Things to Consider When Working Remotely

man working on computer
In theory, working remotely sounds like it offers great freedom. But while the commute from bedroom to office may be much shorter at 9 am, remember the same distance applies for off-hours, too. Learning to healthfully separate work from home life is just one of our top tips for working remotely. And now that you may have the ability to work from anywhere, it's a ripe time to strategize.

Maybe you're on the fence, wondering: "Is remote work right for me?" Knowing how to combat the poor time management and stolen focus that can easily skew the WFH paradigm in the opposite direction is a skill. But once you learn how to work remotely in a way that sets you up to thrive, the lifestyle that accompanies it can become much more manageable and beneficial.

You may find that not only does your productivity increase, but your free time does as well. 

What does working remotely mean?

On the most basic level, it means working away from the physical location of your job or employer. Most people take the phrase to mean working from home. Yet, many remote workers use coffee shops, libraries, or other locations. The key is that you aren't physically tethered to any specific place to do your job. Instead, it often means being anchored to a computer with a strong WIFI connection.

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Pros of working remotely

What are the benefits of working remotely? They range from the simple comfort of being at home to fitting in an exercise routine between projects, or simply saving money on gasoline every day. Some people may find that remote work frees them from even needing to own a car at all. So long as you meet your work requirements, one of the most common remote work benefits may be gaining independence and freedom over environment and schedule. 

Cons of working remotely

It's important to remember one thing: remote work is often what you make of it. First, you need the right tools: a reliable computer and a strong internet connection as a baseline. Beyond that, you may require specific software or hardware. Even when that's taken care of, you still must contend with yourself and your environment. Achieving focus at home isn't always as easy for people as when they're in an office setting.

If you have pets or family at home, you'll need to adapt to sharing your work environment with them. In short, working remotely can present many distractions. That's where time management and focus come in.

Tips for working remotely

There are many things to consider when working remotely. Learn how to start working from home by practicing these tips and skills. Having the option to work remotely is only half of the journey.

  • Budget your time

Time management is the key to success when working remotely. You need to keep yourself on track and achieve your goals, or you may quickly find yourself with a pile of work you can't complete on time. Consider separating the day up into units of work time separated by breaks. 

  • Don't multitask

There are many potential distractions in a home, but they're more likely to slow you down than achieve anything positive. It may be amusing to have the TV on in the background, but more likely than not, it'll cause your work to suffer – and you still won't know what's going on in the show. Remember, it pays to pay attention. Instead, try focusing entirely on one thing at a time. When you're working, work. When you're taking a break, don't work.

  • Create a solid workspace and use it consistently

Human minds work best in areas of familiarity. When we work in a consistent environment, it becomes easier for our brains to focus on work while in that environment. So, even if you don't have a home office nook, it's essential to set aside some space and arrange it as a workspace you can use regularly.

Moving after switching to remote work

One of the freedoms of working remotely is relocating for pleasure or convenience instead of necessity. When your work travels with you, you suddenly have many more housing options. If remote work has put you in the market for a house, consider learning why you should adjust your life insurance after buying a home.

If you're married and moving across state lines, there's another factor you may want to consider. Some states are community property states. In these states, all property gained by either spouse in a marriage is owned equally by both. 

While this may not be a significant issue for some, it can present a complication for couples who prefer to maintain separate finances.

Working remotely, self-employed, or both

As remote work becomes more common, so too may self-employment. While there can be many freedoms to such a position, there are some caveats to consider. Specifically, when you're self-employed, you become responsible for any benefits you may have gained from traditional employment. Health care and life insurance are no longer part of the job. If you're considering taking a break from conventional employment, learn about life insurance for the self-employed.

Many insurers will offer individual policies to applicants who wish to purchase life insurance on their own. Ethos works through an entirely online application process. Applicants can apply without needing to take a medical exam – simply answer a few health questions.

The information and content provided herein is for informational purposes only, and it is not to be considered legal, tax, investment, or financial advice, recommendation, or endorsement. You should consult with an attorney or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.

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