VIPKID’s Guide to Finding Remote Work Success
Here at Remote.co, we’re all about remote work (obviously). We love the benefits: no commute, better work-life balance, and working in our PJ’s if we want. And, while many people dream of working in their PJ’s all day from home, what they don’t realize is that working in a remote job isn’t as simple as moving your office job to your home office.
To be a successful remote employee, you can’t just “phone it in.” Yes, you will spend time on the phone to do your job. But, there are things you have to do to be a successful and productive remote employee.
VIPKID is an award-winning English language-learning services company. They pair teachers with Chinese students learning English. And, as you may have guessed, all of VIPKID’s teachers are remote employees. They work anytime from anywhere, building a career that suits their life, not the other way around.
Because they’ve got experience working remotely, the teachers at VIPKID have created “Raise Your Hand,” an eBook with tips to teach you how to be a productive and successful remote employee. Because, what’s the point of working remotely if you aren’t outstanding at it?
Ready to learn?
Lesson One: Create Work-Life Balance
One of the things many office workers dream about is the work-life balance they’ll automatically achieve if they work remotely. They think that without the daily commute, they’ll have a lot more time in the day to do “all the things.”
That’s partly true. Once your commute is gone, you’ve got some of your day back. But switching from an office-based job to a fully remote job doesn’t suddenly result in work-life balance nirvana. In fact, switching from an office job to a remote job may mean swapping one set of problems for another.
For example, now that you’re home all day, do you do the laundry, too? It might be harder than you think to ignore that growing pile of dirty socks. And when does your workday start and end? How do you know when to be “off” when your office is always ten feet away?
VIPKID suggests you establish a routine to help you figure out when your workday starts and when it ends. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as closing the door to your home office or taking that last sip of coffee before you start in the morning. To signal the end of the day, shutting off your push notifications or (again) closing your office door could be all you need.
They also suggest setting boundaries and sticking to them. For example, you may set a rule that you will only do laundry after 5:00 and on weekends—no matter what. Even if someone is out of underwear, you won’t do laundry during your workday.
Whatever your routine, make sure it works for you and that you stick to it. Giving yourself a daily schedule to follow helps train your mind and your body to get into and out of work mode. The same thing goes for boundaries. Once you set those boundaries, stick to them, and you’ll find work-life balance in no time.
Lesson Two: Working Anywhere? Be Prepared
One of the joys of remote work is that you can work from anywhere. Your couch? Check. The local coffee shop? Check. The beach? Check. Any and all of these places are possible. But, it’s not as simple as grabbing your laptop and heading out the door.
The VIPKID experts recommend that you have a checklist of supplies you’ll need and contingency plans in place for when the unexpected happens. What does that mean?
Well, of course, you’ll need Wi-Fi or some other kind of data connection. But how do you do that at the beach? A mobile hotspot? Through your cell phone? It’s something to think about before you say you’re working seaside that day.
And what happens when you need to charge your devices? You won’t find outlets at the beach. Do you have an external battery or external charger? Or, at least, a place to head to for a quick charge?
What about if you prefer the comfort of your home office? That’s great. You’ve probably got the perfect setup, and you can always set the temperature the way you want.
But what happens if there’s a power outage? Or the Internet goes out? Then what? Can you go to the coffee shop? The public library? Your mom’s house?
Don’t let these “what ifs” deter you from seeking a remote job. However, you should create a contingency plan for when (not if) you run into any or all of these situations.
Lesson Three: You Can’t Do it Alone
One of the great things about working in an office (yes, there are some), is that you meet other people. More importantly, you can talk to them, bounce ideas off of them, and learn from them.
While it’s not impossible to do these things when you’re working remotely, it is a little harder. And it requires you to make a lot more effort.
Make sure you’re reaching out to colleagues regularly whether that’s for social chats and small talk or mentoring and advice. This will help you build relationships with your coworkers even if you don’t hang out by the coffee machine every day.
But don’t neglect your outside network. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world outside your home office. You may look up one day and realize you haven’t left the house in nearly a week!
Join virtual groups for professional networking. It’s a great way to stay connected to others in your field that you don’t work with. Or check things like MeetUp or Eventbrite for professional happenings in your area. It’s a great excuse to get out of the house, meet other professionals, and put on something other than pajama pants.
Looking for more tips?
These tips, of course, aren’t all the advice VIPKID offers. Download the guide and learn more about how their remote employees structure their days for maximum success and maximum work-life balance.
This is a sponsored post for our friends at VIPKid.
By Rachel Pelta | October 15, 2019 | Categories: Work Remotely