Picture this: You’re in a relaxed Hawaiian-print tee, sitting in the comfort of your beach chair under the shade of luscious palm trees. Every now and then, you take an occasional sip of your Piña colada before going back to work on your laptop, which lays sprawled across your lap.
Being able to work from anywhere you want (including working from a beach if you choose to) is your prerogative as a knowledge-based worker in the gig market. Afterall, you’re your own boss, so choosing where to work from should be a self-entitled incentive.
But that’s just one half of the truth when it comes to being a remote gig worker.
The other side of the coin? Remote gig work isn’t for everyone. And because we are serious about gig work, it’s only fair that you get a realistic picture before you take the plunge as a remote gig worker. Ready?
In fact, you may find that your productivity as a remote gig worker may be even lower than when you were an office worker. The lure of your bed, children or pets needing attention, meals waiting to be prepared; even having too many open tabs on your laptop that are unrelated to work can cause you to be counterproductive. Oh and not to mention, now that there’s no boss breathing down your neck, the laissez faire attitude can get seriously unchecked.
How I solve this problem:
I have strict rules about working. If it’s about work, I keep it about work. I limit any distractions via digital devices; that means no non-work related open tabs, no casual messaging exchanges on my mobile, no social media surfing.
Unfortunately, that can’t be said for a growling stomach that needs nourishment. I’d say go tend to that first. Also, I have no experience with attention-demanding children, but I’m pretty sure most work-from-home parents are well experienced enough to handle that. Perhaps locking your bedroom door is a start.
As a gig worker, you may be a solo worker or you may be working as part of a team. If it’s the former, chances are that you may start to feel lonely. Of course, that also depends on your personality type or the type of work that you are doing. As a writer, I have no issues with loneliness, I actually crave peace and quiet in order to get words to flow.
What you can do if you feel lonely:
In most scenarios, you can decide the amount of involvement you want with the company as a gig worker. Most companies have Slack, online collaboration and communication platforms in place, so get on those if you are someone who thrives on team synergy. Being a gig worker does sometimes require some thick skin, so don’t be afraid to show some online presence to get some friendships going!
All too often, remote workers fall into the gap of being perceived as ‘always available’. In order for remote work to work, expectations have to be on the same page. Being remote doesn’t mean that work can be done all day, every day.
How you can manage expectations:
It’s unrealistic to assume that being 100% remote means being 100% available, 24 hours a day. Communicate your expectations and hours availability with the client and be sure to also find out what is expected of you in your gig role. Remember, it is up to you to determine what you want out of a remote working opportunity.
In fact, quadruple that. In today’s fast-moving landscape, skills upgrading is an expectation. To put it bluntly, either you upgrade or you degenerate.
How you can put yourself in a better position:
As Warren Buffett puts it, “The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you'll earn.” Where possible, invest in yourself by upskilling to maximise your capabilities. Be proactive about upgrading your skills in order to be relevant and stay competitive in the gig economy.
Self-discipline, my friend, is the number one trait that will dictate the sustainable, long term success of your career as a remote gig worker (or any success for that matter). Self-discipline may not come easy at times. After all, it takes effort to push yourself to do things that you may not feel like doing at that moment.
How to increase self-discipline
Removing distractions from your environment is a crucial first step to helping you achieve your goals. If you are trying to focus on a piece of work but find yourself being constantly distracted by your phone notifications, switch your phone off. Self-discipline requires baby steps, lots of practice and continued consistency in your daily life.
So there you have it, the less rosier side of being a remote gig worker. Assuming that the above doesn’t dampen your gig-seeking spirit, head over to Chanceupon to start growing your next career.
You may also be interested in this: Is Remote Working For You? 5 Questions To Help You Decide
There’s a better way to grow. And it’s not the traditional way.
It’s about rethinking traditional employment archetypes. Can we progress from an economy built on full time employment habitually enslaved by unemployment fears, to one where individuals have greater autonomy and are self motivated to do work that inspires them? And as a result, benefit the economy as a whole?
You can’t own full time employees. But you can build a winning team with talent management companies. As businesses demand more, external talents are emerging as the sure forerunners of an agile workforce. At Chance Upon, we partner businesses to get a head start over competition by creating collaborative work between companies and the right talents.