It’s now been about 4 months since I started my new life as a remote worker. To be quite honest, it’s been pretty great: traveling, no commute, making my own hours, etc. And yet, at the same time, I’ve been able to experience some of the realities of this way of life. So in today’s post I thought I would address some of the Myths (and truths) about remote work.
Before we get started, however, I’d just like to say that I’ll be tackling these myths from the point of view of a remote worker. This whole conversation will be about how remote work affects you personally, rather than how it affects a company.
With that being said, let’s dive right in.
Is Remote Work Lonely?
- Myth: Working remotely means you’ll have a lot less company.
- Truth: Working remotely means your company is going to be different.
This particular aspect of my lifestyle was one that worried me immensely. Why? Because, while I am an introvert, I also didn’t want to be alone all the time.
Blogs and Videos have been endlessly written around this topic, detailing everything from the causes to tips on how to get around it. They are great sources of information and well worth your time checking out.
However, and this is from my personal experience, working remotely has only changed one aspect of my life socially: I don’t have an office. That’s it.
And, while that can feel lonely at times, specially when I really need to crunch on some work, not having an office came with its own set of benefits:
- Meeting different people every day: at coffee shops, wi-fi enabled parks, while traveling. I’ve specially found that taking off the headphones helps a lot.
- Getting to choose who I spend my time with: Visiting mom and dad for a couple of days/weeks or catching up with friends that live in different cities. The cure for homesickness is always just a plane ride away. And no need to wait for vacations.
- Co-working spaces: Meeting people with different skills and interests is one of the main benefits of co-working spaces. Coffee shops and shared office spaces can oftentimes become a little bit like your own office, coworkers and everything. And after a little while, you may even see yourself become a part of their own little community.
- You can be alone when you need to be: And that’s actually pretty great.
What I mean to say by this is: just because you won’t be seeing the same people every day doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Take a trip, visit some friends, see your family and most of all remember this:
Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.
Do you have to travel to be a remote worker?
- Myth: All remote workers are digital nomads.
- Truth: The remote working lifestyle is different for everybody.
Full disclosure: I’ve travelled a lot these past 4 months, I even moved cities. It’s been great.
However, I am also a part of a company with a lot of remote workers, and we all have different ways of handling our lifestyle.
Here are some of the ways some of us have used remote work to our advantage:
- Traveling around the country and visiting your family and friends (me.)
- Living back and forth in between two cities to take care of your relatives.
- Working remotely to spend time with your wife and new-born child.
- Finishing your education during the day while keeping up with work on your off hours. (This guy’s a real champ.)
And these are just people within the same company.
Working remotely let’s you decide how, when and where you use your time. It’s up to you to decide how to use that freedom.
Does working remotely mean working less?
- Myth: Remote work means beaches, MacBooks and orange drinks.
- Truth: Remote work is still work, and you have to deliver.
To be honest, I’m also guilty of perpetuating this myth. Check out my Instagram and you’ll see no signs of the hard work that goes into keeping my lifestyle going.
So, on the sake of honesty, I’ll come clean about this topic: I work a lot. From keeping this blog going, to learning python while I work as a FullStack Developer. I put in a lot of effort most days.
And that’s okay. I work on things I enjoy working at, and more importantly, when I want to work on them.
Where does this bring us? Remote work does not mean less work. It does, however, mean that if I want to crunch 16 hours’ worth of meaningful work in one day and go boat sailing the next, I can. It means that, if I want to go to the gym at 11am in the morning on a Wednesday, nothing can stop me.
And It also means that if I work best from 5am to 11am, and that’s all I need to get my work done, hallelujah then.
You get to decide when to work and when to party. That’s one of the beauties of remote work. Embrace it, make the best of it. Use it to lead a beautiful and exciting lifestyle.
But do remember this: Remote jobs are not all party, the work has to get done.
I talked a lot about the benefits, but I still wanted to provide some resources to those of you who are interested in learning more:
- Nomad List provides detailed information on almost every major city in the world from a Digital Nomad’s Point of View. Great resource when picking your base for the next few months.
- A Trello Board on how to become location independent. A great checklist made by Rosanna Lopes full of insight and ideas. Just in case you want to take the Travel route of remote working. And if you do, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org, maybe we can meet up somewhere.
- The 4 hour work week. Great book on the topic of becoming location independent, choosing what you want to work on, and living a better life. This one is great for learning how to be more efficient at work.
- Remote: Office not Required. By the guys that probably do it best, BaseCamp shows you why and how remote working works best.
- Nomadic Notes. I’ve been following James Clark for a while, and his list of resources has everything you could ever want to know about being a Digital Nomad.
Working remotely can be a huge blessing if done correctly. Being able to decide when, where and how to work is one of the greatest benefits that a company can ever offer you.
If you are a remote worker, please let me know in the comments some of the myths people believe about your life, and the truths you’ve experienced. If you’re interested in becoming a remote worker, perhaps you can tell us what aspects you find the most interesting about this lifestyle.
As always thank you for reading, hopefully it was of some use, or at the very least entertaining.
Until next time.