Decades ago when I started my consulting practice, colleagues looked at me with envy, expressing a desire to leave corporate life and “work from home”. They thought it would be easier, more fun, and less stressful. Sounded good in theory but the truth is there are upsides and downsides to that decision.
Today, a compromise appears in the form of a rising trend in telecommuting. According to Global Workplace Analytics, as of January 2016, these are the most current statistics:
Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005
3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.
The employee population as a whole grew by 1.9% from 2013 to 2014, while employees who telecommuter population grew 5.6%.
Before you make a move, consider the pros and cons as outlined by Jenny Holt.
What Does It Take To Succeed When Working from Home?
The workforce is changing. As real estate prices skyrocket, more companies are allowing their employees to work from home. In fact, over 24 percent of workers either worked from home entirely or did some of their work from the comfort of their own living quarters in 2015. It’s anticipated that this number will only increase over the next few years.
Working from home is incredibly rewarding to both employees and employers, but it has its challenges as well. To be successful as a remote employee, many people find that they exhibit some of the following traits:
Home-based employees might need to be flexible in the duties they perform, the times they work, and the changing demands of the industry. While some employees are required to keep strict work schedules, a flexible attitude helps remote workers succeed in the long-run.
At home, pets demand attention, children provide distractions, and televisions are just a button away from playing the latest morning talk show. Remote workers must be determined and focused when it comes to successfully completing their tasks at home. Instead of getting distracted by technology, they must treat their job the same as they would in an office environment.
Without supervisors located on the other side of the room, remote employees must be confident in their decision-making skills. For many remote workers, guidance is minimal and finding someone to answer their questions promptly may prove difficult. Successful remote workers must be able to make a decision on their own without having to consult with others.
What You Can Do to Succeed as a Remote Worker
Working remotely is not without its challenges, but many people are just as successful working from home as they are in an office. A study conducted by Chinese travel site Ctrip found that productivity soared when working in a home environment and the company was able to get the equivalent of an extra workday per week out of each remote employee. Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success:
Find a quiet area to work where distractions will be minimal.
Make a schedule and stick to it; consistency will help you get into a routine that works for you.
Set goals for yourself each day and work to accomplish them by the end of your work period.
Stay organized! No matter how messy your bedroom may be, keep your desk area clean to streamline your productivity.
Don’t let the relative newness of remote opportunities and home-based employment intimidate you. As long as you’re driven and passionate about what you do, you’ll be able to succeed as a home-based worker.