CHANGE FROM CORPORATE TO REMOTE WORK
Working on optimizing your work is important. Knowing where and when you are the most productive is a superpower. Essentially there are three main types of ‘work lifestyles’. On a graph it would like this.
And it’s up to each person to explore and figure out what fits him/her the most.
This graph is a bit simplified way to look at things with some initial assumptions, but still visualizes the underlying differences between the options.
All three of them have their own work type and environment characteristics, which are the core reasons why they actually differ. And based on these two characteristics we can decide which one suits us better.
WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK TYPE
We strongly believe that there is a strong correlation between focus and productivity.
The more focused one is – the more productivity should be expected. And let alone the productivity, the more focused one is – the more enjoyable would be the actual process of work and it won’t feel like work. So it’s a win-win.
And whichever environment contributes to this – that one probably should be picked.
Once the environment step is sorted, the next thing that needs to be figured out is the type of work that suits you the most.
Many factors, such as tolerance to risk and uncertainty, level of self discipline, need of being around peers, diversification appetite and many others play a significant role here.
For instance people who are more organized and self disciplined usually find it easier to adapt to a remote freelancer’s lifestyle and vice versa.
So basically it all comes down to designing these two – work type and work environment.
And in some cases you might need to prioritize one over another as some options may not tick all the boxes.
WHEN AND WHY TO CHANGE FROM CORPORATE TO REMOTE?
If you happened to be the “Non Remote Full Time” which actually the corporate jobs usually look like, then you might want to switch your job lifestyle for two main reasons.
Either you want to increase your location flexibility or you want to increase your work/income diversity.
Actually if the only reason is the first one – the desired increase in location flexibility – this one can be solved also by switching to another full time job that has a less rigid policy and allows their employee to work from wherever they want at any given day, including the possibility to go to the office if one wishes so.
Given the pandemic situation nowadays it has become more common and the number of these kinds of companies is definitely going to increase. Twitter was a great example, allowing their employees to continue working remotely permanently if they prefer so, even when after this whole pandemic thing ends.
If the intent is driven also by the desire to have more diversified work/income then that’s when switching to remote freelance makes complete sense and here’s what you need to do to get started.
HOW TO GET STARTED?
First off you would need to figure out which type of projects and work you want to focus on and then just go ahead and start signing up on freelance platforms.
There are many platforms nowadays such as Fiver, Upwork and Toptal being amongst the tops. But before jumping onto the mainstream ones it might be useful to do your own research and filter them out, as in some cases it might be easier to find something proper on a way smaller platform, just because of a specific focus and lesser competition.
It might take some time, but it is definitely useful to spend some time initially on the strategy and then go into hunting.
TIPS ON HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR REMOTE WORK
1. Define your peak hours
It’s crucial to determine when you are the most productive and when your brain works the sharpest, usually it’s the morning hours, but for some people it could be evening hours. This can be figured out only by testing and experimenting for oneself.
2. Define the blocks
Once you’ve sorted the most and the least productive hours of the day then it might be helpful to define time blocks based on that. That is schedule the tasks that require more focus and creativity at the hours you are the sharpest, and put tasks that require less brain usage and that can be done at battery saving mode at the hours when you are not at your peak.
As Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Blocks are extremely important as they can help you define rigid lines between all the activities, otherwise it’s super easy have everything blended together while working remotely and you might end up just having a super long day of 16 hours of semi working semi living but not fully being able to either relax or work at your hundred percent.
And frankly, it does not require too much of an organizational skill to figure it out. Happily or sadly, the majority of us usually work 8 hours per day. So all you need to do is to divide the working day into 3 blocks of 2,5 hours and have clear separators between these blocks. 1st block – lunch – 2nd block – an hour of walking – 3rd block and vuola it’s 7pm and time to have dinner and enjoy the remainder of the day!
3. Design your environment
The environment shapes us, and we get to shape the environment.
One of the perks of working remotely is this flexibility to alter your working environment, something that people are not usually granted at offices, where everything is already set up and you just have to adapt.
There are 4 main variables – desk, chair, lighting and the surroundings. Again, this is an equation that can be solved only for oneself by testing and experimenting and figuring out what works the best for you. But having a comfortable workspace where your body feels at ease is definitely super important.
The last variable is the most subjective one. Working remotely does not equal working from home. As time has shown for some people there is a strong need to still go out and be around people while working, even if you are a freelancer.
Coworking spaces are kind of a middle ground and gives remote workers an opportunity to still be able to socialize and network on a daily basis and can definitely be the perfect and the most balanced option for many.