Challenges of SmartWorking
“What in the world am I doing?”
That was the first sentence that entered my mind as I began my first week as a remote worker. I had just left a full-time communications position to work as a freelance writer. I had clients, but the shock of such a change in my work-life harmony was sending me into an overwhelming anxiousness. This lifestyle is what I had chosen as the best smart working alternative for myself, but I was seeing negatives I had never thought of before forging out on this journey. Here are three negatives of smart working I eventually turned into opportunities for growth and development as a remote worker.
1. Not Realizing That Feeling Overwhelmed Was Normal
For the first time, no one was visiting my cubicle regularly to check my progress on a project. I no longer had to sit down for unproductive meetings with coworkers, and I could work at a pace that made my client and myself comfortable. However, this scared me. It was all on me. The realization that my success was in my hands was scary, but empowering all at the same time.
I had always been a master planner, but this propelled me to check into project management systems and find a work routine that best worked for myself and my clients.
2. Feeling Isolated when SmartWorking
Working from home can be a lonely experience. For an introvert like me, the fact that distractions, interruptions, and constant phone calls were a thing of the past felt like a victory. However, I was not prepared for how isolating the feeling of working remotely could feel.
As a result, I started making it a point to attend at least one networking event or lunch meetup with a friend a week. This step helped me to balance my introversion with the need to still interact with people.
3. Losing Control of My Time
If you are a workaholic, remote work can be a challenging existence for you. In the beginning, working from eight in the morning to almost seven or eight at night was the norm. I also didn’t think it wise to plan at least one day where I didn’t work on anything. This is just as unwise as procrastination because in both scenarios the only logical conclusion is burnout.
Recognizing this made me intentional about creating “check-out” times where I did not check email or communicate with clients. This act helped me to form a healthy work-life harmony process, and make sure I was at my best to help my clients.
The most freeing concept for any new remote worker is to realize that it is not easy. Your feelings of confusion, fear, and anxiety are valid, and there is nothing wrong with taking a step back to realize what your ideal rhythm is. What works for one person, may not work for you and that is perfectly okay. Take the time to think of the negatives of your smart working plan, so that you can come up with your own ideas to thrive.
Guest Blogger Bio
Chanell Alexander is based in Georgia Atlanta and is a freelance writer and content creator. She is also the owner of theremoteworklife.com, a blog of tips, advice, and resources for remote workers. Chanell has worked in nonprofit and business communications for four years, and begin freelancing full-time a year ago. Chanell’s freelance writing topics cover automotive industry practices, business and entrepreneurial management tips, and business technology.