In theory, working remotely is all good: you reach a new level of productivity without compromising your quality of life. In practice, not every IT professional is up to the challenge of remote work. Find out where you fit the remote worker profile.
First of all, it is important to know that nothing is set in stone. You may well develop the behavioral skills and competencies necessary for remote work if this is what you want for your career. However, the truth is that those with the profile to work in distributed teams are more successful – and feel more fulfilled.
It is quite different to be a freelancer who develops each project in isolation than to work outside the office as a member of a cohesive yet geographically distant team. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s just a matter of profile. This Caileen Holden article exemplifies this well.
Don’t opt for remote work if you…
#1 Belong to a line of work that isn’t compatible with remote work.
There are two limiting factors to consider. First, if the kind of work you do can actually be performed outside the workplace without losing quality and without posing health and safety risks. Technical standards require them for good reason.
Second, if the company you want to work for is prepared to manage people out of direct and immediate physical reach. Some business cultures require the conversation to be in person, not video.
#2 Think no dress code means working in pajamas.
Although clothing has become increasingly flexible, common sense is appropriate and decency still applies. Hotjar gives a humorous example (among many others):
Wear whatever you’d like: want to do that Zoom meeting in your Pink Panther boxers? As long as you’re wearing a decent shirt (and you never stand up), nobody will be the wiser.
#3 Believe that if no one is pressuring you, there are no schedules and deadlines to be met.
Quite the opposite! To paraphrase the superhero case, with great powers come great responsibilities. Proactivity, clear communication, and a focus on results are needed.
Companies that choose to seek talent outside their region probably did so in search of high-performing professionals. Failing or not meeting delivery requirements means dismissal, for sure.
#4 Want to work remotely to avoid interaction with others.
People with anxiety, panic syndrome, etc. They may feel encouraged to work remotely, as social interactions take place in more standardized contexts. However, it’s wrong to think that distance = isolation.
People who work remotely need to communicate often and attend the same routines and meetings as colleagues in the office. Different tools and techniques are used to keep everyone on the same page.
#5 Aren’t willing to invest in infrastructure.
Working remotely requires a good computer, telephone, internet connection, ergonomically favorable workspace, and concerns with lighting and sound insulation, for example.
We have even written about this on preparing for an online interview. Avoid background noise such as dogs, kids, construction work…
To work remotely, you…
#1 Know how to manage yourself.
It is important to focus on staying away from distractions, always prioritizing, and dealing with autonomy. Freedom does not mean that there are no rules to follow. Those who choose to work remotely are responsible for themselves without the need for a manager to pinpoint the work to be done.
#2 Need to love what you do.
It is true that recognition is proportional to the quality of delivery, much more than the time devoted to each task. But until you get there, motivation must be kept high.
#3 Like to have time alone and understand that this is not the same as loneliness.
Introverts can thrive in this remote working context, often opting for home office. Extroverts can be discouraged by the lack of face-to-face contact.
This is also why it’s important to interact a lot – not just to address work-related issues. Exchanging ideas about random subjects with colleagues is critical to good team building. Be ready.
#4 Are able to balance personal and professional life.
Sometimes, being away from a structured work environment can blur the division between hours, especially for home office workers. You should also prepare people around you not to interrupt you during work hours by explaining and asking for help – whether to encourage productivity or to get you away from the computer and rest.
Are you ready to dive deeper into remote work?
Access our previous content on the benefits of working remotely before deciding to embark on this journey. Or skip to our post on how to strengthen your IT career to put your wish into practice with Ubiminds.