Fact or Fiction: The remote work edition
Freelancers, remote workers and members of virtual teams are all relatively new in the business market. They are here to stay and they are steadily creating their own home based work market. As expected, the freelancers are presented as the unreachable dream of any employee and their lives seem sparkly perfect. Money, traveling and freedom are three words that the digital nomads represent. Let’s play a game of fact or fiction and see what’s true and what’s not about the trend of remote working.
You work much less than people who have traditional office jobs: Fiction
People that work in offices mostly have a set timetable every day. Most company hours are 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm. Of course, there is overtime work but it shouldn’t be the norm in the business world. On the other hand, If you prefer remote working, you can kiss normal hours goodbye for real. Your floating office follows your time schedule and slacking off is not an option if you want to make it as a freelancer. This means that if a project demands it, you have to work long hours, odd hours and face tough times. So the struggle is definitely real. However, remember, your office never really closes unless you shut it down yourself.
You get to be the cosmopolitan traveler you’ve always dreamed of: Fiction
Let’s start with a universal truth. Remote workers are not tycoons. At least, not the majority of them are. They are professionals who choose to take a different path. This means that they cannot possibly be the world wanderers that the myth proclaims them to be. It’s only natural that they will be able to travel a bit more than people with fixed timetables. Employment from home does offer this desired privilege. However, a steady internet connection, the necessary equipment and of course the anxiety about remote working among others are limitations that freelancers have to face. Moving to Tibet for 6 months sounds like a dream but practically it may not be feasible.
The most organic and experimental food is on your plate every day: Fiction
Since freelancers work from home or from coworking spaces, people think that they eat healthy and interesting meals. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Remote working can be a treadmill. An office job puts food in your schedule. Thus, you eat because you’re hungry but also because someone reminds you to. At home, your eating habits can easily deteriorate. When the workload is insane, cooking is not an option. So junk food, inadequate food or even no food are on the menu for you. You have to work hard to put together a diet plan and follow it. Nutritious food improves your mood, your performance and above all your health. Give it a try!
Your office is your designated workspace: Fiction
Regular employees that work in traditional offices have a pretty fixed working space. In the same spirit, remote working professionals have an office space at home. The real question is if they ever use it. Freelancing from home offers you more working spots like the couch, the bed, the kitchen table or even the floor. All of them are easy choices but not the right ones. Your body posture and overall health are affected. Be careful because you may end up being like Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame.
Power naps: the best energizer: Fact
Working for 8 straight hours every day can take its toll on employees. Typically, they have a break to have lunch, relax and recharge their batteries. But sometimes a little siesta can rejuvenate body and soul. Working from home can help you fill this need. You can always take a small nap on your couch or bed and then return to work. Especially for people that are not big morning fans, remote working is ideal since it accommodates power napping. If you also think that there is no set timetable for employment from home. power napping may be a great help throughout the day.
The fun sirens try to lure you all the time: Fact
Office work is strictly delineated because co-workers, managers and the whole atmosphere whisper to you “Get back to work!”. Employment from home is a totally different thing. It can easily turn into a playground. You are the master of your own work and you have full responsibility of the time you lost procrastinating, feeling bored or even got distracted by fun, non-related stuff. Setting the boundaries between fun and work may be the most difficult thing that a freelancer has to do. Therefore,a time tracking software like Elorus could help you monitor your time and fight the distractions that lurk around every corner of your house.
Against all odds, remote working is paid quite well: Fact
One thing that is pretty accurate about having a remote working business is financial gain. Freelancing jobs and remote positions are paid quite well. According to the majority of studies over the last years, the average hourly rate for freelancers is much higher than the amount an employee makes per hour with a steady salary. Of course, there will always be projects that are not that profitable or freelancers that have not managed to set the wages they want yet. By all accounts, there is no doubt that there has been a shift towards alternative ways of working.
If technology fails you, it’s the end of the world: Fact
Judging from the nature of remote working, technology can lift you to the skies and knock you to the ground. Your home based freelance venture is built on your shoulders so you have only you and your laptop to rely on. When your computer betrays you with dying on you or not performing it should, the world feels dark and scary. The only way to keep your sanity is to back up everything as frequently as possible and always have a plan B. In this way, you also save your hard work and your company’s integrity and viability. Take advantage of external hard disks, clouds and every other kind of storage you can and you’ll be fine.
The growth of home based work has people talking about its fictional and factual aspects. Now, you know a bit more about the difficulties and privileges of a remote working solopreneur. Employment from home positions have its challenges and benefits as any other job in the world does. So if you want to be a freelancer just to laze around at home, go on vacation all the time or live la dolce vita, you should reconsider your career plans.