So you just landed a great job–that’s remote, or, rather not on-site. If you have good self-discipline, these jobs are great (I have one!), and they allow you to work wherever you want–heck, you can even work while you travel, if you plan it right! If you’re new to the world of work-from-home jobs, here are a few ideas to get you rolling.
By “home office,” I simply mean the space in which you work. For me, my office is my backpack. I keep it stashed with all the materials I need, and I go work in the place that calls me each day.
Some days, I work at my actual house. There, I have a special table set up in my room. This is my space just for work. I arrange all my supplies, I sit down, and I crack down. If you have the space, it’s probably worth setting up an in-home office, even if it’s just a little corner. Make sure that you dedicate this space just to your job. You need to train your brain to get into work mode while you’re here. Some remote jobs do require you to be on-call, either via videochat or phone, during normal business hours. For these kinds of jobs, it is probably imperative that you have your own home workspace set up. Go ahead and invest in actual office furniture, so your headspace is really in a mindset for work.
One of the dangers of having a great remote job is that you might find that you haven’t actually left your home for days. So you might feel like getting out of the house to work every now and again. Depending on where you live, there will be tons of options. There’s always your public library, which will have free wifi and can be a great place for people-watching. If you are surrounded by good cafes, start trying them out. Whenever I travel or move to a new place (which I can do a lot, thanks to my remote job!), I spend some time cafe hopping, trying out a new place each day. Some cafes have great food, others have better atmospheres and lighting. In larger cities, there are certain cafes that turn into giant remote-worker offices during the day, so you can go work surrounded by other people who are “in the zone.” More and more public parks also offer free wifi–one of the best parts about not being stuck in an office is the chance to avoid awful lighting, so you might take advantage of being able to work outside for a couple of hours.
Supplies and paperwork
Just like any job, you need to invest in your supplies. Be sure you have a solid computer, headset, foot pedal, notebooks, etc., depending on what kind of work you are doing. It’s worth investing in a good laptop case, backpack, and changer, since this is now your livelihood (I’m assuming this is a computer-based job).
If you’re working remotely, there’s a good chance that you’re doing freelance work. Since this essentially means you’re self-employed, it’s up to you to stay organized on the paperwork front. Keep electronic and paper files of your invoices, W-9s, contracts, and pay stubs. You should also keep ahold of your receipts for purchases such as computer repairs, internet, printing costs, and more. Since they are essential to your work, you can usually write them off your taxes.
One of the big challenges of working remotely is time management. Remote work is really great for those people who never procrastinated on their homework. Some remote jobs require you to be available and working during normal business hours, so you’re held accountable that way. Other jobs, like mine, require you to track your hours via an online tracker and make sure that all your duties and assignments are completed in a timely manner. Other remote gigs may simply have a flat rate and a due date for an assignment. With all of these, it’s easy to skimp out or push off doing the work until the last minute. Even though you’re not in an office, you are still pursuing a career, and we all need to remember that this is the proving ground!