When I decided to run a company with a nearly 100-percent-remote workforce back in 2012, I knew I was getting into a difficult game.
8 Sep, 2017FORBES.COM
When I decided to run a company with a nearly 100-percent-remote workforce back in 2012, I knew I was getting into a difficult game. That said, it hasn't been as difficult as it seemed back then. As I came across daily survey reports that said remote working was on the rise, I felt more confident about my decision. Given the rate at which companies are adopting this new style, it’s only normal to expect nearly half of the world’s employed population to be working remotely by 2020. And if you consider the perks of being able to work from anywhere, you would think likewise. Today, my company employs around 23 people from over eight countries. Over the years, we’ve discovered that working remotely only ends up making us more productive. It might sound different from the usual work life we’ve been used to, but somehow, this style seems to take the monotony out of our daily workflow. It makes work enjoyable for me, which eventually leads to a perfect work-life balance.
If running a remote team and working remotely yourself seems appealing to you, consider the following benefits I've witnessed as a result of going remote:
The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. But as a remote worker, I don’t have to bother about being a regular commuter at all. In fact, I can work from anywhere, be it at home or at the café, or even by the beach. This has helped me keep my focus and spend less time on traveling to work. Commuting might sound interesting if you do it occasionally, but once that same thing becomes a daily necessity, it does not remain as pleasant. Even if you consider the monetary aspect of your lifestyle, remote working helps you save on the daily commuting expenses. People who tend to avoid living far away from their workplace to save on commuting can actually live in the countryside and still enjoy a much healthier work life. You can also travel more when you are a remote worker. You can change places, countries and climates as much as you want. At the end of the day, all you need is a decent internet connection and your laptop.
Once you become a remote worker, you are the designer of your own schedule. You can take breaks based on your preference. I work out early in the morning, meditate throughout the day, and take regular coffee breaks, helping me to achieve a better work-life balance and productivity. I like doing my important tasks early in the morning before everyone wakes up.
Before I became a remote worker, I always considered alarm clocks to be an important part of my life. Five years down the road, I don’t even bother to have one by my bedside. I don’t have to go anywhere right after I wake up or follow a stringent schedule. Work seems more like a part of my daily life and less of a burden. It’s not that I am not stressed by my schedule: Being the CEO of a growing company, I have a lot on my plate, but it never feels like going to work and that’s exactly why I love to wake up in the morning.
Since I get to design my workflow, I'm much less distracted. With that said, everyone who works remotely needs to set some boundaries with their friends and family. Many people might not really understand what kind of work you are doing from home. I know when I am the most focused, and I make sure to dedicate that time of day to my job. I set the rest of my priorities in life accordingly so that I don't feel like I want to be somewhere I'm not. If I want to be by the beach, I head to the beach and take an hour off before I go back to my Mac again. If I want a couple of days off work, I take my break and come back feeling refreshed. We have pretty flexible schedules based on deliverables. If you prefer working at night because you feel more productive, that's fine. Over the years, I've had hardly any of my employees complain of feeling over-stressed or not being able to get their family time in. And I feel this has been possible because all of us are remote.
If you are a digital nomad who likes traveling, you can still work remotely. If you prefer being at home during the usual working hours, you can still be remote. There are no rules. This August, as I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of our platform, I look back at those days when I was skeptical about choosing this style of work. But I always wanted to give it a try to see how it would go. Now, I'm glad I did, and share these perks with you as a reminder of what an opportunity remote work can offer.