The Upside and Downside of Working Remotely

“Remote working is awesome!”

This is what every digital nomad would say including me and only because it’s true.

I have been doing remote work for this amazing tech company located in Maryland, USA for over 2 years now and to be honest, I am insanely loving it. I wouldn’t last 2 years if I didn’t love what I’m doing and if I didn’t believe in my boss, product, or company, right?

The best and worst thing about working remotely – or being a digital nomad – is time.

The Pros of Working Remotely

1. You’re in control of your time

What I really love about my remote work is how I’m in control of my time. When I feel productive, I work. When I feel unproductive, I don’t work.

You may be saying right now: what do you mean you don’t work when you’re unproductive? So you still get paid when you’re not doing any work?
Not exactly.

Just like any other office employee, I still have to work 8 hours a day – whether I feel productive or not. The thing is, when I feel unproductive, I take a break for a moment or an hour until I regain that let’s-hustle-and-produce-more-good-results feeling.

You’re probably saying right now: so you think being productive is a feeling?

If you are saying that, my answer is no. I believe being productive is a decision – but let’s face it, we’re only humans and sh*t happens. You won’t be always be 100% recharged to do all the tasks you need to do. The difference with remote working is that you can take a break to recharge yourself.

It’s not enjoyable to work when you feel tired or mentally drained. You have to know when to do your best work.

2. You’re freaking free to do what you want when you want

Another thing I love about working remotely is to do what I want when I feel like it. I can go and explore different places and countries and still get paid. My employer doesn’t care when and where I work, just as long as the work gets done.

3. No unnecessary stress

The only things you need are: internet connection, your laptop, and, of course, coffee. That’s it. Unlike going to an office just to work, you don’t have to think about non-essential things such as what to wear, traffic, tight schedule, and uncomfortable environment.

The Cons of Working Remotely

As much as I don’t want to admit but doing remote work also has its appalling side.

1. The Time

When you’re working at an office, your 8 hours is fixed. Even when you’re recharging yourself to do the next tasks, taking a break is deducted from your 8 hours. But when you’re working remotely, the 8 hours is completely work.

Since you work when you’re not inspired, you’re just killing creativity. You have to keep your motivation and creativity balance to produce excellent work.

2. You are your co-workers

If you love socializing and being with people, then you’ll probably hate this part about working remotely: you have no one to talk to. You don’t have a co-worker who you can always talk to or get drinks with after work.

It does get boring especially when want to share a story but all of your friends are busy and you have no workmates around.

I’d like to give another nasty thing about being a digital nomad but I seriously can’t think of any. I think it depends on who your employer is. Some employers are generous and nice, some are super strict with time and tasks. So read thoroughly before you apply for a remote job position.

4 Productivity Tips For Digital Nomads

In case you’re having problems about time management or you can’t keep up lately, here are 4 productivity hacks I follow to make sure I can still hustle.

1. Follow a daily schedule

This may sound pretty boring but it really helps to keep a routine so you know to get yourself into hustle mode.

I find it effective to work very early in the morning like around 6am to 7am instead of starting to work late around noon. In the morning after eating breakfast and doing some exercise, you still have energy. As the day goes on, your energy drains. It’s really difficult to be productive late noon or evening time – if you are an early bird that is.

2. Set a timer for work and break

This is my everyday productivity technique. As you know for us digital nomads, tasks are more important than time. We base our productivity not on time but how much work have we done.

Time is always ticking and setting a timer helps me get in the zone because I want to maximize one hour as much as possible. This also helps me know when to take a break. For every 1 hour or 2 hours of work I do, I do 15-30 minutes of break.

3. Work at different places

The point of working remotely is not to get stuck at the same surroundings over and over again. Plus, according to this article I read on how to spark our creativity, changing environments from time to time helps unleash our creative side.

Since I’m a person of routine and I want to explore new places, I make it a point at least once a week to work at different cafes or restaurants or go to work remotely at a different country when circumstances allow it. You could even spend part of your time at a co-working space.

4. Find a suitable productivity app as your best friend

Aside from my clock app on my smartphone, I use productivity apps to keep me on track and rolling. Since we are all different and we have different needs, it’s best if you try all the productivity apps out there and find the right ones for you.

Here’s an infographic list Visme made of the 20 best productivity apps to try.

Productivity Apps for Digital Nomads

How about you, digital nomads? What are the best or worst things about working remotely?

About the author: Belle Balace is a growth specialist at Visme, a one stop online visual tool where you can create engaging visuals and data visualizations in less time.

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