Become a good communicator
It doesn’t matter how you work remotely. Communication is key to a successful relationship with your employer, clients and customers. Don’t worry about communicating too often, because it’s better than no communication at all.
Use technology to communicate. Tools like Zoom, Slack, Skype are great at helping you keep in touch through live video, audio calls, and text messaging. If you’re not familiar with these tools, spend some time learning how to use them before you transition into working remotely.
Network with other remote workers
When you first become a remote worker, it’s a good idea to find a community where you can network with other remote workers.
Ask questions, join in discussions and feel part of a group. On LinkedIn, we’ve recently launched the Remote Hive group, to help bring remote workers together.
Don’t exclude offline networking.
Have a look at websites like Eventbrite, Facebook Events and Meetup.com to find business events within your local area. It’s these people that in the future might be able to assist you with finding a remote job, or even a new client.
Experiment with your work routine
Your work routine will depend on the type of remote work. If you are an employee, then you’ll likely have less flexibility than a freelancer or entrepreneur.
That said, choose the right company, and they will realise the importance of flexibility and freedom for employees.
At first, experiment, work different work patterns. Figure out when you’re the most productive. Some people prefer to work early in the morning, some in the late afternoon and into the evening.
You might find it beneficial to split up the hours you have to work, so, 2-3 hours in the morning and 5-6 hours in the afternoon and evening.
Don’t be afraid of experimenting or make your work routine too strict and rigid. One day, you might want to change your work hours because of a social event. Maybe one day a week work fewer hours and make the time up at the weekend.
Do not become isolated
You will spend a lot of time working in isolation. Of course, as an employee, you’ll be communicating with your team on Slack and other communication tools.
As a freelancer and entrepreneur, isolation is a bigger issue. Spend time with family and friends. Work in a coffee shop, or co-working space for a few hours a week. Spend time networking by joining an online community, or an industry group on LinkedIn.
Spend time around other people, as often as you can.
Spend time doing the things you love
When you’re working remotely, it often feels you have to work all day long. Some employers will take advantage, so bring this to their attention, if it becomes a problem.
Make sure you spend time each day doing the things you love in life.
Otherwise, what is the point of being a remote worker? Freedom and flexibility are the biggest benefits. If you want to take a hike, spend time making craft products, whatever your hobbies and interests are in life, spend quality time doing them.
Have a backup for internet access
This advice is important. Do not rely on anyone for access to the internet. While you have a good WiFi connection at home, make sure you have a backup should it go down.
Purchase an unlocked 4G/LTE MiFi and then insert a local SIM card for a different mobile company than the one you have at home.
This might appear over the top, but the internet can sometimes be unreliable, especially if you are travelling and working remotely. Not having a reliable internet connection can affect you financially.
What happens if you’re unable to perform your duties for an employer, or a client’s project deadline is unable to be met. You could lose your income, all because you didn’t have a backup internet connection.
Separate work from home
This is important if you are working at home with a family. When you’re concentrating on a piece of work, the last thing you want is your kids to be running havoc around the workspace during the school holidays.
Try and find a space in your home where you can shut yourself away and set boundaries with the family. You want them to know whenever you’re in this room or space, you are not to be disturbed.
Of course, that’s easy for me to say. I have no kids and travel alone.
Separating work from your life is also important. So, when you are relaxing, eating dinner, watching a movie, you’re not continuously looking at your laptop or work desk.
Have good money management skills
Always have at least three to six months of salary in your savings.
This applies to everyone, not just remote workers. Should a contract end suddenly, freelancing work dries up, or, business sales disappear, you need money to live off until the situation improves.
One of the biggest challenges as a freelancer is to get companies to pay invoices on time. So, you have to continuously keep on top of invoicing and chasing clients to make sure you’re paid.
As a freelancer, it’s advised to charge at least 50% of the total amount before you start working for the client. Although, in some industries, this is more difficult to achieve.
Make sure you are keeping up-to-date with your bookkeeping and do not wait until towards the end of the tax year before sorting through your income and outgoings. It’ll be a nightmare, trust me.
While working from home, you will find the cost of living is cheaper because you don’t have the expensive of the commute to and from work. Save this money and it’ll add up!
Look after yourself physically and mentally
It feels hypercritical writing this paragraph because honestly, I am terrible at looking after myself both physically and mentally.
It’s important to purchase medical insurance if you live in a country that does not offer free medical care. Some employers will cover medical insurance as a perk, but if you are a freelancer or business owner, then it is your responsibility.
Without your health, you cannot run a business.
When you’re working abroad and travelling, travel or/and health insurance is essential.
Make sure you take regular breaks. Walk around the neighbourhood, it will be good exercise but also meet new people. Super important to get away from the desk and take time away to stretch the body.
Spend time looking after yourself mentally too.
As previously mentioned in this article. Spend time with family and friends, don’t keep yourself isolated for too long, especially if you’re working and travelling alone.
Looking after your body and mental health is so important.
Research the places you want to travel to
The final tip is for people who are wanting to work remotely and travel.
In short, make sure you research the places you’re wanting to visit and stay in. A tropical island, beach bungalow sounds an amazing place to work, but if the internet is lousy, you will not get any work completed.
There are even cities with bad internet, including Tokyo, Sarajevo, and Athens. Do your research about the quality of the internet and other areas like crime, accessibility to public transport, etc.
Hopefully, these remote working tips for beginners will help you transition from the office and become a successful remote worker.