Every weeknight my alarm goes off at 11:30 pm PHT.
As soon as it does, I wake up, utter a short prayer, and get out of bed.
After a short trip to the bathroom, I fix myself a steaming mug of coffee, and I fire up my PC.
By 12:00 am PHT I start my time tracker and my “workday” begins.
I didn’t need to shower or change clothes. I didn’t even need to brush my teeth (but I did, thank you very much).
I didn’t need to commute, flag a taxi, or drive myself to work.
In fact, my PC is located not 2 meters away from the bed where barely thirty minutes ago I was asleep in.
I remember hearing my friends tell me I’d be missing out on a lot of socialization, work dynamics, and collaborative energy when I told them I was going to be working remotely full time.
One of the biggest things they told me I’ll be missing out on is the opportunity for promotion.
They argued bosses usually promoted employees who are not just good at their jobs but also demonstrate excellent people skills such as project management, leadership, empathy, and coaching ability. They said I’m effectively shooting myself on the foot going remote because I would no longer be able to demonstrate those skills in front of my boss.
They said I’d be regretting my decision in no time.
That was 10 years ago.
For the past 10 years, I have had the ability to be fast asleep 15 minutes before an important client call and still not be late for it. That’s because I set my alarm to go off 10 minutes before the meeting so I still have enough time to splash water on my face, fix myself a mug of coffee, and go over my notes.
For the past 10 years, I have never missed a family vacation nor have I missed any important and critical work event. That’s because I can take my work with me anywhere. I can be talking to a client one minute and building sandcastles with my kids on the beach the next.
For the past 10 years, I have had the ability to help my kids with their homework and school projects while completing project briefs and project designs without missing a beat.
And it does not end there.
When I’m stuck creatively, I can pick up my guitar and start playing tunes just to jumpstart my brain without having to worry about the person in the next cubicle.
I can bring my laptop in front of our widescreen TV and watch Netflix with my family while typing up a report (a skill I’ve mastered over time).
I can go on unlimited breaks as long as my expected output is met and I don’t miss any deadlines.
Unparalleled life/work balance – that’s the biggest advantage of working remotely.
And did I mention the pay is good too?
Actually, it’s not just good – IT’S VERY GOOD (especially if you get the hang of it).
Once you figure out a “work rhythm”, you can start working with multiple clients. Multiple clients mean multiple paychecks. And if you’re really good at what you do, you can easily make as much money as all your naysayer friends’ salaries put together – probably even more.
Still, there are those who criticize remote work and freelancing saying this setup offers no job security. When a client no longer wants your service, they can easily fire you and that’s it.
When you do remote work and freelancing, you don’t even get a 13th-month pay (which is a common perk for Philippine employees).
In a way, that’s true.
But when the pandemic hit and companies began shutting down operations, it was then that people realized the phrase “job security” was just an illusion.
But guess who didn’t really get affected as far as work opportunities and “job security” are concerned when covid started wreaking havoc to the world…
Remote workers and freelancers.
It is true that when a client says, “Thank you for your work. That’s it. Let’s part ways.” that’s the end of that job. But that is what having multiple clients is for.
And 13th-month pay?
Remote workers and freelancers make twice the amount “traditional employees” earn monthly all 12 months of the year (sometimes even more!).
There’s no denying the fact – the future belongs to remote workers and freelancers.
Even the world’s biggest companies now are realizing (thanks in part to covid) that they can get the most out of their workforce and make significant payroll savings if they augmented their employee pools with remote workers and freelancers.
Spotify, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft are just a few of the big-name companies that have shifted to hybrid work models and have ramped up their hiring of remote workers and freelancers.
It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world follows suit.
So are you still in the fences about leaving your “traditional job” and going fully remote?
I hope this tips your balance towards the sensible choice.
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