Steps for Success: Your Guide to Working Remotely Full-Time
Remote work has become the norm for many people throughout the pandemic. Businesses are taking advantage of its many benefits—from safety to saving money on commutes and office space—whether they wanted to or not.
In the past, many businesses had been against the idea of not having employees on-site. Yet when presented with no other choice, companies have learned that it can be done successfully. 41.8% of the American workforce continue to work remotely in the latter stages of the Pandemic according to a 2020 study from Upwork.com.With this in mind, we wanted to take a look at some of the things to consider if you think remote work may be the future for you.
Remaining Engaged and Productive
Staying focused can be one of the most difficult challenges associated with working remotely. The idea of working in bed or laid out on a beach somewhere sounds amazing, but in truth, these can be distracting and impact productivity. Luckily, there are ways to overcome this.
By setting a daily routine, getting up, and getting dressed, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Co-working spaces are a great way to be around people in a similar environment. Virtual co-working spaces have also become a thing, especially in recent times. They allow you to become accountable amongst peers.
When working through tasks, we find that separating roles into chunks of work that you can do all at once helps to stay focused. For example, if you’re a writer, dedicate your mornings to writing and afternoons to proofreading.
Tips from Zero-In CTO John Williamson
"It is important to be intentional about planning out each block of time in your day. Allocate blocks for meetings, checking emails/chats and tasks from your daily 'important and urgent list.' Do not forget to block time to eat! I know it is easy to eat while you work, but I have found that I am most productive when I plan a separate time in my day to walk away from work to refuel my body and catch up on personal emails/news. Be 100% all in on the task at hand. This is a good practice whether you work in an office, at home or on the road. Working from home introduces a whole new set of distractions. As long as you live intentionally, you can work from anywhere!"
If you run an entire business from your laptop, you need to protect it. Not only should you have some form of business insurance and insurance to protect your prized gadget, but there are many cybersecurity considerations too.
A VPN is a great way to stay protected online and mask your identity. There are a bunch of VPN services out there with different payment plans, so pick one out that suits your needs. We also recommend having your own secure connection to the internet. Many cellphone providers now offer unlimited or high-allowance data plans so you don’t have to rely on public Wi-Fi, which can be slow and be riddled with security issues, especially if you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb.
If you want to work in another country, you need to consider your legal right to work in that country. In some countries, this can be a bit of a gray area, because, though you’re not working for anyone in said country, they may still class you as a worker and want you to have a working visa.
For example, in the US, people from other countries can’t work here without a work visa. Yet they may be able to work if they’re doing some remote work for their company back at their home base. However, if you work for yourself, carrying out work in the US, especially if your client is US-based, could be deemed illegal by CBP if you’re on a tourist visa or ESTA. See the complication?
Some countries, however, are innovatively combatting this. They understand the world has changed and the way we work nowadays is different.
Recently, Estonia became the first country in the world to offer a digital nomad visa. Following the Pandemic, Barbados, Cayman Islands, and Bermuda have also followed suit, offering a 12-month working holiday visa to those working remotely who wish to live there for a bit in a bid to drive tourists back to the island. In Canada, people can immigrate to live there through the Self Employed Persons Program if they work in cultural activities or are at a world-class level in sports or the arts.
Is Full-Time Remote Work for Me?
One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you have the opportunity to live in beautiful places, travel, and experience other cultures. It also allows the opportunity to live a better quality of life if you choose to live in a place with a lower cost of living. There are challenges, however.
Remember to shut down at the end of the day or the end of the week to ensure you still have a work-life balance. When working for yourself or working remotely, it’s easy to just open up your laptop and check a few emails and before you know it you’re working long into the night.
With that said, if you take all of the considerations in this article into account, you’ll be prepared to work full-time remotely—either from the comfort of your home or from an exotic destination.