Working Remotely

Working Remotely

25 September 2018

Is working remotely the future of work?

If you pretty much dislike everything about working in an office; the daily commute, the empty conversations, the distractions, and off course the meetings – well then working remotely may be for you. This is the dream that every chained-to-the-office desk worker has, right?

Fact is, there is a need for flexibility in the workplace and a rising number of young professionals have leveraged the use of technology to work remotely and live a nomadic lifestyle over the past decade. Globally freelancers, entrepreneurs, and businesses are embracing the remote-working philosophy and conducting business from wherever, whenever.

Just look at companies such as Dell, Amazon and American Express, which are all allowing employees to have flexible schedules (and are thriving!).

Think about it, in most white collar jobs 99% of people are already working remotely in that they take work home; it just may not be formalized by either the employer or the employee. If remote work means that you check your email on a Sunday night … then congratulations, you already have a work-from-home job!

The benefits to the employee include increased productivity and makes for happier, healthier employees, while eliminating the dreaded commute and reducing absenteeism and stress. Also, there’s the obvious advantage for employers as they don’t have the overheads of having a physical workplace. Win-win, don’t you think?

Working remotely, although increasingly popular in other countries, is not all that common in South Africa. Working from home still has a bad reputation and employers here need to trust workers to get the job done without insisting on micromanaging. After all, work is fluid and can happen at any time, anywhere, and the potential benefits for the South African economy are far to great to ignore.

Can it work for you and how remote can it be? Well, when it comes to deciding whether to work remotely or not, it can become a little more complicated than just working from your couch or picking a city off your bucket list of must-see places! How do you get the work-play balance right?

We have a few pointers on getting things done, especially for people working remotely:

Establish a routine. When it comes to productivity, nothing beats routine.

Set up your workspace. Keep it professional. A desk and a chair will help you to be more efficient. Sitting on the couch in your PJ’s with the TV on, is not going to work!

Schedule your day and stick to it. You have the same responsibilities whether you are at the office or not, so make a schedule that mirrors your traditional work schedule.

Set boundaries. Separate your working hours from your downtime.

Use the right software to make working remotely easier.

Be responsive. Get in the habit of sending prompt responses to emails. Be available for conference calls and collaborations, even if you don’t have strict working hours.

Set deadlines and avoid multitasking.

SkypeOut. You probably already use Skype. So, take it further and use SkypeOut. This will allow you to make Skype calls with your phone, so you don’t have to use a computer – can come in handy when you’re sightseeing!

Working remotely isn’t for everyone; the key is to stay focused and to develop positive habits.

At the end of the day it’s all about balance.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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