As we return to a state that resembles normalcy, we learn to live in a world the pandemic has fundamentally changed. In this new world which looks like the old one, the conventional working environment has been replaced, and you may now find yourself competing for jobs with no fixed location. Instead of driving, taking the bus or calling Uber to get to work, your office could be the place you call home. With all the freedom this new environment will bring, you may not be meeting your colleagues for lunch or gathering for townhalls, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, interactions with peers will take place from behind a computer screen. Before you start applying to remote positions, you should ask yourself some questions.
Here are three from blog.olark.com to help you decide if remote work is for you.
1. Do You Like Working Alone?
If you’re a self-starter and confident in your abilities, you may thrive in a position where you don’t have to worry about a manager looking over your shoulder. You have the freedom to complete your tasks and prioritize work throughout the day. However, if you feel like you need supervision and reassurance to be effective and productive during business hours, this could be a red flag. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be productive working remotely.2. Do You Have Strong Communication Skills?
Having strong communication skills is essential to deciding if a remote position will work for you. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses because you will be working in an environment without instant access to peers. Using instant messenger applications such as zoom, or simply making a phone call is convenient but not nearly as quick as walking over to someone’s desk.3. Can You Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance?
When you’re in an office, you start your shift and complete tasks assigned to you, and at the end of the day, you leave. When working remotely, you’re always in the office. It would be best to draw the line between obligations to your employer while on the clock and personal responsibilities when the clock stops. If you can find this balance, you can benefit greatly from the independence a remote position provides. However, working remotely may become more of a hindrance if you constantly blur the lines between work and personal time.
You might want to consider how popular working remotely is in Canada. Are Canadian companies leaning towards or actively offering more remote positions than before? According to a survey conducted by Mercer Canada on benefitscanada.com 54 per cent of Canadian employers are adopting a hybrid work model. The article also found that 61 per cent of employees prefer to work from home. After the pandemic, it appears more Canadian companies are trending toward offering remote positions.
If you have an interview coming up, and you’re curious about how to bring up the possibility of working remotely Flexjobs.com has an interesting article answering that very question. Start by researching the company website while you’re preparing for your interview. If you don’t see any mention of remote opportunities, that doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any. They may only offer those options to the candidate they have selected to fill the position. If you prefer to work remotely, there’s no reason to hide it. Just ask “Do you support remote work?” You can gauge the response and you’ll have a better idea of the company’s stance.
Whether you’re confident working alone or you prefer supervision, working remotely is something you’ll have to get used to. Strong communication skills are essential because you will be entering a work environment that limits your access to peers and management. If you can maintain the balance between work and life you can benefit from the freedom but if you constantly blur the lines, working remotely can become a burden. Do your research and ask your interviewer directly about remote opportunities. In this new world, more than ever you need to know who you are and what you want. Do your research, stay informed, ask questions, and most importantly know yourself.