3 Tips for Remote Workers in 2021
As we move into 2021, let's look at three tips to help you be successful as a remote worker!
Remote work has been all the rage since the pandemic struck and many people found themselves being forced to work from home. While originally there were some common complaints (e.g., time management and domestic distractions), many people have come to realize that there are numerous benefits to this not-so-new way of doing things.
As is always the case, self-discipline and task prioritization are a must but, frankly speaking, that is the case even for office work. However, for a remote worker to stay productive in the long run, it is crucial to develop a daily working schedule - even if the work is project-based.
In addition, for people who engage in projects rather than in long-term work for a single client, it is important to develop a couple of useful skills and stay on top of technological developments and the latest apps and tools.
Let’s see how to stay productive and happy and retain enough free time to live your life just as you want to while working remotely from anywhere in the world.
This is, perhaps, the most difficult skill to master, especially when you’re just starting out. The main reason why it is so is because people often tend to mistake remote work for procrastination, the common argument being “I can do it later.” No, you can’t. Remote work isn’t any easier than office work. However, there are various ways to help you save time with apps and more apps, as well as the integrations of tools with your apps.
Remote work is a great way to live your life just as you’d like. For example, you can turn into a digital nomad, which is the trend that has been gaining rapid attention of late. However, you’ll still need to earn enough money to make a living, let alone make a decent living in accordance with your plans.
The best way to tackle the issue is by planning ahead. Pretty simple, right? That’s what you’d normally do if you were an office worker. Some adjustments can be made, notably in terms of regular breaks. For one thing, you won’t have to rush to finish your lunch break to get back when it’s convenient for others. You’ll do it on your own, when it’s convenient for you.
Schedule regular breaks and don’t skip them. Just remember to get back to work once they’re over. In time, this will become a routine you’ll be able to adjust on an as-needed basis, depending on the project you’re working on. By that time, you will have learned how much time it takes you to perform various tasks and which break schedule suits you best.
Lastly, change the habits that waste your time massively. Primarily, this means that you should turn off your email notifications and stop binge-browsing your social media newsfeed. As for the first, create two dedicated time slots to check incoming emails and reply to those that need replying. As regards the latter, turn off social media email notifications and access your profiles only after you have finished your work for the day. Optimally, you’ll also have a time slot dedicated to the activity, and remember to make it time-limited.
Hard and Soft Skills You Need to Master
Depending on your vocation and target agreement type, you’ll have to develop job-specific skills that will enable you to remain evergreen even with all the newcomers to the virtual job marketplace. Most common jobs people perform online include virtual assistance services, customer support services, writing, editing, graphic design, web design, consultancy and teaching.
Even people with no considerable skills or educational background can find simple jobs online (e.g., data entry positions), which is to say that there is indeed an opportunity for everyone. You only need to look hard enough to find a suitable offer.
Unlike the hard skills that are vocation-specific, the soft skills a remote worker needs are almost universal to everyone. Namely, remote workers need to keep in touch with their employers and colleagues online, meaning that you should accustom yourself to virtual communication (emails, online meetings and similar).
It goes without saying that you should be proficient in at least the most common online communication and remote-work tools (e.g. Slack, Asana, and Trello).
Lastly, you’ll need to be culture-sensitive, especially if working with people from different countries. Interpersonal communication can be difficult sometimes, especially when performed online, but you should make an effort to polish it. It doesn’t differ that much from everyday situations you’d normally encounter at the office, after all.
Learn to Say No
In order to be successful and happy with your work and, overall, life in general, you’ll need to learn to distinguish between good and bad job offers.
Every freelancer has, at some point, been in a bad spot, hence accepting any offer just to make ends meet. This holds especially true for people just starting out, because they have to find reliable clients and start counting on recurring projects.
However, remember that your hard work, skills and education have to amount to something. Reject the offers you deem unsuitable and keep looking for better ones. After all, if you don’t respect your expertise, don’t expect others to do so.
Remote work can be truly enjoyable and allow you to live a fulfilling life anywhere in the world, but you’ll need to put some effort into it.
Also, for many people, there are additional options rather than relying on others. Think in terms of online businesses. Nowadays, cheap domains and hosting services are affordable to everyone, which is the main reason why drop shipping has witnessed a boom as of late.
If you’re successful at what you do and have a rich portfolio to show it, why not create your own website (yourname.com) and showcase your qualities?
This is just one of many ideas because the opportunities are many and varied. Think outside of the box! Eventually, you’ll arrive at the best solution for your unique situation. The wide web is huge and, for once, there is room for growth for everyone.
Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.