Many professionals like the idea of remote work, particularly after getting a chance to try it out during the pandemic. The issue is that telecommuting isn’t an excellent fit for everyone. Working remotely comes with unique challenges, and it doesn’t suit every personality type. If you’re trying to decide if remote work is right for you, here’s what you need to consider.
Self-Motivation and Self-Discipline
When you work in a traditional office environment, your manager is usually no more than a few steps away. As a result, they can guide your efforts and help you stay on target, essentially pushing you to be at your best. That often makes it easier to ignore distractions, even if you aren’t directly observed at every moment of the day.
Working remotely means not having your manager as a direct source of motivation. Instead, you need to rely on yourself to remain focused during the day. As a result, being self-motivated and having self-discipline are usually essential. If that doesn’t describe you, then remote work isn’t necessarily the best fit.
Independence and Introversion
Even if you’re technically part of a team, remote employees generally handle their individual tasks independently. Group gatherings are rarer when you’re telecommuting, as they’re harder to arrange. Plus, there aren’t as many opportunities for casual conversations or quick brainstorming sessions with colleagues.
Since that’s the case, working remotely is typically a better fit for independent – or even introverted – professionals. If you enjoy the quiet and prefer avoiding unnecessary discussions, telecommuting brings that to the table. However, if you gain energy by engaging directly with others, remote work is potentially a poor fit.
Written Communication Skills
When you’re in an office setting, you have options for communicating with colleagues. While you can use written methods like messengers, forums, or emails, you can easily speak with others in-person when the need arises.
Working remotely usually doesn’t come with as many verbal communication options. As a result, your written communication skills need to be stellar. You’ll convey the vast majority of what you need to share using written methods. If you aren’t as comfortable communicating in writing, a remote job isn’t necessarily the ideal choice.
Many people believe that working remotely automatically improves work-life balance. It eliminates a commute, giving you more time for personal activities. Additionally, you can handle home tasks during breaks and lunches, which could make your personal life easier to manage.
However, some professionals struggle with maintaining healthy boundaries when telecommuting. Since your workplace is in your home, it’s easy to accidentally get sucked back into work mode after your shift ends if you aren’t able to set appropriate limits. If you have trouble setting boundaries – or your manager expects you always to be available while telecommuting – you could end up with worse work-life balance than if you stayed in an office.
Ultimately, remote work is an excellent choice for many, but it isn’t a perfect solution for everyone.
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