Freelance

Freelance

Best Practices for Working Remotely

by

Gary McCauley

|

July 1, 2019

Remote work has grown tremendously in the past decade. Both businesses and individuals have abandoned the office and instead relocated to their homes or perhaps at a hot desk. Whole companies now rely on freelancers that exist because of a booming gig economy. For businesses, the big benefit on the table here is an increased level of flexibility and a substantial drop in costs. It’s certainly easier to pay for a company when you don’t have to worry about the expenses of maintaining and potentially renting a business office. Those same companies using remote workers also greatly benefit from not having the same levels of responsibility or commitment to them as before.

At the same time, workers themselves are able to benefit by working when they want, how they want. Salaries can be more competitive and they can switch between different clients as they please.

However, it’s important to recognize that remote work is profoundly different from the office model. Employees and managers need to be prepared for this and understand how to use this model to gain all the advantages and operate effectively. Remote team working tools can help make this model successful for many businesses. However, do you want to explore the best online jobs for freelancers?

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Individual Work and Team Work

It’s important to be aware that when you are operating remotely, you need to be able to work as both an individual and as part of a team. It is possible that you will be hired to complete work on a solo project. If that’s the case, then you will need to effectively manage yourself and ensure that you stay on the right track without a lot of input. You may also need to focus on a high level of quality when there isn’t necessarily official quality checks in place. This can be more complicated than it sounds and it’s all about knowing what the company needs.

At the same time in a lot of cases, you will need to provide support to a larger team. You must develop a full process to ensure that you complete a job effectively and efficiently, particularly in a collaborative setting. Managers can help ease issues here by investing in the right tech and tools that does ensure communication between team members is fast and easy.

Transparency

When you are working from home, you will need to maintain a high level of transparency. You will need to ensure that you are keeping the business you may be working for up to date with your progress and guarantee that everyone is on the same page. You should be able to provide updates on any work that you are completing and make sure that you do not fall behind a larger schedule. Remote workers will also need to remain transparent with their clients. They need to strive to regularly provide clients with information on the current state of a particular project. They should be able to again use technology to share information, data, and documents. It’s possible with the latest tech for this all to happen instantly but it will depend on the type of business model you’re working in and the set up available.

Communication Skills

Since you may be operating individually, it is important that you develop your communication skills. You need to make sure that you can effectively get your point across to clients or other employees but also ensure that you understand what they want too. In the remote business world, direct messaging, video conferences and email will be key aspects of communicating. Make sure you understand how to utilize each of these correctly and that you do have the proper setup.

Defined Rules

As a remote worker, you should make sure that you have defined rules that will ensure that you stay on task and on point. We’ll discuss time management in more depth further down but you should have set times for breaks and points when you won’t be working. You should also make sure that you are treating it as a business day. In other words, the TV should not be on in the background nor should you have social media open in another tab. If you are operating from your laptop, it is possible to block sites at certain points throughout the day to ensure that you don’t become distracted.

Duties

You do need to make sure that you understand your individual duties when you are operating as a remote worker. You need to understand what you want to achieve, what you need to accomplish and how it fits into a larger business model. Duties will be defined by an employer and a business client. They will differ depending on the project and should be fully understood before work begins. Make sure that you understand the difference between goals and targets that must be hit on a specific job. Nowadays, freelance engineers are transforming business across the globe.

Time Commitment

Finally, it’s easy when you are operating remotely to completely lose track of time. When you are working from home or another location, there is no set nine to five-hour day. There are, however, still going to be deadlines. You need to understand what the deadlines are for individual projects and also what the overall deadline for the business is. Whereas some will expect work to be completed by the end of the working day, others will provide extended deadlines. This tends to depend on the business model and the specific project you are working on.

You will need to manage time yourself and ensure that you are on target. The best way to do this is to make sure that you are working or operating in a business environment. Set up an office in your home or head to a hot desk where you can get the high-pressure environment that does ensure the right results are delivered.

Managers can also help with time commitments by checking on remote workers and assessing their daily or weekly progress.

We hope this helps you understand some of the best practices for remote work. Remember, not everyone operates in the same way and the remote business model elevates this idea. Embrace it and think about when you are most productive or energetic, working around this time.

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