5 Tips for Working Remotely
Working remotely could mean you own your business(es), work remotely for an employer or as a freelancer, or a combination of all three. Working remotely has always been a goal of mine and I've made it a reality over the past two years. I'm less stressed, create my own schedule, home all day with my dog, and I save a lot of money by not commuting and having to buy work clothes. The one thing people misunderstand is that this remote, laptop lifestyle isn't as perfect as it seems.
Let me tell you why.
1. You have to be responsible to get your tasks done. No one is there yelling at you reminding you to complete your to-do list before your 12 pm lunch break. No one is making you get up before 10 am. You have the responsibility of waking up at a good time to get things done. You are the only one forcing yourself to complete tasks by a deadline (other than your clients).
2. It can get lonely. Being home alone or even with your significant other can get lonely, quiet, and sometimes boring.
3. There can be more distractions. Since I work at home, I can answer phone calls, texts, and check Instagram notifications whenever I want. Often times my dog distracts me by barking or coming over to my desk begging for attention.
4. Issues with payments. Your clients don't physically see you and can avoid paying invoices or claim they did not receive them. With a normal job, you get paychecks and can address missing or late pay stubs face to face.
Now, here’s how I combat these struggles:
1.Create your own schedule
It doesn't have to be the same every day or even every week. Simply create your schedule for the day, the night before. That way you know what time to wake up for work and when you can take your breaks. This is super important because it allows you to stay hyper focused when you need to be without burning out.
Just because you work remotely doesn't mean you don't exist! Connect online and offline by joining groups. A great way to find these groups are Facebook, Meetup or Eventbrite. Connect on an international level by joining like-minded Facebook groups and connect with your local community by using Meetup and Eventbrite. You can actually become a leader of your own group that you create on Meetup. This is a great way to promote your personal brand and make great relationships simultaneously There are plenty of free or low-cost networking options online and offline. Check out my favorite free groups Girls Building Empires and Girls Love Travel.
3. Do Not Disturb
Turn on “do not disturb” when you're on your breaks. I know it's hard to turn on “do not disturb” in case of client or prospect calls, but you can turn off push notifications for specific apps you know you'll be tempted to check. Currently, I'm searching for suggestions on how to keep my cute dog away from me while I'm working. Sorry, I can't help you there! How could I possibly lock him up while I'm working? He’s too cute!
4. Handling Late Invoices
Having troubles with clients paying invoices? Send reminders anywhere from a week to three days before it's due for clients you know are busy and always late. Have an unpaid invoice? Send a reminder through your invoicing software or send a kind reminder via text or email. I also keep all of my clients on my social media networks. That way, if they are late on a payment, I can engage with their posts to make sure that I stay top of mind. Another thing to think about is adding late fees. Just don’t forget to include it in your initial agreement...that might not end so well!
5. Create A Dedicated Workspace
Staying productive can be hard at home. That's why you should create a dedicated workspace that minimizes distractions and keeps you comfortable. I personally love working while sitting in my bean bag as it supports my back. However, some days I like to work at a desk so I can sit up higher and have space to write. Another suggestion would be mixing up your work environment. When I'm slacking, I usually head outside of my apartment to knock out a project. My favorite work spots are coffee shops, cafes, and libraries.
Do you work remotely? Are you thinking about working remotely? You can stay up to date with my laptop lifestyle journey here. Feel free to ask me any questions about my experience and share your suggestions for working remotely!
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