Working remotely is the latest trend in the job market, and its growth isn’t slowing anytime soon. People of all backgrounds and ages turn to remote and freelance jobs for a more flexible lifestyle. It’s no longer necessary to chain yourself to an office desk all day to earn a paycheck. Now you can make a living as a remote worker from anywhere in the world. However, working remotely comes with its own set of challenges. Follow these tips and you too can have a successful career in remote and freelance work.
Use Every Opportunity to Network
You won’t have as many chances to network if you work remotely. Employees in an office generally have easier access to networking events. If you choose to work remotely, ask your boss to keep you in the loop and take initiative to go to networking events alone. Create professional business cards to hand out whenever you make a connection. Reach out to friends and family on social media and enhance your LinkedIn profile for maximum results.
Stick to a Routine
When you work alone, your schedule is in your hands. Even though this does provide a lot of freedom, it also leads to a lot of distraction. You may not have to work from 9 to 5, but you’ll still have to work and accommodate your clients during their business hours. If you live in a different time zone, you’ll need to stay up late or get up early to make business calls or use Skype for conferences. Luckily, you have the ability to create your schedule for your needs. If you are a stay at home mom, then find a routine where you can balance your work and home life. Try networking with other work at home moms in the area for advice and help. If you’re more of a night owl, organize your day to maximize your hours at night. No matter what your lifestyle, stick to a committed work time so that you can finish projects efficiently.
Distraction is the enemy of productivity, and it’s everywhere when you work remotely. Some people work best at home and some don’t. You’ll have to figure this out quickly to stay on top of your work. For many, cleaning is the biggest distraction. Your chores may seem mundane when you have free time, but they can suddenly seem urgent when your brain seeks distraction from work. If you start sweeping the floor, you could end up two hours later polishing the silver. If you need a clean home before you work, make sure you clean before or after your work hours. Another distraction is smartphones. Do yourself a favor and make your phone more work-friendly. Turn off unnecessary notifications like Facebook and Instagram to reduce the likelihood you’ll go on your phone, and try to set up conferences with clients so they don’t call you randomly throughout the day. Create blocks of time in which you work and incorporate breaks for appointments and errands throughout the day.
Follow Up with All Clients
You need to communicate with clients as often as you would if you worked in their office. Some companies are wary of remote and freelance workers because of poor past experiences. If you want to be successful, you must learn to communicate clear and effectively. Promptly return calls and emails as often as possible, and become a strong written communicator. Some employers will take advantage of trying to contact you any time of day or night. Prevent this by setting a designated time you’ll take calls and read emails. Let your clients know when you are unavailable but follow up by answering their calls immediately when you are. Showing your reliability will set you apart from unreliable remote workers.
Still interested in working remotely? Become successful by following these tips and find your next remote job on a site like Remote.com, where you can put your skills to good use and make a living from the comfort of your own couch.