I started working remotely in January of 2016. Prior to that, I was working at an agency in downtown Philadelphia from 9 am to 6:30 pm every day. At first, the adjustment was harder than I thought. I’ve always dreamed of working from home but going from being surrounded by activity to making my own schedule and establishing a workflow wasn’t as easy as I’d imagine it to be. It was lonely in the beginning, but after the first three months, I finally settled in and found what worked for me.

Working Remotely

Remote working is on the rise and studies have found four major commonalities among remote workers: They are happier, feel more valued by their employers, they are more productive, and they have a better relationship with a direct manager. They’re also less stressed, cost less to employers, and are more engaged in the workplace.  Not bad, right?

Working remotely comes with some major perks and I hope to continue to do so in the years to come. Here are some of my favorite things about working remotely, and how to tell if this lifestyle is for you.

Setting My Own Schedule

Going from agency life to working remotely was a bit of a shock. I was used to having to be sitting in front of my desk for 9.5 hours a day no matter what. But in remote work, the rules are not as strict. I love having the flexibility to move from task to task, taking breaks as needed. Some remote workers find that implementing their own strict schedule to be useful, but I work best with a bit of fluidity.

More Time With Family And Friends

Last year my grandmother underwent a quadruple heart bypass surgery. Being one of the only members of my family with a flexible schedule, I was able to move in for a week to help care for her. I am eternally grateful for the ability to work wherever my laptop is, especially when a family emergency comes up. I wouldn’t have been able to do so otherwise.

Less Stress

This has been one of the most noticeable changes since I started working remotely. I find myself less stressed out during the day which leads to being happier and more productive, both during the workday and afterward. I am no longer drained at the end of the day and still have time for things that make life enjoyable.

More Productive / Creative

I work in an industry that relies on strategy, new ideas, and innovation. Working remotely has turned me into a more productive and creative employee thanks to the flexible schedule and less stress.

I’m Happier

Because of all of the points above, I can honestly say that working remotely has been the happiest style of employment I’ve experienced to date. It works for me and my goal is to continue working remotely for the rest of my career.

My Home Office

So what are you thinking? Are you wondering if the remote life is for you? It’s not for everyone, but here’s how you can tell if the remote work life is for you.

How To Tell If You Can Work Remotely:

  1. You’re self-motivated. Without a boss looking over your shoulder, you’ll need to be able to stay on task and have the initiative to get things done.
  2. You’re independent and work well on your own. I enjoy collaboration and being a part of a team, but I also genuinely enjoy working independently.
  3. A non-traditional schedule works for you. You’re able to take on the responsibility of scheduling out your day, prioritizing tasks, and keeping track of hours.
  4. You have strong communication skills. This is an absolute MUST in remote work. Since you don’t have the ability to lean over the cubicle to ask a question, it’s important to stay on top of emails and messages. Responsiveness is important.
  5. Your tech-savy. Working remotely tends to be 100% dependent on a computer with an internet connection. Obviously, you’ll need to know how to work that.

Recommended Reading

There is a lot of conversation going on about how the American office is moving towards remote employment. Here are some more interesting articles on the matter: