Today’s virtual workers are just like the workers in an office, except they are getting their jobs done from anywhere in the world.
A virtual worker could opt to work from a home office or from a cafe or a beachfront villa. The advantages of the Internet and being able to stay connected from anywhere allow workers more freedom to move and to find the best place to live. This flexibility can alleviate housing deficiencies and overpriced markets, allowing workers to choose to live far away while still doing the same job remotely.
Virtual work also called remote work, allows a worker to conduct business online from anywhere with an Internet connection. While the transition to allowing office workers to work from home for one or two days a week was slow, the next step to allowing workers to work remotely full time has been rapid. Some companies now have an entirely remote staff communicating online during office hours and completing projects together from a distance. The transition has changed the way the world works, and new technology will continue to evolve this opportunity.
Is remote work right for me?
If you are wondering if remote working is right for you, you should consider the pros and cons of remote work. While it might seem appealing to not have to wear a business suit and commute to an office every day, working remotely can be a true challenge for certain types of people.
One of the biggest challenges is being responsible and self-motivated without a boss or other coworkers nearby to monitor your activity. A remote worker is solely responsible for meeting obligations and deadlines, without anyone nearby to discourage distractions or to ensure productivity is optimized.
If you struggle to self-motivate and to stay organized in your personal life, then your work life might also become a challenge. Additionally, if you tend to seek advice from coworkers in the office to resolve problems, then you might need to adjust how you interact and problem-solve on a daily basis if you work remotely. While this is easily overcome, some workers find it to be more challenging than others to change those habits.
Another consideration is if you are a highly social person, in which case you might find it challenging to work alone every day. There are, of course, ways to still socialize without needing to work in an office environment. Knowing these alternatives and all of the challenges that you might face as a remote worker can help you to make the right decision for you.
Working from Home as a Parent
If you are a stay-at-home parent or a caretaker, then you might look at remote working as an excellent opportunity. There are certainly pros and cons to this lifestyle, so be sure to review all of them before making any big decisions. If you had a career that you left to care for children or other family members, then it can be difficult to let that go entirely. There might be a balance you can strike to still work while staying home, but understanding how that might impact your life can help you to determine whether or not it is right for you.
The primary consideration of working from home as a parent or caretaker is the expectation of the job for being available at certain hours. A more flexible job opportunity might suit this set-up better than formal office hours. If you can work while a child is at school or even while your charge is sleeping, then you can maintain a more flexible schedule to still complete the work. But if you take a job that has set office hours during which you must be available, you might find yourself having conflicting schedules regularly.
Be sure to consider all of the options for this type of work before you take a new position. If you require additional income, then you do have options. Even if you just want to stay active in a certain industry or to try out a new opportunity, there are plenty of choices due to virtual work.
Working from Home as a College Student
College students can take on virtual work in order to maintain a more flexible schedule, balancing classes and studies. These types of part-time jobs could offer an excellent experience for a college student as well, so it might be helpful to look for remote work within the industry that you are considering joining. A part-time, remote position could offer early insights into a career path as you continue with your studies.
While internships and entry-level jobs are helpful for certain students, you might not be able to schedule this type of work around your class requirements. Combining earning an income by maintaining your study schedule can often be more easily achieved through remote work opportunities. These might include anything from freelance writing to editing to tutoring or teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) online. You could also work on single projects, such as designing a website or a logo for a company.
The variety of remote opportunities is great, but you will have to make it work within your college schedule. During the summer and other breaks from classes, you could always take on additional work, but you might find yourself limited during the semester.
Working Remotely While Traveling
Working remotely while traveling is becoming ever easier due to better technology options. However, traveling while you work does present additional challenges that you must overcome if you are to be a successful virtual worker. These challenges could include poor Internet connections, long travel days without access to outlets or WiFi, and even jet lag being a contributor to a challenging schedule.
Learning how to balance working and traveling can offer you an incredible skill set that could open up an entire world of possibilities. Once you figure out the challenges and find the best system that works for you, you could take your work with you anywhere and everywhere you want to go. But being prepared to be professional is a crucial characteristic you must have in order to be successful.
While virtual work is still a fairly new concept for the professional world, the opportunities continue to grow every day. Workers all over the world are proving that location does not matter when it comes to productivity and delivery. Whether you are employed, self-employed or unemployed, there are opportunities you can pursue working remotely. The variety continues to grow, so you should always stay updated on recent developments in remote work to see what might apply to you.