Jin Park

How to survive as a remote employee

Congratulations! You got a remote job. Your company trusts you enough to be an adult and handle yourself like a responsible human being. Now what?

My two year anniversary of switching to a remote work is coming up and I wanted to write some things I figured out while working remotely.

  1. Find a place (or places) that you ONLY do work in. It might be a coffee shop, a home office or even a park with wifi during summer. Splitting your work and home life is very important. I’m usuallly at two nearby coffee shops, depending on my mood. One has really good coffee, fast wifi, nice 90s music and jazz and is pretty quiet. The other is a chain that is not as good as the first cafe but is just another place to go to when I get tired of the first cafe.
  2. Make sure that the rest of your family or rooomates know that during your work hours, you should not be disturbed. People like to assume that working remotely means you’re available to handle other tasks but everyone should be aware that you need to focus. Even if you can handle other tasks, make that the exception and not the norm. You don’t want to be responsible for something at home when you’re needed at work.
  3. Be available to your coworkers. If your company has some sort of chat program such as slack or hipchat, make sure that your team members know that you are available during work hours, for help or just to talk. It’s hard to get the same kind of camadarie as you get with workers around the water cooler, so you have to make double the effort.
  4. Don’t work so hard. If you are not in the same timezone as your coworkers, you might end up working way longer than you would normally work. This was a common theme for me when I first started but keep track of when you’re working and when you’re tired and make adjustments.
  5. Try to make it into the office once in a while. I’m horrible at this, mostly because my office is 13 hours away by air but if you can, go in and just plan a day for just meeting your team mates and coworkers. Even if you do conference calls, nothing really beats having face to face conversations. See if your team mates wants to go out for drinks or such afterwards!

Hopefully this helps someone with their new remote job! It’s great but its tough if you’re not prepared!

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