Working Remotely: Benefits, Challenges, Skills & Advice

The global workforce is experiencing exponential change as businesses adapt to the new environment brought on by COVID-19. At Simply Hudson, we embraced technology and the benefits of working remotely in early 2018 and have helped others adjust to their new normal. As employers look for new opportunities to incentivize employees and maintain safe social-distancing procedures, we expect more companies will adopt long-term remote-work options. 

Good Things for the Organization & the Employee

Companies benefit with remote workers by saving on overhead and operational costs. Think about everything from desk space to electricity to coffee. Employees are more productive, which benefits the company with higher output and benefits the employee at review time with proven increased performance.

Employees control their environment for increased focus with fewer distractions. There is freedom and flexibility in how you design your day, whether you take advantage of your newfound (past commuting) time to kickstart a project or exercise.

Working remotely isn’t just about increased performance or saving money. There are a myriad of health benefits, too, like reduced stress, fewer germs to make you sick and improved mental health. WebMD gives us a good overview of these benefits.

Challenges: Awareness, Prevention & Management

Remote work brings a different set of challenges—mentally, socially and physically. Yet a conscientious effort and organized planning can help you overcome these challenges.

While you won’t have colleagues showing up at your desk or catching you in the hall, distractions can come from your kids or pets, deliveries or home chores. It also takes time to adapt and determine your preferred surroundings and set-up, whether that be finding a space for a home office, getting new monitors, or finally buying those fancy blue light glasses to save your eye sight.

Moreover, there is a different level of effort needed to disconnect from work or get out of the house each day. With no commute to the office, you’ll need self-motivation to step away from your work environment, move your body, or take a break.

Camaraderie with your colleagues takes a different form. You may not expect to miss those office birthdays, impromptu coffee dates, or farewell happy hours, but office events provide an opportunity to build relationships, team morale, and commiserate over challenges or difficult projects. Regular video calls, team check-ins, and virtual events can help replace in-person interactions. 

Then, there’s the old adage “out of sight, out of mind.” While this doesn’t fully apply to remote workers, it can be a challenge to keep leaders and influential partners informed of your accomplishments. An informative yet concise weekly recap of your successes, key risks, and upcoming leadership decisions will win you brownie points and keep you top of mind. 

“Working remotely has given me new tools to release stress, build deeper connections with those around me and balance my high productivity habits with living a full life.”
~Nicole Hudson, Founder of Simply Hudson

Important Skills for Successful Remote Work

Yes, there are challenges, but the benefits of remote work outweigh those, provided you’ve got the skills to overcome the obstacles. It should come as no surprise that communication tops our list for the skill most needed to be successful.

Remote workers need to be savvy at all forms of communication. Email, chat apps, such as Slack, and phone calls replace elevator run-ins, watercooler chats, and desk or office drive-bys. Whether you’re an employee, contractor, or freelancer, cater to your audience and find the best method for each situation. 

We all know how quickly the aforementioned distractions can take over a day. Having the self-discipline to start and plan your day, stay focused, and overcome the unexpected is important. If that’s your biggest challenge, create structure for your day and stick to your schedule.

Self-motivation goes hand-in-hand with self-discipline. With weaker external factors to enforce accountability, such as the coworker who constantly compares everyone, motivating yourself to hit deadlines, meet project goals, and consistently deliver will feed your success.

More to Come on Working Remotely

We love being able to work remotely and want to share our knowledge with you. We’re going to keep the information flowing for the next few months, so be sure to regularly check in with us to learn more!

We’d Love to Work with You

Yearning to become a remote worker? Not sure how to get out of a traditional job setting? Struggling with transition? We’d love to help you! Contact us and we’ll set up a free consultation call to discuss how we can help.

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