There are several ways people work remotely. Each have their own benefits and challenges. Before you launch into the world of telecommuting, here are a few things you need to know. Millions of people don’t even realize by working a “traditional job” they are in fact willingly giving away weeks of their lives every year to the simple task of commuting for the privilege of working for someone else. Don’t think so? Read Commuting is costing you 6 weeks a year. Millions of workers were displaced due to layoffs and companies going out of business. If this sounds familiar, then also read our article 5 Steps to a new (Remote) Job.
What do you need to start?
The basics of working remotely is a computing device, whether it is a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Each have their own level of mobility and limitations. If you are in sales, a smartphone may be all you need, but if you are writing, doing design work or something requiring more text or data manipulation, you may choose a computer better suited to those tasks. At the very least, a keyboard or voice recognition software would be required for moderate to heavy typing or data entry.
You will need an internet connection, if only frequently to send and receive email or access company programs and information remotely. Many smartphones now have a hotspot function making your smartphone a source for internet to your other devices. This is assuming you have a cellular plan supporting hotspotting and local cellular connection.
Who are you?
There are many types of roles that lend themselves to remote work. There are far too many roles to list here, however, people seeking remote work fall into one or more of the following categories:
This is the person that works in the office part of the time and works from home part of the time. There are business requirements (or management style) mandating attendance for meetings or face time. There may be a situation where sensitive information needs to be accessed only onsite. This is beneficial to those who need to have or like to have interpersonal contact.
Work at home (WAH) employee
Thousands of people work from home every day. Perhaps they access work through a web browser to complete their work, or have software and an internet connection to complete tasks and either upload or email their work. They may have a dedicated office space, but it really depends on the business requirements and where the employee decides to work in their home.
This is the historical traveling salesman, but today this is someone who is typically employed by a company with responsibilities outside of a traditional office. This differs from the work at home (WAH) worker by traveling to customer sites or trade shows as part of the job responsibilities.
This can be the ultimate level of remote worker for some, the digital nomad. One who travels and works from literally anywhere. While it is easy to romanticize this lifestyle, remember it is still working remotely, just more on your terms. The need for systems of getting and performing work for clients are still very real.
However, having the ability to see new places, meet new people and still maintain a living has several advantages. The need for clients and a steady stream of income to support this lifestyle is still important, but the internet has made this far easier than any other time in history.
What else do you need to know or have to work remotely?
There are still two things you must have to make this journey:
- Finding the right work situation.
- Clients (more about that in a minute).
You need to have the right job or set of clients that subsidizes your choice. Notice I said choice. There are so many that long to work remotely, yet waste away in a cubicle work they resent or even hate. Fear can be a controlling factor, but this does not have to be a flip-of-a-switch choice. By building a list of clients open to you working off-site, you can ease into the transition with more confidence.
Perhaps approaching your current boss about working at home a day or two a week on a trial basis (like Tim Ferriss suggested in The Four-Hour Workweek). You may transition sooner than originally thought possible.
Getting clients may be the tricky part, but if you download our FREE RemoteMinded Success Planner to create a road map to get you started. You may want to purchase our RemoteMinded Power Pack to research industries, companies and jobs where you can start working remotely today! This is a quick start guide to companies and roles you can start now with the skills you already have. What else do you need to know to work remotely or live the digital nomad life?
Now you know what you need to work remotely
Ultimately, it comes down to a choice. Start making plans today, but the first choice is to decide you want something better. Knowing you want something better will drive many decisions, just don’t lose sight of the end goal. This may be a little scary at first, but be assured everything will start lining up to help you if you make a decision. Now you know what you need to work remotely. You will have questions along the way. Check back here often, we are here to help.
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