Remote work has become a defining feature of the modern workforce, offering unprecedented flexibility and freedom. However, while the allure of working from anywhere may seem enticing, it’s essential to consider whether remote work aligns with your lifestyle.

How to See if Remote Work Fits You

Too many people are asking themselves how they can attain fully remote positions, but not enough people are asking if they should.

1. Work Environment

Consider your preferred work environment; are you comfortable working from home, a co-working space, or a coffee shop?

Remote work offers the flexibility to choose your workspace, but it’s crucial to ensure that your chosen environment fosters productivity and minimizes distractions.

Assess whether your home setup or local co-working options provide the necessary infrastructure and ambiance for focused work.

Do you have kids? Will they be knocking at your door constantly looking for attention? Do you have pets who need constant attention? Maybe you’re in a meeting and the neighbor decides to mow their lawn.

There are a lot of questions to ask, and not all answers are at the top of your list.

2. Time Management

Remote work requires strong time management skills to balance work responsibilities with personal commitments effectively. Without the structure of a traditional office setting, it’s easy to blur the boundaries between work and leisure time.

Evaluate your ability to set and maintain a routine, establish clear work hours, and resist the temptation to overwork. Effective time management is essential for achieving work-life balance while working remotely.

3. Communication Preferences

Remote work relies heavily on virtual communication tools such as email, chat, and video conferencing. Consider your communication preferences and comfort level with remote collaboration technologies. Effective communication is critical for remote team collaboration and coordination.

Think about if you can communicate efficiently in an environment where face-to-face opportunities do not exist. Can you still accomplish what you need to in a collaborative way, in an anti-collaborative environment?

4. Social Interaction

Next, consider the human contact aspect of it. Are you a social butterfly? Some people need the camaraderie of an office to stoke their creativity or their passion for work. Does that sound like you?

Remote work can be isolating. Evaluate whether you’re comfortable working independently for extended periods or if you prefer the social dynamics of an office environment.

Remote workers must proactively seek opportunities for social connection, whether through virtual team meetings, online communities, or local meetups. If you are a supervisor, this might be the hint that you need to reach out to your remote workers and check on them.

4. Technology Proficiency

Remote work relies heavily on technology, from internet connectivity to collaborative platforms and project management tools. Assess your proficiency with digital tools and your ability to troubleshoot technical issues independently. Invest in developing your tech skills to navigate the digital landscape confidently and maximize your efficiency as a remote worker.

When you don’t work in an office with tech support, you may need to be your personal IT department. And when things still aren’t repairable, you may need to seek alternate solutions to get work done, which is a whole other level of frustration.

5. Work-Life Integration

Remote work blurs the lines between work and personal life, offering both freedom and challenges. Consider whether you prefer a seamless integration of work and leisure activities or if you thrive on clear delineation between the two.

Remote work requires discipline to maintain boundaries and prioritize self-care amidst professional responsibilities. But it isn’t just about your ability to accept those boundaries. You need to set those boundaries with your family, your neighbors, and your friends. Have clear discussions with those you cohabitate with and let them know that when you are at work, you need to be ‘at work’.

Set schedules, create routines, and stick to them despite the ‘needs’ that arise around the household. Remote work offers unparalleled flexibility and autonomy, but it’s not necessarily suited for everyone.

Assess your own lifestyle

Assessing the compatibility of remote work with your lifestyle involves considering factors such as your preferred work environment, time management skills, communication preferences, need for social interaction, technology proficiency, and approach to work-life integration.

It’s best to determine whether remote work aligns with your lifestyle first, and then make informed decisions about your career path.

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Aaron Knowles has been writing news for more than 10 years, mostly working for the U.S. Military. He has traveled the world writing sports, gaming, technology and politics. Now a retired U.S. Service Member, he continues to serve the Military Community through his non-profit work.