Ride The Waves of Remote Work Freedom

I love the sound of the ocean. Its rhythmical lullaby soothes and captivates the mind. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of the freedom associated with surfing—agility to ride the waves, audacity to face the mighty whitewash, and more importantly, the flexibility to steer the course. Quite serendipitously, the same sentiments echo my journey of transitioning to remote work. In fact, the freedom and flexibility associated with remote work are much like riding waves: sometimes unpredictable, but always invigorating. Working remotely is seen by many as a recent trend catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as someone who began this journey over five years ago, I can assure you it’s more than just a passing phase. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics’ survey predicts that by 2025, 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least five days a month.

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The Allure of Freedom

When I took my first step towards remote work, I was immediately engulfed by the sense of freedom it offered. The liberty from obligatory face time, strict office hours, and monotonous commute was a profound shift from traditional work structures. But with every wave of freedom, there were new challenges to face. In the beginning, my productivity fluctuated like a surfer tackling the unpredictable waves. The temptation to enjoy my flexibility to the fullest often culminated in procrastination. However, just like a surfer learns to read the ocean, I learnt to harness my distractions and implemented a structured routine that provided the right balance between work and leisure.

Riding the High Waves

The greatest wave I rode, undoubtedly, was the rise in productivity. A study from Stanford found remote workers show an increase in productivity by 13%. Not being embroiled in office politics or unscheduled meetings gave me the luxury to focus intensively on my tasks. The satisfaction of ticking off things from my to-do list at the end of the day was, and still is, inexplicable. However, riding this wave requires a skill that not everyone naturally possesses – self-discipline. Without it, it’s easy to get lost in the churning seas of work and personal life. Thankfully, with a multitude of time tracking tools and project management apps available, maintaining discipline is easier than it once was.

Recommended article: Managing Relationships as a Globetrotting Worker

The Calm in the Storm

Riding the remote work wave isn’t always a high ride. Just like the ocean, tranquility is a fundamental part of the experience. The calmness I refer to here is the often overlooked component of remote work – Mental wellbeing. The ability to work in an environment that I could tailor to my needs had a significant positive impact on my mental health. Greater autonomy and control over your workspace can lead to reduced stress and burnout, suggests an article from the Academy of Management Journal. Furthermore, the luxury of taking regular breaks to recharge, cook a fresh meal, or take my dog for a walk in the park created an overall wellness balance. Riding this wave of tranquility has been a marvelous experience for me.

The Audacity of Riding the Remote Work Wave

The audacity of riding a wave is facing the unknown without losing enthusiasm. Remote work is similar. It’s a lot about exploring the uncharted and tinkering with the unknown to figure out what works best for you. It requires courage, resilience and a good deal of inventiveness to stay afloat. In the beginning, I, too, found myself in unfamiliar territories. I was looking for ways to foster professional relationships and maintain team cohesion in a remote setting. I realized the vitality of clear communication. We began having weekly virtual meetings and using collaboration tools to maintain transparency and camaraderie amongst the team.

Steering Your Remote Work Journey

Just like the surfer navigates through the unpredictable waves, steering my remote work journey towards success was both a challenge and a learning curve. Learning to manage, direct, and structure my time was key to ensuring that I rode high on the wave of productivity without losing myself in the storm. When riding the remote work wave, being flexible to adapt, learn, and be resilient are fundamental. In the end, your journey is as unique as every wave in the ocean – all you can do is prepare yourself, know when to ride, and make the most out of every high and low wave that comes your way. Just like the ocean, remote work continues to evolve. As someone who has been riding its waves for over five years, I can attest to the constant learning and adaptation it involves. And yet, I wouldn’t trade this freedom and flexibility for anything else.

Jon Mullen

Greetings! I'm Jon, a digital nomad and storyteller on a perpetual quest for discovery. Originating from Chicago, Illinois, I fuse technology with my wanderlust, chronicling the highs, lows, and everything in between on this thrilling journey. Dive into my blog for insights, tips, and a front-row seat to the nomadic adventure!