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9 Reasons Why Remote Working is Awesome and How to Make the Most of It

9 Reasons Why Remote Working is Awesome and How to Make the Most of It

Everyone knows that there are benefits to working from home. I absolutely love lists and as I began thinking about it, I noticed that I’ve never actually spelled out the major benefits to working from home and how you can make remote working a bit more efficient. You might be able to piece together some other material and gain a general consensus about why we love this lifestyle but it’s still not the same as actually creating a black and white list of great reasons to join the community of remote workers around the world. Here’s a quick list of some awesome benefits to becoming a remote worker.

1. Setting Your Own Schedule

It’s always been a dream of mine to work for myself and set my own schedule, and working from home gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that. The only commute I worry about is the small walk from my bed to the computer desk and I consider that to be awesome. It’s really not possible in other situations. Staying up late and sleeping in are two activities that I thoroughly enjoy and when remote working, it really doesn’t matter because I set my own hours. Nobody is there to monitor my daily activity so that freedom is in totally in my hands. It can be powerful if not abused.

2. Pajamas Until Noon

I tend to wake up and shower straight away, so I’m not extremely keen on this idea but I know it’s a particularly big deal among some remote workers. Just the idea of not showering until noon again implies a level of freedom that doesn’t exist when you’re chained to a desk.

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3. More Time With Your Family/Friends

I’m a people person so It’s really important to develop close social relationships by investing time but unfortunately, these activities don’t always happen at the most ideal moments. Like any fine wine, a great relationship takes time so having the freedom to shift my schedule and allocate that required time when the occasion arises is a great benefit to becoming a remote worker.

4. Travel

I’ve written quite a bit on this point so I’ll keep this somewhat brief: I love traveling when I get the chance but when I work in a classic office setting, this becomes an itch I don’t often scratch. When I shift focus to working remotely, my office becomes a mobile workspace and I can then work anywhere on Earth with a solid internet connection.

5. The Comforts of Being at Home

There are always benefits to being out and about but what about the creature comforts ofworking from your own home? Your home is powerful in the fact that it’s a familiar place where you can shut the door and really focus. Also, working from home gives you the opportunity to step away and clear your mind with other activities when necessary. Just don’t get distracted!

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6. Less Stress

From my personal experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that remote working gives me a sense of stability that typically doesn’t exist in a classic office setting. There’s something to be said for controlling your environment and for me, that idea brings about a much less stressful dynamic in my daily life. There’s also a social aspect that somewhat emulates a “rat race” mentality in a physical office that doesn’t exist in a remote setting.

7. Become More Involved in the Community

Similar to point #3, when working remotely I have a much larger capacity to shift my schedule and become involved in my local community. Whether it’s volunteer work or playing sports on the community league, this ability to be flexible is an extremely important part of a healthy social dynamic.

8. Teach Others

No matter if you’re a freelancer or part of a larger remote team, you’re doing something amazing and paving the way for others to join you. You have the unique ability to teach people how they can make money, set their own schedule and enjoy all the other benefits that come along with living and working a remote lifestyle.

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9. More Productive

As an avid researcher of the remote lifestyle, I’ve come across study after study and blog post after blog post about why remote workers tend to be more productive than office workers. It’s difficult to pinpoint but based on my own lifestyle, I have a strong feeling it comes down to responsibility. When working in a large office, it’s really difficult to own your experience and consider the work you’re doing as important and valuable, thus you’ll be less productive. It’s very easy to get caught up in relating the office space to a centerpoint of the organization but in reality, the organization’s centerpoint is the people. It’s much easier to get a strong center of gravity on the people in a remote setting where the only thing you have is each other and no office spaces to distract you from the overall goal.

How Can I Become More Productive As a Remote Worker?

This entire article would be pointless if I didn’t leave you with some solid advice on how to make your remote working experience more productive and beneficial. Here’s a short-but-sweet list of simple ways to work hard, achieve balance and increase your productivity as a remote worker.

1. Follow the “Do­ers”

I’ve always found success in becoming a frequent customer at coffee shops and co­-working spaces where people are actively building cool things. The best way to get inspired is byspending time with inspiring people so make it a point to engage with someone that’s doing
something cool.

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2. Go Where Ambient Noise is Happening

Ambient noise (room chatter) is a proven method of increasing productivity and giving you an amazing electric feeling. There’s nothing that will whip you into shape like walking into a room where people are actively discussing future plans and world domination.

3. Turn Out the Lights

I get distracted very easily. Turning out the lights can be a good way of bringing focus to your computer screen while excluding everything else that might be distracting from your view. I’ve found this method really helps me sift through the potential distraction of working from home. It seems strange but definitely works for me!

4. Separate Yourself from Your Living Environment

Working from home can create a sense of always being attached to your work, even while you’re not working. I find it helpful to create distinct lines between your work and home life. This can be achieved by setting a schedule and sticking to it. When you’re stressed at work, the last thing you want to do is bring that stress into your home life so creating these lines and making a schedule are very important steps in achieving this separation.

Conclusion:

No matter who you are or where you work, it’s important to take a step back and make a quick inventory of the reasons why you do what you do. If you’re not quite at the place where you’re stepping away from the physical office, hopefully this post is helpful in giving you an idea of some great benefits that come along with this lifestyle while staying productive in the process.
Keep remoting.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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