Remote workers are more than just a trend. A recent Freelancer’s Union survey showed that in NYC alone, about one in three workers are remote freelance workers. Who can blame them? Go anywhere, and keep working wherever you want. All you need is good WiFi.
A recent Wall Street Journal article spotlights employees who have relocated to less crowded (and less expensive) areas, and working remotely from their new cities. The most popular cities these remote workers move to are Boise, ID and Denver, CO., along with Austin, TX as another favorite city. In some cases, remote workers are doing better than in-office staff. Companies like Upwork and Flexjobs offer remote jobs that you really can work from anywhere.
Some companies are completely remote, (also called a “distributed” or “diversified” workforce) with employees working all over the world, like software company Zapier or yours truly, our firm Michael Management Corporation.
So if you’re planning to become remote, or you’re looking for an SAP job that allows you to be remote anywhere in the US (or the world), here are some ways to make it easier.
Even if you don’t have to figure in commute time, you should still have a daily schedule. Without the commute, you may be able to sleep a little later—but not too late. Your commuting colleagues are at their desks at a certain time, and you should be available as well.
Depending on your company, you may also have to be available during working hours so that you’re free for meetings and conference calls. Communication is important when you’re not able to drop by a colleague’s desk for a chat.
Even if it’s just a small corner or table at home, have a place where you work every day. This will put you in a “working mindset.” But you don’t need to spend a fortune on redecorating or buying “organizational items.” With good WiFi, a suitable laptop, and the ability to communicate as needed, you can easily adapt a spot in your home or apartment into a working desk area.
It’s Ok to have more than one “office space.” If your local library has WiFi available (and most do), it may also have areas that you can sit and work for a few hours or from open to close. Starbucks stores offer “community tables” where remote workers can gather for as long as they want (after buying some coffee, of course.)
Working at home may present some unexpected distractions, but you’ll need to neutralize them.
You may enjoy music or some other kind of background noise while you work, but having a TV on may have the opposite effect. White noise may be helpful. Coffitivity’s “café sounds” offer background noise that isn’t distracting.
If you live alone, you may not have as many distractions as someone with a family. You can walk the dog more often, and you may even get to know the person who delivers your mail. But you may find yourself having visitors who think that you’re “not doing anything.” It’s nice to have a visitor occasionally, but you’ll need to impart to frequent drop-bys that you’re working, and that they should call before paying a visit.
For someone who lives with others, it’s important to designate “work time” from free time, and when you’re done with work. You may have to tell your loved ones “no” from time to time, otherwise you won’t get any work done. Just like going to work, having a work schedule makes it easier to get into the mindset.
Another distraction is your home itself. It’s tempting to go into the kitchen to brew more coffee or have a snack. But don’t let your 10-minute break turn into a 90-minute procrastination session. Limit your social media time to non-work time, or you may not get as much work done as you thought. It may be time for a trip to your “outside office” for a while to get away from some distractions.
One of the things that’s difficult to get used to is email and other notifications after hours. Do you have to answer an email or a text? If it can wait, let it. If you don’t, set time limits of when you’re “off the clock.” Otherwise, you may give the impression that you are available 24/7. This is especially true if you’re working with a diversified team that’s spread across multiple time zones—your project manager in Kalol may assume you’re available at 2:00 am your time. Unless “on call” is part of your job, you shouldn’t be.
If you’re used to working in an office around coworkers, working at home alone may be an adjustment. Many workers will make the remote transition over time, or will only be remote part-time. But if your transition is sudden, you may find yourself a bit out of sorts like this reporter in Florida whose newspaper office is in the process of downsizing for a move.
Remote working means you can work from anywhere, so why not take your laptop and work somewhere else for a while? Your local coffee shop, co-working space, and even your local public library are great places to get some time away and maybe even meet up with colleagues, friends or new people. If more than a couple of your colleagues are missing each other, you can meet up somewhere for lunch and work remotely together. You’ll get the social contact you’re missing, work with people you know, and spend some quality time with them.
So now that you don’t have to commute two or more hours a day, and can sleep a little later, what did you always think about doing but didn’t have the time?
Errands and other things you wouldn’t normally have time for may be more available to you. Walking at lunchtime? You can do that now, and take your dog for a walk. Maybe you’d like to have lunch with a friend (or even your Mom) on Wednesdays—you can do that now.
Doctor’s appointments and other errands also get easier, especially if you can bring some of your work with you. Grocery shopping during the day is also easier than it is after work, so visit your supermarket when it’s less crowded and have lunch when you return.
Would a remote job be your ideal? What about training for one while you keep your current job?
Many job sites now include remote SAP jobs that allow you to work anywhere in the US. If you’re interested in starting or furthering your SAP career, there’s never been a better time. Michael Management has helped more than 300,000 people change their careers by training and becoming SAP certified. You can learn more at our YouTube channel, with 75 videos on tutorials, intros and instructions on SAP. Contact us to find out how you can learn SAP quickly and efficiently and move into your new career.