The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

My work-life balance improved when I joined Intraway and started working remotely. I was able to move back to my hometown and work from home. I use one of the rooms in my apartment as my office. I have a desktop, a comfortable chair, a laptop with its docking system, LED screen, keyboard, mouse, and headset. To stay connected, I use Hangouts, Meet, Zoom, Slack, Whatsapp… basically, any tool that facilitates communication.

To keep our remote team engaged, we have daily scrum meetings: We mention our good and bad news and warnings. We also set our Top 1 Task for the day. Once a week we review our KPIs, our OPSP actions progress, and we set our priorities for the week.

The Best Things About Working Remotely

No More Commuting

I can be at the office the minute I decide to. I don’t waste time on the train, subway or bus anymore.

You Are at Home if Needed

Do you have furniture being delivered? Need to wait for the plumber? Good news: You’re already home! And you’ll save time and money by not traveling back and forth.

It’s Easier to Concentrate

Have you heard of co-workers that stay at home when they have an upcoming due date? Well, I have. I‘m usually alone at home during the mornings, so it’s easy for me to stay focused.

The Worst Things About Working Remotely

My Office is at Home

I’m disciplined about the time I spend working. My schedule is the same as my coworkers based in our main office.

Tips:

  • Let your family and friends know you work from home and cannot be disturbed during working hours. If there’s someone else at home, close the door to your office.
  • Establish a routine. Try to start and finish always at the same time so you are not in front of the computer the whole day. I usually leave the apartment after I finish working, to take a walk or go to the gym.
  • Take a few breaks every now and then, drink water and stretch your muscles.

Communication

It can be difficult to communicate with others when you are working remotely. Since I can’t just drop by their desks, I have to chat, phone or email them. Sometimes there’s no answer.

Meetings are also different when you’re not present. People can talk at the same time, draw on a board or just make gestures that you won’t get.

Tips:

  • Check how to join meetings before they start (sometimes the organizer forgets to put a link). Also, ask who’s present and introduce yourself if needed.  
  • Visit the office once in awhile, to maintain the relationship with your co-workers. I usually travel once every two months.
  • Communicate with your superiors frequently and share update statuses of your projects. You never want to be “Out of sight, out of mind!”

There are definite pros and cons of working remotely. If you feel it can improve your work-life balance and you can do your everyday job without constant supervision, you’ll be just fine. Every day, there are more companies opening up to the idea of hiring remotely. If you’re interested in pursuing a remote job, you can check out job listings at Remote, We Work Remotely, Indeed’s Remote Jobs search, and Intraway’s available positions.

 

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