Remote Working Changed My Life | Shauna Moran
Today’s guest blogger, Shauna Moran, founder of Operate Remote, shares her story on how remote working changed her life for the better.
For years, I was the several hour daily commuter. You know the feeling, filling the tank up with fuel on a Monday morning, buying take away coffees, rushing out the door, listening to radio game shows whilst stuck in traffic. Forgetting prepped lunches and having to buy a relatively unhealthy sandwich on my lunch break, along with another cup of coffee to keep me energised after a super early start to beat the traffic to get to the office on time.
I contemplated, is this a struggle that we just have to grin and bear? My energy was drained from doing this every.single.working.day. Although I enjoyed my jobs, I knew I personally couldn’t sustain it.
Then, I got that phone call, one of the best phone calls of my life. The recruiter on the other end explained this new exciting role that was the perfect fit for me, and best of all, it was a remote job. ”REMOTELY?!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe a company as big as this hires remotely. Several years on, I can tell you they continue to hire remotely and guess what? It continues to change people’s lives for the better.
When I started working remotely, immediately my energy levels increased. Instead of a daily commute, I had time to go to a yoga class or take an early gym session; I had time for a wholesome home-made breakfast. I created my office space with scented candles and inspiring art. In the Winter months, my work shoes were slippers and in the summer flipflops. I didn’t have to brave the elements and risk a car accident in the depths of Winter, nor did I have to sit in an over-air-coned office space and stare out the window at the sunshine. I had flexibility and autonomy to decide what worked best for me and because of that, I was more productive and creative in my work.
Of course, I’ve had my fair share of challenges whilst working remotely. The very first struggle I had was what I like to call ‘the remote burnout’. I struggled to switch off. I forgot to take lunch sometimes. I was so passionate about my work and so comfortable at home, I found it so difficult to switch off. I was also working across multiple time zones both externally and internally, which made finding time to unwind quite difficult. I wasn’t being fully self-aware and holding myself to the work-life balance I initially found so incredible when I first started working remotely.
Another major challenge I faced in my remote career is leadership. We all know how difficult it can be to have a manager that has managerial styles that you don’t necessarily agree with. (If you have not experienced this, count yourself one of the lucky ones!) Terrible experiences with leadership on remote teams can be a very lonely experience and something that I struggled with for too many months. Likewise, leading remote people is tough. Leadership within office environments is very different from leadership within remote environments. Energies, relationships, feedback, communication, empathy, it all needs so much more emphasised when we work on our own and manage virtually.
I faced challenges working in a hybrid model, so some of my team were in the office, and some were remote. How can I proactively showcase what I’m doing to the rest of the team? How can I make sure I have visibility on what they are doing? How can I facilitate those relationship building exercises when I’m not there? How can we work best together across multiple time zones?
So, after all these challenges, learnings and teachings I started to get really curious. My curiosity led me to go back to University after many years to study and research remote teams. It was incredible to research the exact challenges I faced and understand why, what, and how these challenges arise, and better still the ways in which we can resolve these challenges as remote working continues to grow around the globe.
Remote working can change your life for the better if you get it right.
Guest Blogger: Shauna Moran is the founder of Operate Remote. A business dedicated to helping businesses implement, maintain and improve their remote workforce. Shauna is a remote working enthusiast, writer, and hustler, studying successful remote models across a wide range of disciplines — entrepreneurs, organisations, individuals, and more — to uncover the habits and routines that make these people and organisations successful at remote working.
Operate Remote is created from my passion to better help remote workforces succeed. To enable employers, managers and individuals to be more effective remotely. In my business I see these challenges happen over and over again. I see the struggle that can come with remote working, I understand it, I’ve researched it and I’ve been through it.