How to work remotely is becoming more and more popular. Whereas in March 2020, at the outbreak of the pandemic, this option seemed a mere plan B to cope with the urgency, today more and more people prefer to find remote employment. Many companies also value this new system. But what does it mean to work remotely? Is it really the future? What are the pros and cons? Let’s find out together the characteristics of this up-and-coming way of working.
What does it mean how to work remotely?
Remote working refers to work done entirely from home with the help of digital media and remote interaction tools. Working remotely is now possible and represents a viable alternative to going to the office. Working remotely significantly changes working activity, which becomes increasingly goal-oriented and less determined by relational and interpersonal aspects. The organization as a complex system made up of individuals and groups mutually integrated and aimed at achieving common goals is fragmenting and working online at home, in complete solitude or via computer connections, now unites employees and freelancers.
Differences between remote work and smart working
At first, glance, working remotely might seem to coincide with smart working, but this is not quite the case. The term ‘remote work’ refers to where the work is done and with what technologies, while the term ‘smart working’ refers to how this work is done: flexibly and by objectives. A smart working employee may have to do part of his or her work in the office; for his or her part, a remote worker may have a very inelastic approach to work or directives, more operational than strategic. One thing is true, however: working remotely is particularly well suited to smart working, as it creates a suitable environment for flexibility.
The acceleration of working remotely in the Covid period
The dynamics of change in the economic and social scenario in recent years (pandemic risk and the consequent crisis in companies) have called for an emergency reorganization of work. Meeting in closed places has suddenly become a source of health risks, and this has been compounded by the fact that many companies, in the general crisis, have begun to find it difficult to meet their fixed expenses (rent, office space, heating, etc.).
In this context, how to work remotely, which already existed but was decidedly undervalued, received a very strong boost. It has in fact emerged as a secure working system that allows businesses to save on many otherwise unavoidable expenses.
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Is working remotely in the future?
Working remotely would thus seem to be the destiny of a good chunk of workers. But is it really the future?
This question cannot yet be answered with certainty; what is certain is that working remotely brings advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account by anyone considering jumping into this working mode.
The advantages of working remotely are many. In general, it can be said that it allows for a better organization of one’s time and a more correct work-life balance, in other words, avoiding the excessive prevalence of work activity over leisure time.
This is because:
- It allows one to choose when to work and what hours to work, whether and when to start, stop or take breaks, without being physically tied to a place, or rather the same place.
- It makes it possible to work anywhere, even moving and changing cities: relocation of the workplace makes it possible to choose where to live. Working from the place where one spends one’s leisure time, from one’s ‘buen Retiro‘ is no longer a utopia. Overall, it is the work context itself that is profoundly changed. The physical space in which one performs one’s duties is no longer a determining factor, and individual freedom is extended by the possibility of choosing where to work.
- It reduces the need to travel, the relative traffic, and consequently the emissions (as well as the time wasted by individuals).
- It makes it possible to avoid the classic inconveniences of traveling by public or private transport, which result in wasted time, increased pollution, and increased individual stress load.
- It can considerably increase the amount of time spent with one’s family.
- It avoids having to comply with many of the obligations traditionally required of those working within an organization: from dress codes to codes of conduct. This profoundly changes the relationship between the members and the organization and that between the members themselves. The perception of the job and the organization for which one works changes. The degree of individual freedom increases as the implicit reference systems and codes of conduct required to operate in a shared workplace disappear.
- Working remotely can also be an interesting opportunity for freelancers to rethink or update their work. Above all, it makes a considerable reduction in office and travel costs possible.
- You can, of course, if you know the local language, work for a foreign company without any relocation problems!
- Possible problems with concentration and creativity: the risk of always being in the same environment, the home environment, could make us incapable of reasoning outside the usual patterns. In addition, the overlap between home and workspace may cause us to be unable to concentrate, resulting in reduced performance.
- Hyper-responsibility: belonging to a team can make a real difference for many people. Not being able to share successes and failures, and feeling that they have the outcome of an entire project on their shoulders, may generate anxiety and stress.
- The feeling of loneliness: without a doubt, meeting colleagues in the office can be a great asset for one’s mood and sense of belonging. Working remotely also means giving up human contact for a large part of one’s day, with all the feelings of loneliness and disorientation that this can entail.
Good practices in how to work remotely
In this section, we would like to offer some advice on how to work remotely and reduce the risk of falling into the most common traps.
- Do not be available ’round the clock’: remember that you cannot always be on call. Establish your hours of availability early on, so that you avoid burnout early on.
- Do not neglect communication with partners: one of the main characteristics of working remotely is autonomy, which we know, but this does not mean that you should stop communicating with your colleagues/employees/employers. Aligning objectives and keeping track of results together is crucial. Please note: a video call, with the minimal human contact it can provide, is always preferable to an e-mail or message, also because with more impersonal systems the risk of misunderstanding and thus creating tension increases dramatically.
- Dedicate a specific part of your home to work: it is important to locate your own workstation so that you do not have the feeling of living in a large, stressful office or, on the contrary, of working in a somewhat too leisurely manner.
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Working remotely thanks to Digital
The development of digitalization, e-commerce, and internet-related professions, in general, is the main development trend in today’s economy. Particularly in Italy, a country that lags behind the most advanced nations, the digital environment presents vast possibilities for growth. If you want to work remotely, the world of digital work could really be the perfect choice.
Digital professions are in fact electively ‘remote’.
For example, online sales, realized by opening an e-commerce or online shop, do not necessarily require having all the products in the catalog, a physical warehouse, or a physical shop (brick-and-mortar). To be an online consultant, one does not even need to have an office, one can work remotely from home. Moreover, if you operate and are part of a global market, you are no longer limited to your national dimension, you can intercept the global demand for a product or service with your offer.
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Here is a list of the main remote digital jobs:
Being an online consultant
Have you worked for years in an industry? Transfer your skills to the web by bringing your profession online. You will acquire new customers on a broader base and open up new market spaces. And at the same time an opportunity to be seized to re-employ yourself: if you are an expert in your field, with a certain degree of seniority and work experience, online consulting is the natural outlet of your career, the final stage.
Opening an E-commerce or Dropshipping
Sales through E-commerce and Dropshipping are a future that is not near but has already begun. Online sales are registering steady growth rates every year even in Italy, a country where the space is very extensive, given the low use of the Internet and the web among Italian households compared to more advanced countries. This is a compulsory choice, both in the case of the online transfer of an existing offline shop, following the logic of integrating the two channels, and in the case of opening a business to be conducted exclusively via the web, with all the advantages that such a choice entails. Opening an E-commerce can prove to be a winning choice.
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Selling on Amazon
Selling on Amazon allows you to reach global markets and trade products without having to have a physical warehouse or handle the goods yourself. You can rely on a global leader whose brand is synonymous with guarantee and trust. You can leverage the network of one of the American Big Five for your business purposes by acquiring an international dimension.
Earning with Affiliations
With affiliations, the publisher, or affiliate, takes all the necessary actions for the advertiser to sell its product. It is therefore a commercial intermediation activity carried out in the network. Understanding how to succeed in earning money with affiliations, choosing the best affiliate marketing programs, and using your own website or blog requires the necessary skills.
Becoming an influencer
You can learn how to harness the enormous potential of different social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc., and jump into the world of influencer marketing. Trust, credibility, loyalty, etc.: You will learn how traditional marketing concepts are transferable to the web environment and are the basis for the success of every influencer.
Study the best and most appropriate techniques with the aim of understanding how to implement the sale of infoproducts. Thanks also to implementation coaching, you will start your new remote business right away.
If one of these jobs interests you, but you don’t know where to start and how to set up a strategy, a personalized and targeted interview with one of our coaches might be helpful.
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