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How to transition towards remote work successfully

Are you thinking of transitioning to remote work? Or maybe you've been working remotely for a while, and it's not going as smoothly as you thought it would? This guide is for you. We're going to share some tips that will assist in making a successful transition. So, whether you're just starting to think about it or you're already in the middle of making the switch, these tips will help. Let's get started!

What is remote work?

When people think of remote work, they often think of employees who work from home. However, remote work is not limited to working from home. Remote work can refer to any type of work that is done outside a traditional office environment. This could include working from a coffee shop, co-working space, at a library, or even from a different country. The main defining characteristic of remote work is that it does not take place in a physical office. This allows for greater flexibility and freedom when it comes to where and how you work. With the rise of technology, more and more businesses are starting to allow their employees to work remotely. As a result, remote work is becoming increasingly popular.

Myths About Remote Work

Let's continue this journey by dispelling some famous myths about remote working. Not that there are many, but the ones that do exist in our collective minds are particularly silly.

Myth #1: Remote workers don’t want to work

The image of a remote worker working on her laptop while dipping in a pool and sipping on a piña colada is persistent. But let's get this out of the way: it's literally impossible to see your computer screen in full sunshine, especially if you're half drunk. Forget about all these pretentious Instagram pics. The reality is that no one can do any serious work in 30-degree heat at the beach. Furthermore, the sea air alone is notoriously corrosive to electronics, so your laptop will probably not survive a week. You'll actually find the vast majority of remote workers inside clean and cool co-working spaces, sipping coffee or green tea, completely focusing on work as if they were in an office.

Myth #2: Remote working is easy

This could not be further from the truth. Remote work definitely has its perks: no commute, flexible hours, and you can even work in your pajamas if you want to. But there are also some challenges that come along with work culture. For one thing, it can be difficult to stay focused when you're not in a traditional office setting. There are distractions at home - from the TV to the kids - that you don't have to deal with at the office. And since you're not in proximity to your coworkers, it can be harder to build relationships and collaborate on projects.

Myth #3: Business owners dislike remote staff

False. Company owners only want efficient staff, whether they work on-site or at home, even if many of them wish to see their teams in person once in a while. The issue with remote work is this: managers and business owners expect off-site workers to be self-sufficient and independent. They’re aware that not everyone has these qualities from the get-go, and many require a form of face-to-face supervision, as well as further training in order to function efficiently remotely. Remote workers must, therefore, demonstrate that they are capable to deliver work outside the traditional corporate setting.

The Brief History of Remote Work

For many years, people have been working from home, but it has only been in recent years that remote work has become more mainstream. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most significant factor has been the advent of the internet and the relatively inexpensive computer options available to consumers that have made it possible for people to work from anywhere in the world.

The coronavirus pandemic has also played a role in the increased popularity of remote work. With so many people now working from home, there has been a surge in demand for remote work solutions. This has led to a number of companies offering remote work options, and it is now easier than ever to find a job that can be done from home.

In a bid to brand itself as a remote work-friendly organization, the lodging company Airbnb has recently launched its Live and Work Anywhere initiative, through which they promote 20 destinations around the world that are popular with seasoned remote workers.

8 Tips For Transitioning To Remote Work Successfully

The idea that one can work from home or a seaside villa in Bali is definitely a pleasant and relaxed experience for people too familiar with the fast-paced 9 to 5 grind. The move to a more remote role may have acted as one of many positive things people saw in the onset of the Pandemic a couple of years ago. However, a successful remote work career demands that you respect certain rules. We've created a list of tips that all of our remote collaborators agree are essential to making this important transition:

1. Establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible

One of the best ways to become a great remote worker is to establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible. That way, you can avoid the feelings of aimlessness and emptiness that can come with not having a set schedule. Of course, establish a routine that works for you and your lifestyle - there's no point in setting an alarm for 6 am if you're not a morning person. And don't be too hard on yourself if you occasionally veer off course - we all have days when everything goes to shit. Just do your best to get back on track as soon as possible.

2. Get the right tools and equipment for working remotely

If you're going to be working remotely, it's important to have the right tools and equipment. First, you'll need a good internet connection. This is essential for video conferencing, file sharing, and accessing work-related websites and applications. Second, you'll need a laptop or desktop computer that can handle all of your work-related tasks. Third, you'll need a comfortable chair and desk, so you can stay focused and productive throughout the workday. This is more of a challenge for digital nomads who work in guesthouses or hotels. Trust us: the images of Millennials working on a beach chair make great Instagram images, but that's about it. Finally, make sure you have all the software and applications you need to do your job effectively. If you have everything you need, working remotely will be a breeze!

3. Stay connected with your team

Being able to stay connected with your team is important, especially if you're working remotely. There are a few different ways to do this.

• First, communication is key. Make sure you're staying in touch with your team members regularly. The daily or weekly check-ins can be done through email, instant messaging, and task management solutions such as Asana. You may want to get together with your team in order to discuss issues and simply touch base in a more significant way. This is where virtual meetings through a video conferencing solution like Crewdle come in handy. 

You should also try to create a strong team bond by getting to know your teammates and setting common goals. Additionally, it's important to stay up-to-date on what's going on with your company or client and the latest industry news. This will help you better understand your role within the company and how you can contribute to its success. By following these tips, you'll be able to stay connected with your team and other coworkers, no matter where you're working from.

4. Use project management tools

If you're working on a remote project, it's essential to have a good task management platform in place. There are a lot of different options out there, a popular one being Asana. It's user-friendly and has all the necessary features to keep your remote team on track. With such platforms, you can create tasks, assign them to remote team members, set due dates, and add comments and attachments. If you're responsible for a team, it's a formidable option for managing remote employees. You can also create projects and break them down into smaller tasks. Asana makes it easy to see who's working on what and when things are due. It's an essential part of any remote work setup and an invaluable tool for keeping remote projects organized and on schedule.

5. Take time off when needed

Even though it's important to stay productive, it's also important to take breaks when needed. It can be easy to get caught up in working and not take the time to relax, but it's important to remember that taking breaks is essential for both your mental and physical health. When you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a few minutes to step away from your work and do something that will help you relax. Take a walk, read a book, or listen to music. You'll be surprised how refreshed you'll feel after taking some time off. Reserve one day a week when you never look at your emails and will only do activities that will do wonders for the longevity of your remote career. Finally, set a few weeks aside every 4-6 months for holidays.

6. Create a designated comfortable workspace

It's important to create a designated workspace that is both comfortable and inspiring. This doesn't mean you have to set up a separate room in your house - even a corner of your bedroom or living room can serve as a functional and inspiring workspace. Just make sure to designate this space solely for work, and outfit it with everything you need to be productive, including a comfortable chair, good lighting, and all the necessary equipment and supplies. By creating a designated workspace, you'll be able to stay focused and motivated while working from home.

7. Take care of yourself

It's important to take care of yourself and make sure you're getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition. When you don't take care of yourself, it can impact your ability to focus, concentrate, and be productive. Not to mention, it can also make you more susceptible to illness. That's why it's important to make sure you're getting enough rest, staying active, and eating a balanced diet. By taking care of yourself, you'll be able to function at your best and avoid unnecessary health problems down the road. So don't neglect your health - make taking care of yourself a priority.

8. Avoid multitasking

It's important to focus on one task at a time in order to be productive. Most of us have probably been guilty of trying to multitask at one point or another, whether it's checking our email while we're on a phone call or watching TV while we're working on a project. But the truth is that multitasking is actually less efficient than doing one thing at a time. When we focus on multiple tasks simultaneously, our brain has to constantly switch back and forth between them, leading to more mistakes and increased stress levels. And in the era of remote work, where we're often expected to be available 24/7, it's important to take steps to avoid burnout. So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, try focusing on one task at a time and see how much more productive you can be.

9. Aim for a healthy work-life balance

Burnouts are frequent among remote workers. That’s because they end up continuously working at their computer and end up associating their homes with work. It's important to set boundaries between work and home life, especially if you're working remotely, where you need to set very clear boundaries. Make sure to set aside dedicated work time, and stick to it. Turn off your email notifications outside of work hours, and avoid checking work messages after hours. 

A better suggestion is to follow Tim Ferriss’s strategy regarding notifications, advice that he shares in his groundbreaking bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek: turn all notifications off - all the time - (even your phone) and set a short, once-per-day, and limited period to check your messages and emails. 

If possible, create a separate space in your home that you can use as an office, so that you can physically leave work behind at the end of the day and access that space for work only. The reverse is also true: do not make the mistake of bringing work into your bedroom or other places that you associate with relaxation, such as your living room or patio.

Challenges of Remote Work, and Solutions

As you embark on your new work adventure, some things will change. Some for the better, but others, not so much... Here's what could happen:

• You will probably be responsible for your computer. Solution: budget for repairs and replacements;

• Your relations and communication with members of your team will suffer. You will also miss the one-to-one chats you had with colleagues. This is the price of working remotely. Solution: Touch base every few days with members of your team and schedule a virtual meeting every 2-3 months;

• You will be tempted to take on more work than you can deliver. Although not pertaining to remote lifestyle alone, this phenomenon is more common once you become location independent. Solution: Take on extra work that you can perform and deliver with the expected quality and/or that you're truly passionate about.

Remote Work Pro Advice

Although the advice listed above provides the essential information which will enable you to launch your remote career successfully, there are a few tips that can really enhance your experience:

1. Anticipate hardware failure

Your computer will fail at one point. This is why a backup laptop is always a good idea, particularly if you work with tight deadlines. Also, remember to budget for repairs and a new laptop 3 to 5 years down the line.

2. Plan ahead when on the move

If you're stepping into the adventurous digital nomad lifestyle, you'll quickly realize that not all destinations are equal in terms of internet access. For example, some areas of India and Nepal have notoriously slow internet. Your 2-week workcation on a secluded beach in Costa Rica can quickly become 14 days of pure frustration. Who knows, you could be rubbing shoulders with the next Steve Jobs.

3. Mingle with other remote workers

Members of other remote teams can provide insights and share tips and tricks that work for them. Remote working doesn't mean isolation, but rather a work culture that flourishes because of technology. In the world of digital nomadism - for example - meet-ups are common and are a welcome aspect of this lifestyle. In fact, remote workers will often gather for work sessions in person in cafés or co-working spaces.

How to present the idea of working remotely to my boss?

If you're thinking about suggesting remote work to your boss, there are a few things to keep in mind:

• First, make sure you have a solid plan in place. What will your remote work setup look like? Will you be working part-time or full-time? What tools and resources will you need to be successful? Having a clear and well-thought-out plan will make it easier to sell the idea to your boss.

• Second, be prepared to trail remote work on a trial basis. Propose working remotely one or two days a week to start, and then slowly increase the days as you prove that you can be productive and efficient outside the office.

• Finally, keep in mind that not all bosses will be open to the idea of remote work. If your boss or supervisor is hesitant, be respectful and understanding. Keep in mind that entrepreneurs tend to know their business inside and out, and are keenly aware of what works for them. Ultimately, it's up to them whether they're willing to give remote work a try.

Remote Work FAQ

If you're thinking about starting a remote career, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about remote work, and what you need to know to be successful.

1. What is remote work?

Remote work is simply working from a location other than a traditional office environment. This can mean working from home, from a coffee shop, or from anywhere else with an internet connection. Many remote workers find that they have more flexibility and freedom when it comes to their work schedule and location.

2. Can I really make a living working remotely?

Yes, you can definitely make a living working remotely. In fact, many people find that they're able to earn more money working remotely than they would work in a traditional office setting. The key is to find the right remote job or freelance gigs that fit your skills and experience level.

3. How is remote freelance work paid?

Freelance remote work is usually paid by the project or by the hour. For example, if you're a freelance graphic designer, you may be paid per project, rather than per hour. This means that you'll agree on a price with your client upfront, and will only be paid for work that is completed to their satisfaction. Alternatively, remote work can also be paid hourly. In this case, you'll track your time using a time tracking software - like the one used by the popular freelancing platform Upwork - and will invoice your client for the hours worked at the end of each week.

4. How do I get paid as a remote freelancer?

Clients or freelancing platforms will usually pay through online payment systems such as Paypal and Payoneer or direct wire transfers to a bank account.

5. What are the best remote jobs?

There are a lot of great remote jobs out there, but some of the most popular include data entry, web development, graphic design, social media marketing, and virtual assistant work. Again, the best remote job for you will depend on your skill set and experience level.

6. How do I find freelance remote work?

The best way to find remote work is to use a job search engine like Upwork or Freelancer.

7. What are the benefits of remote work?

There are many benefits to working remotely, including the ability to design your own schedule, work from anywhere in the world, and save on commute time and expenses.

8. What are the challenges of remote work?

The main challenges of remote work include staying motivated and avoiding distractions. It can also be difficult to stay connected with co-workers and build relationships when you're not in the same physical space.

9. Is remote work always done solo?

No! While some remote workers are self-employed and work completely independently, many remote jobs are done as part of a team. You'll often collaborate with other remote workers using tools like Crewdle or Asana. And even if you're working independently, you can still connect with other remote workers online to get support and advice.

10. What are the best online resources for remote workers?

There's a wealth of information on the web to help you develop as a successful remoter. Facebook has countless groups that focus on telecommuting and digital nomadism. For people with a passion for entrepreneurship and freelancing, Tim Ferriss's bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek offers strategies that can seriously fast-track their career.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What specific tools or technologies does Crewdle recommend for enhancing remote work collaboration and productivity?

For remote work collaboration and productivity, tools like video conferencing software, project management platforms, and cloud-based collaboration tools are typically recommended. These tools facilitate communication, task tracking, and document sharing among remote teams.

How does Crewdle address the challenge of maintaining a healthy work-life balance for remote workers?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance in a remote setting often involves setting clear boundaries between work and personal time, using digital tools to manage workload efficiently, and promoting a culture of respect for personal time among team members.

Are there any insights or advice on how remote workers can effectively manage time zone differences when collaborating with global teams?

Managing time zone differences in global teams usually involves scheduling meetings at mutually convenient times, using asynchronous communication methods, and being mindful of the varied working hours of team members to ensure inclusivity and efficiency.

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Crewdle Team
July 26, 2022
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