Working remotely has really taken off in the last several years. Technology has offered more opportunities for those who want to make a living from their homes. Companies are now starting to take advantage of saving on office space and hiring driven and efficient employees to handle work such as blogging, social media, and a myriad of other duties that can be performed outside of the office setting.
Each person has different reasons for wanting to work remote. As a business owner who uses a remote team, I am always interested in what makes people want to join remote teams. I sat down with a young woman who has been working remotely for the past five years. She was very open and honest with me about her reasons for working remotely.
Kim Beasley’s Interview with Sally
Kim Beasley: How has working remotely changed your life?
Sally: The ability to work remotely and the flexibility is amazing! With flexible hours, I can work from anywhere I get an internet connection. I have been able to work on projects while sitting poolside watching my kids, or traveling with my husband on his business trips. But the best part of it all is, I am still learning! There are so many fantastic opportunities out there, being able to dive into them and figure out the latest trends and insights is incredible. Finding the knowledge and applying to what I do remotely, I have been able to build my strengths even more, and improve on some of the weaknesses that I have had in the past.
Kim Beasley: What made you want to work remotely?
Sally: Before beginning to work on a remote team, I spent time in the Army and then worked in the corporate world. I ran an office for a successful company in Arkansas. I loved the time I spent there and the people that I worked with, but I was missing out on so many other things. Daycare was expensive, and when I found I was expecting another baby, I knew things needed to change. I wanted to keep my kids home with me and to watch them grow. True heartbreak is getting a video on your phone in the middle of the day, with your child taking their first steps at daycare.
Making the decision to stay home was one of the best ones that I have ever made! It began to make a difference. My attitude toward working changed entirely. I started to enjoy really working again and feeling as though I were really making a contribution to the team I was working with.
Kim Beasley: Where did you start when you decided to work remotely?
Sally: Once I decided that I was going to begin working from home and spending more time with my family, I had to figure out what I was best suited for. I made a list of the areas that I was secure in, and areas that I could improve. Writing is one of my most active areas, so that is where I began. You have to know what you can and can’t do. Working remotely is much different than working in an office. You cannot exaggerate skills. You have to be 100% independent and able to carry through on what you say you can do.
Kim Beasley: What are some of the benefits you have discovered in working remotely?
Sally: There have been some fabulous benefits from working remotely. After a few months of working from home and looking over my budget, I realized I was saving some significant funds. Here are where my savings started:
- I was no longer paying for daycare – which amounted to 200.00 per week savings
- I was not eating lunch out every day, or stopping for coffee – which saved me roughly $45-$50 dollars per week
- I did not have to fill my car up every week, so that amounted to about 45 dollars per week in savings
- New clothing could be removed from the budget, as I prefer to work in comfortable clothing unless I have a client meeting to attend. Keeping some cute clothing for those meetings was better than routinely having to add to my wardrobe for work. This could save as much as $400.00 several times per year.
Just adding up those few things above, I saved over $1,500 a month. I was able to take the money that I kept there, and invest them into our debt. But in addition to the money, I was saving time each day. I could sleep in a little longer in the mornings, and cuddle up with my kids before starting my day. No more rushing around to get everyone ready to leave the house, just pure, quiet, and calm mornings.
Kim Beasley: Do you find that you are more productive working remotely?
Sally: My work days indeed have become more efficient. While I love to spend time around other people, when I work I need the quiet and focus areas. Since working remotely, I can move to different regions or quiet locations that are comfortable and promote productivity while working. I am big on time management, so scheduling out my weeks is enormous. Attention to detail, getting the most out of my project in less time and giving my company the work that they deserve is gratifying.
Sometimes working late at night, or really early in the morning is more comfortable. Being able to have the quiet before the house stirs, or finishing a project in the middle of the night is one of the best feelings!
Kim Beasley: What are some of the things you have learned while working remotely?
Sally: Working remotely can be productive – as long as you can be productive. It is easy to fall into the “I can do this later” and put it off completely. I still treat my work days as though I work in an office. Mornings are for coffee, breakfast and overlooking the to-do list while I prepare for the day. Then having my “working hours” where I dedicate myself to getting tasks accomplished. However, with the flexible hours, I can take off and run necessary errands, go to the doctor, or treat my kids to the occasional lunch out when needed.
Some of the biggest pitfalls of working remotely is being able to set boundaries. When I first started, other moms thought they could send their kids over whenever, because I was home and “not busy” even though I was working. The assumptions can be ruinous if you do not let those around you know what your rules are. Since I have been working from home for several years, here are the things that I have found most useful:
- Be upfront with your friends and kids friends parents about your expectations. Just because you are home – you do not have to be everyone’s babysitter.
- Create your list of tasks that have to be done, and number them in the order in which they should be accomplished. Most important at the top to least significant at the bottom.
- Get a day planner and sketch out your weeks/months as much as you can. This will help you not to forget things that need to be done or miss appointments. I bought one that breaks down by the hour so I can maximize my day.
- Be transparent, honest, and open with your communication. Communicating often helps to avoid any misunderstandings or missed tasks.
- Have FUN! If you love what you do, then you must be doing what you enjoy.
Kim’s Tips: Learn To Build Your Remote Team and Promote Your Business
From the information given in the detailed responses above, you can see the potential remote working has! Working remotely has some very positive benefits and perks. Building your own remote team is not hard! Having employees who love their job, and can give their full potential to your business can help to boost you in so many ways. If you are considering starting a remote team but unsure of where to start, contact me today! I would love to help get you on the path to developing your team and building your business.