By Anum Yoon
Once upon a time telecommuting or work outside of a traditional office setting was practically synonymous with “working from home.” However, this is no longer the case. There are those who work from coffee shops, park benches, and even hotels. Some might be getting work done on airplanes.
Workshifting is increasingly popular among a generation of working-age young Americans who want the freedom to earn money while not being practically bound to an office desk.
But before getting carried away about the ideals attached to workshifting, it’s important to ask yourself whether or not this type of work is right for you.
Here are four questions to ask in order to get an idea of whether or not remote work is something you should do.
1.) Does Your Career Field Make Workshifting Possible?
First and foremost, you should know for sure whether or not your work is something that can translate into an off-site career. For many jobs, it’s imperative that you are physically available.
For example: Positions at hospitals, drug rehab centers, or clinics typically don’t offer that level of flexibility.
Office work is typically more flexible, especially administrative positions where most of the work is accomplished using a computer. Consider your professional background and the tools involved to determine how easy or difficult workshifting may be for you.
2.) Are You Self-Motivated?
“You mean the idea of being able to work outside on my laptop in the bright sunshine isn’t motivation enough?”
Yes, actually. The idea of workshifting isn’t “self-motivation.” Self-motivation is the ability to get the work assigned to you done in a timely manner while putting forth the best effort possible. Some people are only able to stay on task when they are in direct contact with their employer, who is constantly checking on them to ensure they stay busy.
If this is something you require in order to avoid laziness and procrastination, then workshifting is probably not for you.
3.) Does an Eight Hour Work Period Sound Depressing?
If you have neither the drive nor the attention span for an eight-hour workday — you actually aren’t alone. Some people can work hard for a couple of hours and then they spend the next few hours “on break.” Usually, flexible work hours means that the tasks can be performed in a short period of time or the window of time stretches over a period of days.
Rather than feel “chained to one’s desk,” it’s understood that the work can be done anywhere and the window of time for completion is more generous than a traditional job.
If you need less rigid structure in your life, then consider a remote work opportunity.
4.) Are You Looking To Escape A SPECIFIC Work Environment?
Sometimes rather than a workshifting-type of position, all you need is to escape a specific work environment. It could be that you don’t like your co-workers, or you're feeling underpaid and overworked — this could be what’s driving your need for change.
But rather than assume you’ll be happier telecommuting, why not try a similar job in a new office environment. If you find that you can breathe easier and enjoy working again, then this is all you need. If the same feelings of claustrophobia and general restlessness remain, then you know that perhaps you need a more extreme change.
Workshifting is going to continue to become increasingly common as a new generation of employees seek non-traditional work structures through which they can earn a living. Freedom is in vogue, but no longer is it defined through working at a home office while wearing bunny slippers. With social media making it easier to network and promote yourself, it’s important to understand how to leverage online platforms to your benefit.
Many workers want to get up and go places, and yet still be connected to jobs that pay. It’s simply important to know whether or not this modern work trend is right for you.
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Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger and writer who loves sharing her hard-earned insights about money management. She leads a green and eco-friendly lifestyle in an effort to do her part in the sustainability movement, as well as to reduce her budget. When she’s not typing away on her keyboard, you can find her at the gym or poring over a new Pinterest recipe. Check out what she’s sharing on Twitter or read her updates on her money blog, Current On Currency.