How to Work Remotely

Hannah Wright

The phrase “work from home” used to be one that was associated primarily with online scams. While these scams still exist, working remotely is now an undeniable reality for many in the tech scene. Now, many companies are offering flexible work benefits—and some even have 100% virtual offices.

Not to sound like a broken record, but times are changing—and quickly.

If you live outside of a major tech hub like Silicon Valley and want to either join a startup or create your own, being open to remote work is a definite plus. It will expand your horizons and provide you with more opportunities.

If you’re a business owner who hires remotely, you might hear people ask you things like, “But how do you know your employees aren’t slacking off watching TV?”

And if you’re an employee who works from home, you’ll get a lot of this: “Your employer lives in a different state? Aren’t you afraid it’s a scam?” (typically accompanied with a bug-eyed look)

But these reactions won’t be common for long, because remote work is becoming increasingly more common.

Does working from home sound appealing to you? Do you want to join a startup team but live out of state? Or would you prefer to start your own company and hire talent in other areas of the world? Whatever it is that you want, here’s how to make it work:

1. Read about other companies who support remote work

Learn from other companies that have been doing this for a while. You can learn a lot from their wins. Check out the blogs of companies like Buffer, Harvest, Zapier, and Groove.

2. Make sure you enjoy it

Before diving into this kind of work arrangement, you should first make sure you like it and are able to remain productive.

Some people prefer going into an office a few days a week, while others want to work 100% virtually.

If you thrive on in-person interaction, working from home can be isolating. Make sure you feel fulfilled communication via chat, Skype, email and telephone.

3. Brush up on your communication skills

That being said, communication is king and there’s no such thing as over-communicating in the remote world.

Each day, challenge yourself to communicate in clearer, more effective ways.

4. Determine how you work best

Do you prefer crunching through tasks for hours without interruption, or do you need to get up and take small breaks throughout the day?

Whatever it is that you need to stay productive, figure it out and stick to a schedule.

Conclusion

Being open to remote work can open up a world of new opportunities, but it’s only effective if you’re able to thrive in such an environment.

Qualities you will pick up in a remote atmosphere are qualities that will help you out in the long-term, no matter what you choose to do.

What do you think of virtual work? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet with us @AKstartups!