By Bob Goldman
Using the remote: Home officing
The Gallup Poll wouldn’t lie to you. According to Gallup, 43 percent of people in America’s workforce are not at their desks today, but they are working. They’re working from home. From coffee shops. From RVs picturesquely nestled among the alligators in the Okefenokee Swamp.
Yes, working remotely has become a huge deal. If you are still dragging yourself to an office every morning, you are fairly outdated. Or are you?
As a remoter, you can work in your pajamas and, of course, crank up Motorhead loud enough to rattle the shutters, and certainly, you can take a break any time you like to raid the refrigerator or spend the entire afternoon playing a video game. You are also freed from tiring commutes. Imagine how good life could be when your entire commute consists of getting out of bed and getting right back in. Only now it’s not your bed. It’s your home office. But working remotely is not all butterflies and buttercups. How are you going to do good work when your supervisor can no longer walk down the hall to offer instant and constant supervision?
On the other hand, considering that your supervisor and your supervisor’s supervisor may be working remotely, as well, there is a very real chance that the company could forget you even exist.
This is definitely an advantage, until the paychecks stop coming.
In 3 Things That Will Make You Successful As A Remote Worker, Forbes contributor William Arruda confirms that working from home has its own set of problems and perils. If you do decide to go remote, Arruda said, this will require “a different mindset and new set of expectations.” Here are three:
1. Update your definition of professional communication.
Working remotely can be lonely, and Arruda said that you will benefit emotionally by using technology to create “a virtual water cooler for rapid-fire, fun chitchat between team members thanks to custom emojis.”
Forget profits. Encouraging fun chitchat is the No. 1 goal of your company.
2. Defend yourself against inertia.
If you have trouble staying on task, “protect yourself with a barrier of self-discipline fostered by smart work-at-home habits.”
One good idea is to schedule a set time for non-work tasks, and keep to it. As author Arruda said, “it’s OK to set aside some time occasionally to toss laundry into the washing machine or take the dog for a 15-minute power walk.”
The danger of not setting a specific time for personal activities is that work can mushroom into a 24/7 obsession. If you find yourself tossing the dog in the washing machine and taking your laundry for a 15-minute power walk, you’ve definitely gone too far.
3. Surround yourself with support to avoid loneliness.
About one-fifth of telecommuters say they feel lonely. To combat negative feelings, take a bold step: Get a goldfish.
A goldfish makes a wonderful companion for a remote worker because it’s always ready to sympathize with your sad situation or gossip about the tiny fish-tank frogman treasure hunter bubbling away in the bottom of the bowl.
Alternatively, you can “occasionally work out of a coffee shop, local co-working space, or another hotspot where remote workers like to hang out.”
“Statistics indicate that remote working is on the upswing,” Arruda said. He’s right. Not having to provide office space for workers saves companies a bunch. Who cares if you go a little batty working alone if it helps the bottom line?
Besides, making yourself comfortable, working remotely will be useful if you get fired. Funnily enough, the exact same skills for working remotely are required for not working remotely.
Working from home, you are freed from tiring commutes. Imagine how good life could be when your commute consists of getting out of bed and getting right back in. Only now it’s not your bed. It’s your home office.