Thoughts on Working Remotely

IMG_20160718_214028I am in Taiwan for the summer and that means my new desk is wherever I place my laptop.  This is my first experience working remotely and I’ll share my thoughts.

Positives

  • I do not need to dress up for work.  It is nice to be able to wake up and go to my computer and start working.  I don’t need to put on a collared shirt or shave and there is no commute.
  • I have been able to build my own schedule.  I have a gap in the middle of my day to learn Chinese.  I have an automated task that takes several hours, so it has been great letting it run while I’m in class.  With a normal schedule, it would be a bit of a hassle to have it running while doing other tasks.
  • I got to work from a different office recently.  Since I am in Asia I got to see our office in Singapore and connect with the team there.  This scenario would have been unlikely if I was still at my desktop.
  • I have a much lower cost of living.  Taiwan is much cheaper than Orange County.  I will post in the future about just how much cheaper.  If you can choose where to work you can spend less and save more.

Negatives

  • Working remotely means I need to remotely connect to the work network which makes sending and receiving server files slower than at the office.  This means being patient and coming up with clever tricks like saving copies locally.  Once I have the files I can work at normal speed.
  • I can no longer stand up and chat over the cubicle walls.  I have messenger which is very useful but our day only overlaps if I stay up really late.
  • For others, it may be hard to keep your motivation.  I have not found that too difficult because I have daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to stay on top of.

Abroad bonuses

  • I realize how little I need.  I brought a suitcase and a carry-on and have been great.
  • I get to practice language every day because I need to use it to buy food, ask for direction, or do anything.

Who can do it?

Like I said before, working remotely was a big ask.  You could try to ask for something smaller like working from home while you are sick or maybe a day each month.  If you can function fine without being in the office then working remotely may be for you.  However, you need to be motivated to work otherwise it could turn into a disaster.

I imagine working remotely is a taste of what it would be like to run your own business.  However, running a business could be much more than an 8 hour a day endeavor, so sticking with my job sounds good for now.

Conclusion

If you are fortunate enough to have a chance or create a chance to work remotely I’d try it out.  I am happy to be working remotely for a summer, but I do look forward to returning to my coworkers.  After three weeks I already feel that they are forgetting me, but the reports are still getting sent and the files aren’t magically appearing, so I’m sure they know I’m still being useful.

This entry was posted in Work.

One comment

  1. Biglaw Investor says:

    I can relate to the slowness of working over the network when you’re working remotely. I spent some time working in Kazakhstan and for sure one of the best “tricks” involved learning how to save files remotely. Oddly it made a huge difference in speeding up the ability to print. Whereas previously a print job had to travel all the way from my computer to the States and then back to me AND then to the printer, I cut out that massive step (it could literally take 10 mins to get a document to print). Good times. Hope you’re having fun in Taiwan!

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