It wasn’t long ago that I started my first “office job”.
I had very good reasons for doing so. Up until then, I had been working freelance as a copywriter. I didn’t spend all my time behind a computer, though. I also made money on the side as a TEFL teacher (great side income, not so great career-wise).
Teaching English in companies gave me the urge to try it out for myself. I wanted to know what it was like to work in a more “professional” capacity. I knew with the skills I’d acquired over the years, I would be able to get something.
So, after a few months of applying, I landed myself a job in the online dating industry.
The first year was great. I learned a LOT about SEO, social media marketing, how to build/run a website, analytics… You name it. Essentially, you could say that as a copywriter I got the core of my online marketing education which expanded my skillset beyond the other two jobs I had previously done.
Since most of (no, all) of my work was done on a computer, I realized that the whole need for an “office” job was… Well, redundant. What I’d wanted was a chance to improve my skills, learn more and of course, earn a stable salary.
I had heard about remote work before. I knew as a freelancer working from home, I had technically been one of those “remote workers”. What intrigued me more, though, was the fact that…
You can have a stable, “9-to-5”-style job and still do it from the comfort of your home office.
At first, it seemed crazy. Then, I thought about it some more. Working remotely at the time was becoming popular and since then it has only continued to increase. The only people resisting seemed to be fearful managers who think that “management” involves walking around a room and checking over people’s shoulders.
The more I read and learned about remote work and telecommuting, the more I was sold. So, one day I very meekly walked down the smokey (no exaggeration) corridor to my boss’s office and asked him if I could work from home.
Just like that, he said yes. I was back in the saddle, working from my own desk/sofa/kitchen table just like I had been. It was the biggest relief I’d had in years.
For me, going remote was easy. I just had to ask. For others, it may be tricky. Many more may need to consider a career change if they truly want to work from anywhere.
However, in my opinion the benefits are so, so worth it.
If you’ve been considering going remote, let me give you a few reasons of why you absolutely should give it a shot, at least once..!
Remote work doesn’t limit you geographically
Probably the most important point for me. While this means for many (like digital nomads) that they can travel the world, having no geographical limitation goes beyond that. It means you can live where you want. You can work for a big city company but live in a quiet haven in the country.
You can go to another country and learn a new language. If you live away from home, you can visit your family regularly without using up those precious holidays.
I am aware that many remote positions require you to be in a certain time zone. However, rules and regulations vary depending on the company and the position. Even the most restrictive remote position is far, far more liberating than any in-office job can be.
You don’t have to be remote all the time
Maybe you like having one or two days at home to get certain types of work done. It means you can sit down, concentrate and avoid the commute for a day or two. Perhaps, however, you still want to join your office colleagues for lunch and other activities. No problem – there are also jobs which allow telecommuting on certain days.
Actually, I’ve never worked for a fully-distributed company. I have always worked for companies that allowed telecommuting if the employee felt like it. Naturally, I take full advantage. I go to the office sometimes but for me, it’s a choice. I’m not obligated to be there.
You may have more social energy
This may be more relevant for the more “introverted” among us. I have a social battery with a certain amount of power. When I worked in the office, that social battery was drained when I came home. The thing is, I was not happy to sit on the sofa and watch TV after work every day. I wanted to go out not to fulfil social needs, but to see my actual friends.
It was exhausting. While I liked my colleagues, all of my social energy was being used on them rather than the people it was meant for. I needed my evenings to be at home but I preferred being out.
There are a lot of articles about remote workers being lonely. For me, it had the opposite effect. I was alone during the day, communicating with colleagues via Skype and Slack, sure. But by the time I closed my laptop, I went out to activities in the evening or to the pub.
If you’re introverted, working remotely means you can choose exactly where you want to spend your social energy.
Your employer benefits too
With fewer overheads, less need to worry about supplying you with coffee/drinks, less time wasted on stupid office politics… Actually, I think employers get the best deal out of remote work. Some may even insist on paying a lower salary, however this is something you should absolutely not allow to happen.
Overall, telecommuting has benefited me in more ways than I can write about here. If you feel that it’s something you’d like to give a shot, I would highly recommend you try it. If you hate it, don’t worry: there’s always coworking spaces and there are still plenty of office jobs.