The Truth About Being An Awesome Remote Worker
With changing attitudes to work life, and massive steps forwards in the technology world, remote working has been gaining momentum over the past decade, with more and more employees walking away from the traditional 9-5 work life and opting for a more #workfromwherever lifestyle.
It’s predicted that by 2020, a massive 50% of the UK workforce will be remote working.
Remote working is at the core of Cone and is deeply rooted in our manifesto. In our budding team of 5 (soon to be 6!), we are a 100% remote working squad, with our ‘offices’ varying from our homes, local coffee shops, co-working spaces, and at times, even in other countries.
Remote working may not be for everyone, and it may be industry-specific, but as a team and a business, we thrive from it. There are particular qualities that make for a successful remote worker. So whether you’ve been offered a remote working position, or you’re considering asking your employer to try remote working for yourself, here’s the truth about how it is to be a remote worker (an awesome one at that!).
Having the ability to self-motivate yourself is as an incredibly important quality to bear in mind when working remotely. Unlike being in an office, you don’t have your manager hanging over your shoulder micro-managing everything you do; you have to motivate yourself to do your best work!
A lot of self-motivation comes from being intrinsically motivated for the business to succeed. You have your own personal goals in your career and life, but when your whole team is working towards the same goal, one team working for the same dream, you become intrinsically motivated for the business to succeed. This is so important when being a remote worker - it helps you be more motivated in your daily work, you have a deeper affinity with your team (despite 90% of your contact being through technology!), and it’s also so rewarding to see that your work has contributed to the success of the business, particularly in a small team!
Recently in one of our Slack channels, Ben jokingly said: “Right everyone, turn up next Monday at 9 am please and every day thereafter ha!” - can you imagine our reactions?! The real truth about being able to self-motivate as a remote worker is that it also comes from a love for what you do. Each member of the Cone Squad truly loves what we do! Being given the opportunity to do the work you love, from wherever you want, is SO rewarding. You’re motivated to work because it brings you so much fulfilment and joy! How much more motivation could you need?
Good Time Management
Being able to manage your time well is important in any job, but when working remotely is even more so. Having the ability to manage your time and being accountable for your work is a completely different ball game when working remotely, compared to being in an office.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know by now that we love an app or tool that makes our day easier! We may be a remote team and more often than not, we will be working independently, but we collaborate on much of our creative work. One of our favourite tools for this kind of collaborative work is Trello. As the Virtual Office Manager here at Cone, I simply cannot live without a list! Trello is SO much more than just a list, though. It has everything you need to organise, develop and track projects of any size, and allows you to invite your whole team to collaborate with you!
A really important factor of good time management is being accountable for your work. We’re really lucky that Ben gives us so much flexibility with our hours, but regardless of when you work, it’s imperative that you always aim to produce your best work, and complete it on time! Different approaches work for different people, but I think it’s so useful to visually track what work you do and when, so you can see when you’re working in a flow state, and whether there’s anything you struggle with. My favourite tool for this is the Toggl; I can easily access this from either my MacBook or my phone, it helps me keep on top of my work, and the amount of time spent on each task.
Enjoy Flexibility and Freedom
One of my favourite things about remote working is the flexibility and freedom it offers. You can change your ‘office’ each and every day should you wish to; it’s all too easy to get bored while working in an office with boring walls and boring floors, and this corporate setting doesn’t allow creative thinking and focus to flow well.
When working remotely, you have the opportunity to find somewhere you can work efficiently and comfortably - something you rarely get working in an office. We really enjoy working from an array of coffee shops, outdoor locations, and co-working spaces. Changing your ‘office’ regularly ensures that you don’t become bored in a certain place, and offers you a fresh perspective.
I wear many different hats in my role as Virtual Office Manager, and I love that remote working offers me the freedom to choose where works best for my style of work. Personally, I have specific places that help me get into my flow state, depending on what work I’m doing on any given day.
Being a remote worker also gives you the flexibility and freedom to choose what hours you work (with some very loose limits). For the Cone Squad, Ben gives us full flexibility on which hours we choose to work - as long as we’re available at the times our clients would expect to be able to reach us - so whether you’re an early bird who enjoys starting work early in the morning, or whether you prefer to stay in bed a few hours longer in the morning, you have the freedom to choose when you start your working day.
Remote working puts you in charge of your schedule and your time, and this allows you to focus on specific work at a time it suits you best. I know that for me personally, I like to have a power hour in the morning where I check through all emails and do my daily tasks, and spend my work afternoon on more creative projects.
The truth about being a remote worker as part of the Cone Squad, is that I can’t ever imagine myself (or anyone else in the Squad) wanting to work in a corporate office. It’s just not what we want for our work lives. Remote working has given me the freedom to make my life-work balance suit me while doing a job I love, with a team I love. It’s a completely different lifestyle to the 9-5 grind. It may not be right for everyone, but I truly believe that more and more workers will be taking the opportunity to join the #workfromwherever lifestyle.
About the author
Evie Cox is the Virtual Office Manager here at Cone. She loves wearing many hats in her role, with day to day jobs ranging from general office admin, developing graphic content for web and social media, and writing the odd blog here and there.
Evie loves yoga and meditation, being beside the sea, and shares her home office with her JackWeenie pup!