I love working remotely. (At the time of this article I have escaped the cold and am enjoying warm temperatures in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!) Freedom is the new wealth and I consider myself very rich! I can’t imagine ever going back into an office. That’s not to say working remotely doesn’t come without any challenges. Whether you are working for a company, a freelancer, or business owner a lot of the conversation is around the individual taking care of themselves because not all employers know how to help take care of their employees. Certainly, it’s not the client’s responsibility to set up your boundaries either. However, taking care of yourself as a remote individual is different for everyone.
The future of remote work is not a new concept. Individuals going back to working from home is a very old and even ancient concept. People using their work to travel to far off lands and countries is basically the basis of my home country. Explorers were old world style startup entrepreneurs using other people’s money to explore, find, and create new lives.
What is different is the speed at which we are able to do things and share information. We can cross borders and personal boundaries very quickly and few are actually trained on how to properly do this. Remote-how’s CEO, Iwo Szapar’s talk at Unleashed, Amsterdam was “No One Is Born A Remote Worker” was much needed.
The idea that because you can work from anywhere you will be successful working from anywhere is flawed. We all go through some kind of training or schooling to gain more experience in our fields. Then over time, we learn to excel in our areas of expertise. Remote working is its own field and area of expertise which we must train and educate ourselves in.
There is a strong desire in the remote working community to create more awareness around self-care, isolation, overworking, meditation, sleeping properly, and the importance of disconnecting. Whether you identified as a remote individual, business owner, or a freelancer you have a duty to take care of yourself, your business, and your clients. With remote working advancing at [10x(https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics) the rate of the rest of the workforce or self-employed, a lot of people are jumping into the deep end without having all the information.
I consider myself very fortunate to have gone through very specific stages in my remote working career. First, I was working for an employer and kept business hours. My work was still largely defined by someone else and I didn’t have the pressures of building a business, finding clients, or paying for my own health insurance (which is my largest expense).
Next, I started my own virtual assistant company. Slowly I added in virtual assisting with business and personal travel. Then I knew I was ready to become location independent and traveled to 16 countries in 12 months during 2017. However, the biggest challenge was working remotely for a startup in 2018 and keeping my travel mostly in the States. I found that working for myself was one thing but working remotely for this particular startup was something completely different.
The company was remotely dysfunctional. Boundaries were not respected. Meetings were not productive or valued. Running a 24/7 department made me feel like I had to work 24/7 because I didn’t have enough resources. Did it help I was working remotely? NO! It made it worse because there was never a physical disconnection. I didn’t know how to push back or take care of myself in this type of environment.
Until recently there was only an article here and there about the benefits, the downfalls, the misconceptions, the tools to use, and so forth. However, there wasn’t a single place you could go to and get the complete spectrum of how to be successful as a remote worker, let alone certified.
When I was asked to join the Remote-how Academy and contribute to the certification I was beyond thrilled. A remote work certification was something I had on my vision board but it was so far down on the list writing it down was as far as I got.
It’s not just individuals struggling to make remote working work. Companies are struggling too. Hiring remote workers is not the same as hiring in-person employees. You wouldn’t use the same hiring practices you did 10 years ago to hire for a company. How many companies do you know that still use paper applications? Yet, when it comes to hiring for remote positions companies are still using a process equivalent to paper applications. It’s not their fault. There was nothing in place to assist them. A certification is a win-win!
The individual wins because they are being set up right. Building the right foundation. Getting started on the right foot with the right knowledge. When you know all you did wrong (I did a lot wrong) you want to help prevent others from making the same mistakes. More than that you want them to succeed and live their life to the fullest in a way they define. I wish I had the support and tools Remote-how Academy offers when I first started out.
Companies win because now there is actually a certification that can define a remote worker. The individual they wish to hire takes pride in their work and has a commitment to the lifestyle of working remotely. The employee has a self-awareness not only to themselves but to the company.
Who will become certified? Those who want to put their clients and companies minds at rest. Those who want the peace of mind that comes with being trained properly and knowing how to get help when needed. Someone who is willing to invest in themselves and willing to invest in those that pay them even before a single dollar has ever exchanged banks. Someone who wants to be at the forefront of remote working.
Remote working as a way of life wins too. Why is this so important? When a profession has no standards the quality suffers and it leaves the consumer, the buyer, the company playing a very scary guessing game. For every great and inspiring story I have or have heard about how remote working has changed someone’s life positively there is another story of how it went badly and left an awful impression on the idea of being able to work remotely.
A remote work certification is creating a better remote working future and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Until the end of January 2019 use the code “remote50” for half off of the remote individual certification course.