think we can all agree those are not quite the same as good old-fashioned in-person team meetings.
If you’ve made it this far, and the sound of a remote-work lifestyle still doesn’t sound too shabby, then you should give it a go! While it is very difficult, it is also super rewarding. We don’t condone drinking on the job but feel free to celebrate with a margarita at the beach (or at home – who are we to judge?) after you clock yourself out for the day.