How to Set Yourself Up for Remote Work

Blog TLDR

This blog post will look at my own ongoing journey of remote working.

The Remote Working Mindset

Now more than ever, people are turning to remote work either because they want to, or they have to. For myself, I’ve been focusing on working mainly remotely for a while now, and it’s still an ongoing endeavour. 

I decided doing mainly remote work would make it a lot easier to continue traveling and making money at the same time. I’m going to share my journey, from researching remote work to setting up my physical workspace and managing my time.

how to work remotely

Research

Currently, my remote work isn’t enough to be a full-time job, so other work still necessary. But once I decided I wanted to try to make remote work my full-time gig, I had to find out how to work remotely and what kind of work I could do. 

Because I already had experience teaching English in China, I first thought that teaching online could be good, but I quickly found that it wasn’t for me (though I haven’t ruled it out as a possibility for the future). 

Most of those gigs are for teaching kids (really not for me), and the jobs of teaching adults pay considerably less, and would also mean I’d have to start working between 3 and 4 AM (not gonna happen). Once I ruled that out, I came across a website that teaches social media marketing called, Acadium.

Acadium

How to Set Yourself Up for Remote Work

Acadium is a platform that offers free online courses for people wanting to learn social media marketing. This includes things like running social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram for companies, through organizational apps such as Hootsuite, creating content like writing articles and blog posts, or even setting up an online business. 

At the end of this free course, you can choose to do an unpaid internship (or two or three), through a registered company on Acadium. That company will mentor you and help you gain experience in social media marketing with the idea that it will then be easier to find a paint job afterwards. 

I’m pretty sure all millennials know the trouble of finding a job that requires experience but not being able to get experience without getting a job in the field. This blog post is actually being written as part of my own internship with Chango and has been a great experience and resume booster so far.

Current Work

So while my internship is a great experience, it is unpaid. But I do have some paying remote work as well, while I also try to build my portfolio and resume. I write articles for a company called Tattoodo and write my own personal blogs at jonathanvandyck.com, which also looks at tattoos, and jonisabroad.wordpress.com, which is my travel blog. 

I also run social media accounts for my photography on both Facebook and Instagram, which bring me new views and sales in my photo prints. The articles I write for Tattoodo pay me per article and my two personal blogs are monetized through ads that I collect payments through monthly. Since both are WordPress blogs it’s very easy to set up, and you can make your own blog easily too https://wordpress.com

Physical Setup

how to start working from home equipment set up

If you’re going to be working from home a lot, or even all the time, it’s important to have a good setup. While a lot of remote work can be done even from a smartphone, if you’re going to be doing this kind of work full time, it’s probably a good idea to either have a desktop or laptop. Perks of working from a laptop is you can also easily take your work to a coffee shop for a change of scenery, or while you’re traveling (my main reason for doing remote work).

Equipment and Setup

I have a MacBook Air that I use daily for my work, but I also use my iPhone for most of my social media work, like scheduling posts through Hootsuite. But all of my article and blog writing gets done on my laptop. If you’re going to be doing something where you need to speak to people lots, like teaching online, or working a job like being an at-home travel agent or other sales, you may want a headset with a good microphone and cushy earpieces instead of needing to hold your phone all the time. 

Because you’ll spend a lot of your day sitting you’ll also want to have a good chair, and maybe even multiple locations in your home to work from for a change of scenery. For example, I have a desk that I work from in my room, which has a great computer chair but doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. So I split my average day up by working in my room at my desk for a few hours, and another few hours at my dining room table which has a more uncomfortable chair, but lots of natural light and large windows around me.

Staying Focused

how to stay focused working remotely

This is one of the hardest parts of working remotely, especially if you work from home. It’s way too easy to get distracted. You’ve got your tv, maybe video games and/or books calling to you, possibly pets or kids wanting attention, and you keep telling yourself you’ll get right back to work after you clean the counter or do the laundry (we both know you’re procrastinating). If you’re a chronic procrastinator like me then it’s all too easy to get distracted.

Make a Schedule and Stick to it

This is super helpful and important to keep in mind. The day before, or maybe as part of your morning routine while you have your first coffee (1 of 3 for myself), you can make a list of what you need to do that day and even schedule deadline times on your smartphone or the computer calendar. I check my emails first thing where I can see what I need to do in terms of paid writing, and work for my internship. 

If I don’t have to finish posts that day then I’ll at least set aside time to research new articles and posts, and/or a couple of hours per writing project. As mentioned before I also use Hootsuite to take care of my photography social media accounts, and try to schedule posts for the week, usually over an hour or so on Monday mornings. If you also have a phone call or video calls with other team members, clients, your boss, etc, it’s important to mark those down on either a physical or digital calendar so you’re somewhere quiet that you can take your call.

Take (short) Breaks

It’s important to take breaks throughout your day, just like you would at a job that you commute to. Breaks will help you focus in the long run, and are also important for your health. I walk my dog for about 20-30 minutes every day and take about 40 minutes for lunches where I usually watch a short episode of one of my favourite shows or read a couple of chapters of a book while I eat.

how to work at home

Have Designated “at work” Time

One thing that can happen to remote workers is that you essentially become always “at work,” which is really unhealthy. You should be able to give yourself specific days off, again, just like you would at a job that you commute to, and designated working hours. This is especially important if you have a partner or family that you live with, as you don’t want to miss out on time with loved ones.

Final Thoughts

Now more than ever there are tons of options for working remotely, and some of us have to. While I still have to do some work non-remotely, my goal is to go fully remote in the near future so I can continue traveling and can work at the same time.

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